This past week, Bags & Bows Online Exhibited at AmericasMart. It was my first time attending this large tradeshow and I learned a lot while I was there. I heard resounding success stories, but also saw challenges other booths faced. As I gathered ideas on how to successfully market your tradeshow booth, it became clear that many of these tactics only need to be tweaked slightly to create a successful store strategy.
One example from the show was ida-clair’s booth. They had one of the most popular booths at AmericasMart on the “Cash & Carry” floor. Ida-clair sells boot socks with hand-crocheted trim. They experienced such a high level of demand at the show they didn’t have enough supply to fulfill the demand.
So, what can you do if you buy a product for your store but don’t have enough stock to meet the popularity of the product?
1) Allocate and display a limited amount of the sought-after product per day or per week until you receive your next shipment. This may drive customers to your store multiple times and provides additional opportunities for your sales associates to sell additional products.
2) Merchandise the product. Highlight the product with complimentary items. For example, if the product is a piece of clothing, like ida-clair sells, create an outfit around it. If it’s a bag like Bags & Bows Online sells, find complementary patterns and create a collection like we did in our newest Look Book. Your customers may have come in solely for the product, but the whole product bundle may be too perfect for them to pass up!
3) Reserve a couple of pieces as examples and provide rain checks or allow pre-orders for your next shipment. This allows you to capture the purchase when your product is top-of-mind. This will also help your cash-flow as you’ll know you’re purchasing product that has already been promised.
4) Host an exclusive in-store event for your top buyers where you have the sought-after item available. This rewards customer-loyalty and brings your customers into the store to give them the opportunity to buy additional items. It also creates content for your website, blog, and social media channels through story generation, photos, and video, and gives you a PR opportunity with local press.
5) Host a drawing. Leverage the popularity of the product by offering a chance to win when your customers complete an action within a certain date range – e.g. sign up for our email list or become our Facebook Fan, etc.
6) Plan for future success. You know this is a popular item, so increase the quantity of your next order. When it arrives, communicate that it is available; consider organic and paid communication and use the product name to optimize your communication. This knowledge can bring in new customers looking for the product and additional sales.