“Shop Local!” has been a popular theme giving the small to medium size retailers the business opportunity to collaborate and reach new customers that will keep coming back. We have a few suggestions of how to make your business standout in your community by finding the right partnerships to increase sales growth.
Talk to similar businesses in your community to create a passport program for customers to engage in! You can schedule the program for any length of time, but by having it occur for a day or over a weekend, you will have a much better chance of customers getting to every store.
For this passport program, each retailer will give a stamp whenever a customer makes an in store purchase during the designated time frame. At the end, customers who have filled their passport can turn it in to be entered to win a gift basket with goodies from all the places they shopped that day! This is a great opportunity for you and your customers to promote this on social media and tag retailers to drive traffic to their website.
Not only will you have an increase of traffic through your front door, but you’ve created relationships with your retail neighbors that can be very valuable in the long run!
Ex. South Lake in Pasadena hosts a Holiday Fest each December that all of the local retailers can participate in and promote!
If the passport program is a success and your new team of retailers would like to host another event, selecting a charity to receive your donations is a great way to build mutually beneficial partnerships while helping others. You can select certain items in your store or a percentage of each purchase can go towards the proceeds to a charity in your local area.
This gives retailers involved a chance to cross promote on social media, in store, and directly to customers while assisting those in need!
Ex. Three Dog Bakery hosts a food drive for one month at each of their locations. They’ve made it into a competition between their stores of who can raise the most money for their local animal focused charity!
Knowing who your market is and where to reach them is crucially important. Teaming up with companies that consist of your possible clientele can be great for new business.
For example, if you own a store that sells athletic clothing such as yoga pants or running gear, hosting a trunk show for your local Yoga or Pilate’s studio or running club gives you direct contact to your niche market! People may not buy everything at the trunk show, but it provides an incentive to stop by your store later or you can ask the owner if you can leave business cards or flyers at their front desk and see your customer base grow! You can also offer an incentive to those that make a purchase at your store for the opportunity to try out a free sweat session at a local Yoga, Pilates, dance studio or Crossfit gym
*This will help cross promote to your target demographic while creating mutually beneficial business partnerships within your community.
Ex. A Snail’s Pace teamed up with running shoe company, New Balance, for their pub run! Runners were able to try out new shoes from New Balance and finish the night with a drink.
Marketing your store can be expensive and you want to make sure you’re utilizing the right tools for the best bang for your buck. Social Media has great platforms for retailers to communicate directly to consumers, but if they’re not searching directly for your business, it can be difficult to reach the right audience.
Consider working with a retailing neighbor to split the cost of mailers or sponsorship for a community event in your area. There is a high chance that any advertisements will be posted in their store as well, giving your business more promotion!
Ex. The Ann Arbor Summer Festival has many different levels of sponsorship allowing for any size retailer to be a part of the event!
Teaming up with other local businesses gives every retailer a chance to be more involved in their community and increase traffic to their stores. Once the customers are in your door, it’s up to your stellar sales staff and unbeatable customer service to create loyal customers who are excited to return, even when there isn’t a promotion occurring. Start partnering up and encourage people to Shop Local!
If there is something that has worked for your business we would love to hear your story and share it on our social media platforms! Please feel free to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Kimmy Evans
By: Kimmy Evans