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Wow Clients at Your Next In-Store Event by Following These 3 Principles

You may need to reconsider your philosophy on events first.





AS A PAST buyer for one of the largest independent chains on the West Coast, I’ve discovered that an in-store event is the perfect way to introduce new products to your existing customers, as well as bring in new customers, all without having to make a significant investment in inventory. That said, running a successful in-store event is no small feat. So, I’m here to dish out some tips on how to make your next in-store event the best one yet.

Timing and Exclusivity Are Key

Time your events based on your store’s biggest shopping seasons. If you’re a major bridal door, focus on the “wedding season” and “engagement seasons,” and for fashion doors, focus on major gifting holidays like Black Friday and Valentine’s Day. Don’t overdo the number of events you host a year, or they will lose their allure. The more exclusive the event, the more hype and statistically more profit. On the other hand, if you hold events too often, not only will your current customer base lose faith in your pricing model and the perceived value of your goods, but studies show that potential customers can view a store that runs too many sales as “gimmicky” and their product as “low quality.” Yikes! Focus on making a few events outstanding rather than making a lot of smaller events just mediocre.


Choose the Right Vendor(S)

Other than your top-selling lines, what other vendors have you considered? Invite lines that you don’t carry but your customers come in asking about or the relentless “up and coming” brand that has been beating down your door for a meeting. This allows you a chance to get real customer feedback and test the market without having to invest first. This also goes beyond the just jewelry vendors. Consider inviting local vendors outside of the jewelry industry who can mutually benefit. For example, if you are doing a bridal-centric event, you could invite a wedding photographer to take photos. You end up with free photos of your event, and they get to meet people who need a wedding photographer. Another great local vendor is a wedding caterer. Your guests will not only be able to sample their selections, but it will keep them busy when you need to bounce from guest to guest. Do your research on their customer reviews before inviting them to attend your event. After all, you don’t want the “wedding singer” showing up when you invite a DJ.

Follow Up with Clients

Not everyone will purchase during your event, but if they attended, they are prime targets for further marketing efforts. Don’t forget about the vendors who came, too. Many of them are coming from out of state, which requires leaving family and work obligations in order to help your event.

An in-store event can be great for all involved. Your customers get treated to special and unique merchandise, and the vendors get added exposure and sales for their products. Plus, it allows you and the vendor to see how shoppers react to the merchandise. Done well, everyone wins.




He Doubled His Sales Goals with Wilkerson

John Matthews, owner of John Michael Matthews Fine Jewelry in Vero Beach, Florida, is a planner. As an IJO member jeweler, he knew he needed an exit strategy if he ever wanted to g the kind of retirement he deserved. He asked around and the answers all seemed to point to one solution: Wilkerson. He talked to Rick Hayes, Wilkerson president, and took his time before making a final decision. He’d heard Wilkerson knew their way around a going out of business sale. But, he says, “he didn’t realize how good it was going to be.” Sales goals were “ambitious,” but even Matthews was pleasantly surprised. “It looks like we’re going to double that.”

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