The souvenir industry might not be a typical retail operation but can be a very profitable one if done right but drawing the attention of potential customers is a far cry from holding it long enough to make a sale. Retailers understand the focus shoppers place on visuals, especially if they are visiting stores, and are constantly looking to boost their sales. If you want to drive attention and conversion in your gift and souvenir store to an increasingly diverse customer base, here are some handy tips to give you the best chances at success.
Touch and Feel
Most people who shop in stores are more likely to visit them because it allows them to touch and feel the items in person. Cleverly displaying products encourages potential customers to connect with them. Once the customer has experienced the product, they are more likely to lead to a successful sale.
Tourists are more open to buying higher-priced items rather than products available anywhere else, and are likely to buy more than one item. Promote products by offering bundles or deals in creative fashions with clean display spaces that will highlight the products you want to move. Arrange similar items together and decorate your display area using distinct designs, products and colours.
Technology adds a whole host of possibilities to what a retailer can do. A modern gift and souvenir shop can use technology for more than inventory management such as encouraging interaction or advertising new events and products. It need not even be big investment as long as it makes your work easier along with improving the customer experience. An example would be to showcase your product line digitally, effectively expanding your display space.
A display, whether on the outside or inside of a store, needs to help shoppers discover the store, enter it and make a purchase. Leave a lasting impression on the shopper with an environment that sets the retailer apart. The overall effect should be one of immersion with a story that aligns with your products.
For you to do well in the souvenirs market, plan long term and account for variation within the industry. Begin planning for the season almost half a year in advance, look out for the right products and make stock up a month in advance at least. From June to August, Canada’s peak tourist season, souvenir sales can be a big bonus increase to business revenue. It is a busy time for anyone in the gift and souvenir industry but many retail stores do not take into consideration the seasonal nature of the business.
Make the most of the summer and the window of opportunity offered so that you do not have to work as hard during the offseason. Instead of holding on to slow-moving merchandise, clear out your old stock while there are still customers around. Even when selling a specific type of souvenir, research the market to find ways to increase your sales, traffic and visibility during seasonal periods. Start preparing early by putting your wares on display even if it is early in the season so that you can take it easy later on. Begin to advertise before peak season gets underway. That way, you can get customers into the door more from the get-go with a buzz around your store.
A successful souvenir business should have a strong social media presence across various platforms. Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offer an inexpensive and effective way to reach your target customers. Change your profile regularly to highlight a season change or promotional events with matching artwork and content. It is also a great way to advertise or inform your customers about possible sales or new products.
Displays need to grab the attention of tourists and showcase their favourite souvenirs or unique items. Those same items should be neatly displayed and stocked when a customer walks in during peak season. Create a designated space for popular, season-specific souvenirs or items that customers might think of. If your location store gets crowded, move products around frequently so that people are exposed to all the products on display and find what they are looking for.
Finally, your staff plays a large role in a positive customer experience. Friendly, well-informed and helpful staff have a direct effect on your sales. Taking the time to greet guests, initiate conversation and engage in positive interactions are excellent ways to pick up on cues and show them related products. Vet them thoroughly and empower them to make decisions in the best interest of the customer.