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How to Create a Feeding Frenzy In Your Store

Limited-quantity special offers can do more than build short-term traffic.

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IMAGINE A VIRTUAL feeding frenzy of customers coming into your store to buy, right now.

Nice idea, right? But that’s not the sort of thing you can simply turn on or off like a faucet … or is it?

Actually you can, and it’s the perfect thing to create using email marketing and social media. The secret is to offer extremely attractive offers on extremely limited merchandise, and do it on a regular basis.

For example, maybe you offer an 18-inch strand of freshwater pearls with a regular price of $89 for just $27. Who wouldn’t want to buy that? Of course, many, many people would and will. But to get the feeding frenzy, you need one more element … urgency!

In this case, the urgency is manifested in the form of an extremely limited supply. “But I only have 17 of them, and when they’re gone, they’re gone!”

But why would you want to do this? I mean, let’s say you bought those pearls for $12 a strand. Well, selling 17 strands at a profit of just $15 a strand makes you a whopping $255. Hardly worth the trouble, right?

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Well, consider this: When you do this regularly — at least once a month, and once a week is better — you can predictably expect the following:

  • You will virtually eliminate opt-outs from your email list. People will stay with you forever, not because they want or need any one thing or things, but they’ll be afraid of missing the one screamin’ deal they do. Research proves this to be true.
  • You’ll very likely see an increase in email opens.
  • You’re likely to see an increase in your social media engagements in the form of page likes, comments, etc.
  • You’ll finally be able to track social media responses directly to specific posts; no longer will you have to guess if your social media is working. You’ll know … and how well.
  • You’ll have customers walking in to buy. And that makes upselling and add-on selling much, much easier. If your sales team is well-trained, that li’l $27 sale turns into your average ticket or higher.
  • Perhaps most important, you’ll be training your customers on how to be your customers. You’ll be delivering the message that, in this relationship, they’re expected to buy from you.

Obviously, to make “feeding frenzy” marketing work, you need to buy right. Make it part of your trade show routine to visit the closeout booths to find such deals. Buy unusual numbers of the items you want to make your feeding frenzy offers (17 of these, 22 of those, 8 of another thing, 31 of something else).

It’s also important to keep the price points low. You can have something with a $200 value or more, but you’ll want to keep the “deal” price under $100, and under $50 is best. This has to remain an “impulse” buy that virtually any and every customer can appreciate.

And once you’ve mastered the art of the feeding frenzy offer, start making more compelling offers to your customers for those bigger items for bigger occasions. You’ll see your traffic, sales and profits skyrocket.

Jim Ackerman, “Marketing Coach to the Jewelry Industry,” is president of Ascend Marketing. Reach him at jimack@ascendmarketing.com.

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These 3 Jewelry Marketing Approaches Will Draw More Self-Purchasers To Your Store

It begins by focusing your advertising on ideas rather than products.

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A ROUND THE WORLD, women are primary decision-makers for high-dollar purchases. If you are not marketing to women in ways that appeal to and engage them, you’re not benefitting from their purchasing power.

Here are three marketing suggestions to improve your female appeal, and which illustrate the differences between male and female buyers.

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1. Attract women with ideas. Picture the typical Ace Hardware ad. Ace focuses on products and prices. They know men come to their stores for specific tools and solutions. Ace’s lifestyle advertising features outdoor cooking, lawn care, and similarly specific objectives.

Those themes all appeal to the average guy’s get-it-done style of shopping.

In comparison, Home Depot’s advertising focus is soft. They convey the joy of making a home beautiful and welcoming through fun projects with one’s spouse. Home Depot is not selling tools — they’re selling hearth, home, and togetherness.

When women shop for luxury goods, they consider how they will feel when they have the object, and how the object will affect their happiness (even if the object is not for themselves).

When you advertise, do you push specific items? Or do you promote the ideas your business stands for, and how you contribute to the quality of your customers’ lives? Specific item promotions are useful for your male shoppers, but to bring in more women, you must tell meaningful stories.

2. Nurture leads with social proof. Social proof is the psychological tendency of people to conform (also known as herd behavior). The digital marketplace skillfully exploits social proof to make sales. Ratings, votes, reviews, likes, comments, and shares are all forms of social proof.

But remember that men and women use social proof differently. Men prefer votes and ratings, because they want measurable, specific feedback. Women use dialog to enhance the shopping experience, so they appreciate comments and reviews. To attract female buyers, develop a library of reviews and comments.

3. Merchandise your store for themes, not things. Walk into any Williams Sonoma, and you’ll find theme-driven baking displays that include bakeware, utensils, mixes, and the latest color Kitchenaid mixer. Williams Sonoma does a phenomenal job of merchandising to women (not coincidentally, women hold almost 60 percent of Williams Sonoma’s top executive positions).

Men like to cook too, but they are more likely than women to head to a restaurant supply store for their kitchen purchases, partly for the prices, but also because restaurant suppliers offer the compartmentalization and categorization they crave.

Women don’t shop for things; they shop for themes. Merchandise around themes in your store, and women will gravitate to those sections and displays.

These are just a few of the ways in which female buyers respond and behave differently than male buyers. If your buyers are more than 50 percent male, you could grow your sales instantly just by attracting more women to your store and keeping them there long enough to close.

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Sales Truth

Why A Well-Told Proposal Story Could Help Close The Sale

It starts with getting the groom-to-be involved.

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WHY IT IS TRUE: He is in your store to purchase an engagement ring, a totally unfamiliar task for him.

PLAN OF ACTION: Ask him how he plans to propose. If this is something he has not considered, take this opportunity to share several beautiful proposal stories your clients have used. Ask him questions, get him involved, encourage him to share his plan, and help him embellish it in any way you can.

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What This Jeweler Learned From a Cruise Line Changed Her Store Forever

Here’s how it can change yours too.

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WE TOOK A cruise for my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday. The enchantment started the minute we walked aboard the ship. People called out our name and joyfully announced our arrival. Next, customer services had our vacation packet waiting and warmly discussed all of our shore excursions, on-board activities and general information.

You might ask why I am going on about an itinerary, but it wasn’t just the cruise — it was the culture of the engaged employees who delivered a sense of welcome, happy-to-oblige helpfulness and genuine courtesy on all levels that was so alluring.

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How would your store or your employees compare to that kind of service? When I came back, I immediately had the discussion of “Customer Magic” with my team. A cruise salesperson has a very limited window of opportunity to engage a client, exchange pertinent information, and then together create a satisfying outcome. Most of what they will achieve depends on their presentation, execution of interests and the level of engagement that ensures they have transformed this individual into a loyal customer who will return for another round — not unlike a new customer coming into your store on a virgin excursion, exploring to see if you have what they need.

Did you greet them happily or meet them at the door? Did you engage with a smile and genuinely helpful attitude? Did you give a sincere compliment as an icebreaker? Did you extract the information required to make their experience feel welcoming and helpful by asking open-ended questions? Could you satisfy their expectations or meet their needs efficiently? What did you do that would gain their trust? Ultimately, in this limited engagement, did you earn their loyalty?

Every customer, every time, needs the red carpet treatment if you intend to catapult your store to the forefront from the plethora of retail choices. With a limited window of opportunity, presented from five to 50 times a day depending on your traffic flow, are you making the most of each customer interaction? How are you training your sales team to be guardians of guaranteed customer loyalty and to do what needs to be done to make this a great experience? On every level, from owner to salesperson to jeweler to gift wrap, is this a cohesive team helping to insure that each customer is fulfilled, and thus will return in the future?

Wish lists, rapid repairs, quality merchandise, free inspections and creature comfort amenities create an exchange that resonates with your clientele, and then they share with their peers. How would you rate your store on the “Customer Magic” scale?

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