The retail world is an incredibly saturated market, with stores of all shapes and sizes competing head to head for sales. Retailers need to go above and beyond to differentiate themselves—and engagement is no easy feat.
Event marketing, however, offers retailers a chance to achieve new levels of customer engagement, creating valuable hype and translating it into sales.
Whether you're launching a new product, promoting a limited offer, or just looking to increase exposure for your store, implementing event marketing best-practices means you can maximize footfall and reap the rewards of your promotional activity.
Incorporating retail merchandising disciplines into your event allows you to engage visitors in a way that encourages purchases—optimizing your displays, your signage, and your overall store journey to guarantee results.
For event marketing to be successful, you need a combination of creativity and diligence. The fundamentals of designing and launching a big in-store event revolve around thinking about how your shop layout can be used to the best possible effect. But without the self-discipline to strategically plan, organize, and implement your event, there's no guarantee your store will feel the effects of your efforts.
If you're on the hunt for a sales strategy that works, experiential marketing could be the tactic that takes your store to a new level of profitability. But you'll need an airtight event marketing strategy designed with engagement in mind.
Here are some tips to help you plan.
1. Create a promotion schedule
As with all things marketing, scheduling is incredibly important. Schedule one major event at your store every month. Holidays will already cover several months. Make sure the months that aren't covered yet have an event scheduled that will make them just as memorable.
Also try to schedule at least three minor events every month. These don't need to be any more than a merchandise promotion or competition, but make sure something is happening. Those events will build some local buzz around your store—and having a concrete schedule will also make them easier to promote.
Creating a promotion schedule has much in common with the fundamentals of inventory management, with an industrious approach to both the planning itself and the execution guaranteeing the best possible outcome.
Plan a schedule that is realistic and concrete because the success of your event rests on the quality and depth of your initial plan.
2. Involve brand representatives and local networking groups
More often than not, brand reps are delighted to be asked to be involved, and they will usually help out in one way or another. If they're willing to add some free promotional merchandise, fantastic! If they're willing to attend in person, that's even better. Doing so tightens ties and gives brand reps and networking groups a chance to both promote their product and provide their expert input prior to the event.
The reps that are more willing to help out will be asked often, so make sure you aren't pestering them every month. If you're a member of a local networking group, ask other members whether they're willing to do a cross-promotion of some kind. It gives your event a bit more zest, could grant you access to an untapped customer base, and maximizes exposure for your store.
Getting as many people involved in the preparation for your event as possible is certain to improve its chances of success. You can achieve much more by combining the expertise and enthusiasm of many people—not only because your efforts are multiplied but also because of the combined reach of everyone involved. All that results in a much higher turnout on the big day.
3. Merchandise to perfection
We can't overstress the importance of layout and visual branding at any retail event—using the available space to maximum effect. You need to make sure exciting and high margin products are given maximum exposure, without neglecting any of your other products.
If you're holding an event attended by brand reps, layout becomes even more important, as this is your chance to demonstrate that your store is a promotional powerhouse streamlined for sales.
Retail merchandising is essential when designing your layout, both for your business and for your event. Make sure locations are logical, customer flow is a key consideration, and visuals are professional and promotional.
The customer experience is, as always, of paramount importance and could mean the difference between the success and failure of your retail event.
The most important thing to remember is that orchestrating an in-store event requires the same dedication and diligence as maintaining your store on an ongoing basis.
Retail merchandising best-practices should play a key role in the preparation for any retail event, allowing you to optimize your store in a way that guarantees the success of your event and delivers value in the long term.
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