ShopTorque

Thoughts, ideas, tips and musings as I work alongside small business owners helping them love their businesses back to life!

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Debra

Debra

Shopping should be a pleasure for everyone involved - customers, staff and business owners - never a chore.  I spend my time working with retail business owners - helping them love their businesses back to life!  This blog is my thoughts, ideas, tips and  musings on what I find...

Posted by on in Visual Merchandising
Hot Spots

Effective merchandising demands the most effective use of available retail space, ultimately seeking to capture the impulse of the customer to buy more and to buy better. An understanding of customer behaviour in the shop, often learned through trial + error and observation can be used as a positive sales tool.

It is telling that large retailers employ policies of shop layout, based upon research and understanding of consumers' purchasing patterns.

An initial consideration is a basic building floor plan, and every shop through it's physical layout will have areas which draw higher traffic, as well as areas of the shop which may not be explored so much for reasons such as congestion (perceived or real) or simply being at a distance from the point of entry.

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Posted by on in Visual Merchandising
Display Fundamentals

See the quality and utility
See the price
Self-select

The customer must be able to do all of the above in the shortest possible time

In the light of the broad layout principles discussed above, it is now possible to focus on where best to place the merchandise and how best to display it. The following notes provide a summary of the principles and key issues that need to be considered.

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Posted by on in Visual Merchandising
Colour My World

Colour is what customers see first.
More than anything else, colour makes people stop and look. bright shirtsFor many customers the colour is more important than the size, the style or the price.

It's important to remember that most people, when they pass windows, are not thinking of shopping; their minds are elsewhere and it's quite a challenge to catch their eye and their imagination. Colour invariably does the job beautifully.

COLOUR AS A MERCHANDISING STRATEGY
Retailers promote different colour schemes each season. They introduce new shades of a currently popular colour or select an entirely different palette (selection of colours). Standard colours may be combined in unusual ways. These colour schemes should be featured in highly visible areas of the shop, like shop entrances, department entrances, along aisles, in windows, or on interior displays, so that customers can find them easily. If the colours are part of a national trend, or have been aggressively promoted through advertising, customers will be looking for them.

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Posted by on in Marketing
The Easiest Sale

The easiest sale to structure is one that requires you to look at everything in your shop.

Look at every colour. 
Look at every size.
Look at every shape.
Look at every type of product.
Then act.

We're talking about a series of one-day sales, each featuring a particular category of products. These one-day sales can be held one day a week, one day a month, on consecutive days, or even every single day during an entire month.

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Posted by on in Marketing
Local Marketing Doesn't Work ... oh really?

Excuse me for disagreeing.
Bad local marketing doesn't work.
But clever, innovative local marketing - aimed at the locals - most certainly works. Check this out:

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Posted by on in Marketing
Fridge Magnets
You’ve just realised that custom magnets will last longer, can contain the same information and be the same size as a business card... so how can you utilise this wonderfully inexpensive, long lasting, promotional marketing tool that will be kept and seen for ages, to increase your business turn over and sales?
Well to start, don’t think that a custom magnet has to be a business card substitute. A number of great promotional ideas for utilising custom magnets are: 
  • Once a service has been rendered offer a discount magnet for repeat business 
  • Place your company promotional message on the magnet along with details
  • Place your facebook and social media details on the card
  • Promote a competition or ongoing prize draw
  • Place a code on the magnet so when clients contact you for service they get a discount
  • Run an incentive program or repeat business bonus to encourage customers to keep the custom magnet
  • Create invitations to functions such a fund raisers, product launches or special events
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Posted by on in Marketing
Bondage and Discipline

You know how 'boring' the majority of shopping is nowadays?  - same product, lookalike shops, same less than exciting service ... yada yada yada.  For the first time in a long, long time I walked into a shop and laughed out loud with delight.  This is what took my fancy.
How great is this!!  ... bondage and discipline products to get your garden under control...

I was in Tim's Garden Centre in Campbelltown ... on a wet, wet day.  
This Centre has such a personality - it's quirky, funny, different than any other nursery I've set foot in - and I've set foot in quite a few.
People tell me that signs don't matter.  They matter! As you can see from this sign in Tim's they not only tell you about the product [and refocus you on what they're selling], but they fit the 'personality' of the business.  

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Posted by on in Marketing
Bag Stuffers

Bag Stuffers are a most under-rated marketing tool.  Somehow we seem to have forgotten about them.  So I thought I'd re-introduce you to these cost-effective marketing miracles...

What is a Bag Stuffer?
A bag stuffer is a store offer or a calendar of store events/promotions on a  piece of paper that is given to every customer who buys from you.  And, unlike its name, its not to be stuffed willynilly into a bag - nor are you to ever be tempted to pre-stuff your shopping bags!

An Offer
Ensure your bagstuffers are visual (including photos)and include your logo and all contact details of your shop (this includes your website, facebook page, twitter name, instagram link...).  They are easily made.  You can design a bag stuffer on your computer as a word document - either one A4 stuffer or multiple bag stuffers on one page - simply guillotine them after you've printed them on your COLOUR printer.  Better still, design them (or get them designed) and either email through to your local printer or put them on a usb stick and walk it up to your printer.  Shoddy, black and white photocopies won't work.  

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Posted by on in Mother's Day
Mothers Day: Rinse, Lather, Repeat Experience

Make it a lather, rinse, repeat experience. 
Create Mother's Day gifts that come along with a good reason for mum (or the gift purchaser) to come back to your business again, soon.  
Ideally, a Mother’s Day gift won’t just represent the sale of products for your business one time, but would result in a new customer coming to your business, repeat visits and the opportunity to turn a new customer into a regular, loyal customer. If you offer services (such as a salon or spa), be sure that your Mother’s Day gifts are bundled along with a gift card that mum (wife, daughter, or aunt, etc.) will come to your business to redeem and experience what your business has to offer.

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Posted by on in Mother's Day
Mother's Day Promotions

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and you likely already have your Mother’s Day promotion plans in motion, but if not, here are a couple last minute ideas that also incorporate the use of social media marketing.

Something to keep in mind: women do most of the household shopping and make up the majority of users when it comes to social media sites like facebook and twitter.

Host a shopping party – Display all of your most popular Mother’s Day gift ideas prominently with signage so that they're easy to browse. Before the store opens, take a video of your store display and the products. Post the video to your facebook page with a post that your store is the local "Mother’s Day Gift Headquarters."

Host a mother/child shopping event – Have a special shopping day for mothers to bring younger children so they can shop together. Serve tea and cupcakes to draw in customers… you could have crafty gifts that children can personalise right in the store to give to mum. To tie in social media, take videos of children talking about why they love their mum and post it on your Facebook page, tagging mum so all of her online friends can see the video.

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What Do You Want Your Customers to Say After ...

You’re probably asking “Am I supposed to know what my customers say when they leave?”

You might well be thinking:

  • I want them to say “Goodbye.”
  • Why do they have to say anything?
  • I hope my customers leave town!

How could knowing this possibly be important?   Why do you want to know what your customers say after you’ve served them?

Easy.  It’s a test.

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Posted by on in Customer Service
Telephone Customer Service

In today's high-tech world, the one communication tool that remains a constant is the telephone.  Using the telephone competently and courteously is essential to customer and client satisfaction.  Poor telephone etiquette can have a disastrous effect on your telephone customer service - and bottom line.

Here are some tips for providing excellent customer service:

Preparation:  Have a fair idea of what you are going to say in advance of your telephone call.  Have a mental script you can fall back on if the conversation wanders.
Introduction:  When we meet people face to face we often introduce ourselves with a handshake.  On the phone we must do this verbally by greeting the customer with genuine warmth.

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Posted by on in Customer Service
Retail Robots Begone!

I recently met a genuinely funny man ... funniness beams from him.  In fact, I'd met him a few months earlier at a seminar I was running on the Gold Coast but didn't realise it.
To ensure that mobile phones don't blast my seminars (because I want people to absorb what I'm saying, not just 'attend')  I always give people the choice of turning their phones off, onto vibrate, silent or leave them on.  The only thing is:  If they choose to keep it on and it rings in the seminar, they will be asked to stand and sing "I'm a little teapot" and do the actions.
Back to my story:  He came in late to the seminar and missed the message.

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Posted by on in Customer Service
Enthusiasm!!!

Either this fellow is dead or my watch has stopped...Groucho Marx

Walk down your street or through your local shopping centre and look for enthusiastic retailers.  You'll have to check your watch.  It's as though the majority of them have been hit by a time delay spray.
Ardour; Fanaticism; Ebullience; Devotion; Eagerness; Excitement; Verve; Willingness; Eccentricity; Help; Devotion; Co-operation; Intensity; Obsessiveness; Vitality.
Do you think that's a tad over the top?  Perhaps you're scared of having this effect on people.

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Posted by on in Customer Service
Customers and Their Mobile Phones

Customers wake up to yourselves!   We are constantly hearing about the less than average service you experience in shops.  Clever shop owners are doing their utmost to make your shopping experience an enjoyable one - they're picking the right location for you; decorating the shop to delight you; have the music you like playing whilst you browse; stocking just the right products for you; pricing products at a pricepoint that appeals to you; employing and training staff on how to best take care of you.   And what are you doing?  You're talking, talking, talking on your ROTTEN MOBILE PHONES - expecting to get A1 service!
Are you mad?  Ever heard of the word discourteous?   Actually, let me be blunt ... it's just BLOODY RUDE!!
IF you want service, do you think there is a slight possibility that you could exist for a wee while without the phone glued to your ear?  Makes it rather difficult for staff to assist you. 

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