With the change of seasons and the starting of school, all customers’ minds turn to the thoughts of what they need next. If they have children, they will certainly take care of them first! Then, summer is over and people just naturally want new things for the next new season. After getting their kids ready, your customers can belong to you – if you do ONE THING!
EDUCATE THEM. If you educate them about what they need, your customers will come running into your store with their wallets open, ready to buy.
You have an important opportunity here. You have ordered new things for your store. You walked all over those trade show floors looking for the latest and greatest trends. Then you analyze all your options and carefully edit your purchases. All this work is to perfectly translate those new styles into items that your customers will love and wear/use. Literally you have been working on this for months and it culminates very soon.
Notice I didn’t say anything about selling. Education is what is required here. The Encarta Dictionary defines education as “the imparting and acquiring of knowledge through teaching and learning.”
Now it is time to educate your customers about those new trends you saw and impart the knowledge that you now have about the season! Share it with your customers by using pictures, videos or even a top ten list. During the height of your season, email your customers weekly. You should be updating Facebook once a day with all this information. You have so much to teach them and so much to share with them. And they want to know! They count on you. Don’t ever underestimate the value of being the expert and trusted source of knowledge for your customers.
Don’t miss this or your customers will go to your competition and your competition will follow through and put that information out there if you don’t. I want your customers to hear about all the “new” from you first.
A big mistake would be to dismiss this tip by thinking it is only for clothing and shoe stores. It is true that they have a HUGE opportunity this fall. For sure, every woman must wear a pair of leggings, straight leg jeans/jeggings and straight leg pants – and have the appropriate sweaters to match! Sure you may be at the front edge of fashion, but your customer may not know the trends. It is your job to educate them and get them to buy it from you first. Oh and boots are so important this fall…
Every gift and toy store can find the same type of “trend” within your special niche. Frames continue to be so popular – it is crazy. For toy stores, there are a number of new games that your customers don’t know about yet. My family can’t get enough of Anomia! There is something new in every category of merchandise.
© 2012 Cathy Donovan Wagner, RETAIL Mavens