Be the specialist,

and support

innovation

As a small business you are able to make quick decisions and take on new stock lines in reaction to news stories or local events.  This wonderful advantage means that your customers will recognise your store as the place to get that one item they know they can’t get elsewhere.

 

Some of your slower moving stock lines may have a secondary value, in that they are bringing in customers who then purchase other items from your offering.  This is worth bearing in mind when you are considering discontinuing slower moving lines.

 

Encourage your suppliers to keep you updated with new products and the latest innovation so that your customers think of you as the store which will carry the latest trends.  Don’t be afraid to try new things.  If you’re concerned with risk on a new line, see if you can get your supplier to agree to a sale or return on that particular line.  Show them your confidence in their brand by ordering in larger numbers wherever possible and explain that with these newer, high-risk products you would like their support to ensure success.  Get suppliers to use their social media channels and websites, newsletters etc. to mention you as a stockist.

 

If you can stock an exciting new product before it reaches mainstream supply chains make sure you position this as a positive news story and share it with the local press as well as highlighting it on your own social media networks.

 

It's a good idea to allocate some space for regularly updated posters, an A-board for example is great for this.  Ensure that the posters are changed frequently and include these displays on your marketing planner so that you always have the tools ready for your next change, but be ready to react to the latest news as you may be able to take advantage of what's happening and use the media's coverage of a certain trend or product to draw new customers in.

 

Printing costs can be expensive for large posters in colour from your local copy shop so make sure you ask your suppliers for POS materials.  They might have a resource catalogue for you to select from or you might just have to ask them on the phone what's available.  Cross reference their offerings with your marketing calendar and order the supplies at least a few weeks before your planned feature.

 

Marketing for Independent Retailers

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