Spring is finally here! You know what that means? Its time to come out of our hibernation hidey-holes. Stretch those arms and legs, put a big grin on those faces and greet your customers like the wonderful people they are.
You already sell online and don’t see the point in expanding to offline sales? Let me just tell you- you might be missing out. Over 40% of prospective consumers connected with offline are converted into customers as compared to only 18.5% connected with online. You work so hard to convert all those customers online – this stat says that maybe sprinkling in a little face-to-face selling will give you a break from working so hard all the time, and will be a great bonus to all the work you’re already doing. Here are some ideas to get you started adding some offline, face-to-face sales to your already flourishing online business:
Home is where the heart (and wallet) is.
Thought about doing Home Parties yet? This is a great way for businesses just getting into offline selling to build up a customer base. After all, who can we count on if we can’t count on family and friends? Starting with a small group of intimate friends or family will eventually lead to a network of contacts, each of whom bring in their contacts and invitees. Plenty of retailers start this way, and have continued to thrive. Well-known companies like Pampered Chef and Avon are great examples of companies that use home parties as an offline strategy to selling their products in addition to their other online efforts.
Trade me out to the expos.
Not only a great place for networking and checking out the competition, Trade shows and Expos offer excellent opportunities to connect with potential customers. With some events pulling in thousands of attendees yearly, there are countless opportunities for contact and sale. Thanks to the web, its even easy to find these trade shows and expos all over the country. Some databases that can be helpful in your search are the M+A Database and Events in America. That said, there are plenty of other great sites out there as well.
Meets, markets, and fairs – oh my!
Depending on what your specialty is, Trade shows and Expos may not be the right place for you. Perhaps a more relaxed Swap Meet or Market? Bring some inventory and set up shop alongside your fellow craftsmen. Meet new customers and meet other vendors (maybe even swap some secrets to your success). There are plenty of great resources online to find your local swap meet, flea market, or craft fair: Swap Madness, ArtFairCalendar, and Festivalnet are all extraordinarily useful.
Just popping in.
Are you a hesitant offline seller? You know that offline sales work, but you’re afraid to make a commitment to a full-fledged brick-and-mortar location? Or maybe you’ve dominated your online market and are looking for the next step in sales. Why not try pop-up stores? These short term retail locations can be anything from mall kiosks to vacant retail spaces. Use your online connections to broadcast to your customers about this new, and temporary, offline location while also connecting with new customers through store walk-ins. One key tip about pop-up stores is location – be sure to find the right location for your product and for the demographic you’re hoping to reach. And don’t worry too much, your pop up store can last for as long or as short as you want to stay open. Maybe you don’t go in on a location alone – joint pop-up shops are becoming increasingly popular. Businesses with similar interests could all get together and split the cost of a pop-up, making it easier and less expensive as well as helping with co-marketing efforts as all the business want to get the word out. One great model of pop-up collaboration is the Pink Social Girl Tribe – an organized group of all-female local businesses who get together to host pop-up events. Take a page out of their book and experiment a little. You might just love these spontaneous shops. Check out Pop Up Stores 101 for other great tips about pop-up stores and how to get started.
Don’t forget that ecomdash can help you with both your online and offline needs. Let us help you connect your online and offline selling while you get out there and make the sales. For other tips to help you bloom into spring, check out our recent blog Spring Cleaning Tips for an Ecommerce Business which is sure to help you organize and prepare yourself for a beautiful and successful new season.
Now get out there and make those face-to-face connections. And don’t forget to smile!