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Posts Tagged ‘two-foot rule’

I read an interesting article on the Storque blog this morning. It was called Three Tips for Using Wholesale or Trade Shows to Boost your Biz, written by Megan Auman and Tara Gentile of  Crafting an MBA and Scoutie Girl .

Now I am no where close to be doing trade shows but I think they hit some very interesting points in their article that could be applied to building your business in general.

One of the points they made was “If you can’t show interest in the people who are perusing your booth, you should reconsider doing shows.” Which basically comes down to customer service. You can have the most beautiful, original product in the world but if customers hate buying from you because of your poor customer service they won’t come back.  Good customer service leads to repeat orders and new orders from word of mouth. That is free advertising.

It’s not hard to have good customer service. It boils down to listening to your customers. Even if you can’t do or don’t have what they want but let them know you heard what they needed they will have a positive experience. You can always do a custom order or maybe add to your produce line if they had a great idea. But first and foremost people want to know they were heard. This applies to everything by the way. In my day job I work with people with disabilities and some have brain injuries. They sometimes will go on a rant about their situation or something that happened. More often than not you can’t do anything to make that situation not happen again but they are frustrated. Just listening and acknowledging their situation will make them feel better and feel heard.

In the article the first main tip was about building your brand. I know as a buyer when I look at sites and stores that have cohesive design I stay to look at more. As well I feel more comfortable buying from someone whose site flows well and looks professional than someone’s who isn’t.

An example of this is a few months ago I ordered mineral make up samples from two stores on etsy. One had their store and branding done really well, ie: great clear photos, logo on everything, etc. The other didn’t have great photos or a clear brand on their site. The branded store was a little more expensive than the poorly. When I received the items, the branded store had sturdy packaging and professional labels on the samples. The poorly branded store shipped the items in a flimsy paper envelope with tape all over it and hand written labels on the baggies. All of this made me want to try the well branded product first which I really liked. I didn’t even bother with the other products once I found the colours that suited me from the first store. I’m sure the second store had great products as well but as a buyer I feel more comfortable buying from the first.

The second tip was about using the “two-foot rule”. When I was studying retail design in my interior design program they taught us store the front windows and the facade was what drew people into the store and the most interesting design elements should be there. Once they are in you want to keep their attention but getting them into the store is the biggest challenge. You want to draw people to your store so your most interesting products should be the ones in your banner, avatar, displayed on top in your blog and featured in your store. Those are the ones that make the buyers stay to look at the rest of the stuff you have. If your current items you are featuring are not working for you, maybe you should change them. If you notice the store fronts in the malls, you will notice that they change the products in their store fronts often. Think about doing the same for your online stores.

The third tip in the article was to ask people to visit your booth prior to the show. This can be applied to your online store by e-mailing or sending a newsletter to your past customers when you have a new line of products they may be interested in. I don’t think sending out an e-mail every time you have one new item is advisable though. That can be looked on as spam. When I’m on twitter I notice that a lot of people post about each new item in their store. Personally I find that annoying. More often than not they don’t even say what the product is. I’m a very new twitter user and still trying to figure everything out so I’m not sure how this falls as online etiquette but that how I feel. Let me know what you think.

Be sure to read both Megan Auman’s and Tara Gentile’s blogs. They are very interesting reads with lots of interesting information and points of view. You can find them at Crafting an MBA and Scoutie Girl .

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