How can I create offers without sounding desperate?
Are you really wanting or needing to push some stock, and get some sales? During this lockdown, many businesses have been forced to close, pivot or have seen sales decline. Others have enjoyed buoyant sales.
If you can sell online, and despatch safely, then now is the time to do that. But what we need to do, is to continue our marketing without sounding like we are absolutely desperate for the sales. How do we do that? Here’s my advice for small retailers.
Continue to show up on social media
Don’t go quiet, even if you don’t know what to say, or don’t feel like it. It can be hard. If you’ve been forced to close your shop because of Covid-19 then you’ve been dealt a massive blow. Until you have worked out what your offers will be, keep talking on social media. BE SOCIAL. Ask your fans how their day is? Show them what you’re reading, pictures of your dog, you, your garden. Tel them that you will (or are still) selling online or click collect / local delivery, and to look out for offers on your page. Be consistent, be human. It’s ok to not talk shop on your page for a few days.
Work out your offer
Start with the products that you have most stock of. This is cash tied up in stock. Look at your cost price (if you’ve been listening to me, you will have an accurate epos system or a detailed stock spreadsheet). Once you know your costs, you can decide if you want to recover just your cost price, make 10%, 25% or 50% margin. Will your offer be a multi buy? (works well if you have co-ordinating / similar items the customer can buy into). Do a little benchmarking across your competitors… is your offer enough to stand out? How much are your competitors selling for?
Make your offer relevant to the current time
During this lockdown businesses have seen huge sales increases in lots of items; fitness equipment, food, toiletries pamper items, sentimental gifts, cards, stationery, toys & games, crafts. Try to tailor your offer to suit the demands of your customers. If your audience are home-schooling young children, do you have products suitable for the children or for exhausted parents?
Include Postage / Extras
Don’t lose money on postage or local delivery. If you are offering click and collect, choose set times when customers can collect. If you are delivering, establish how far you will deliver for free, and how much per mile you will charge for further afield (if you actually want to do this). Check current postage rates and charge this… don’t lose out on postage, try and cover your costs for packing materials too if the items are fragile. Can you offer giftwrapping? This could be an upsell and give you an advantage over other sellers and is a nice touch to offer.
You may be conscious that you need to bring in some money, and getting stressed about it. Don’t worry, this won’t come across on your marketing.
Forget about WHY you need to do the offer. Think of the offer as a regular offer / promotion in your business. How would you usually promote? Take some fab pictures… create a collage or various angles, or a short video (or all). Write the copy for your facebook post…include dimensions, fabric, details, quantity available and the price.
For the price, don’t forget to quote the WAS and NOW prices, and show the saving in £ (people don’t have time to work out percentages)
When launching the offer, use empathic language addressing a problem such as “ as we’re all in lock down and getting fed up, I’ve put together this offer for you on my best CRAFT / DRESSES/ PAMPER KITS” to help cheer you up.
Or “are you wanting to cheer up a friend you aren’t able to catch up with”
Or “do you need some craft kits to entertain your kids / you / neighbours”
Addressing the problem eg feeling fed up, missing someone, needing to combat boredom really helps. It shows you as caring and compassionate and also very quickly connects with the customer as they associate that they are feeling bored / emotional etc
Don’t just talk about this once on social media. My advice to small retailers is to keep going. People are on line a lot more, so change your photo and copy a little and repost at different times of the day. Keep updating the post and our customers with stock countdowns “last 2 “ “one left, who wants it” work very well.
Your customer will be happy to see offers, they are wanting to buy products, but are conscious of cash and grateful for offers, so it’s absolutely the right thing to do to keep your sales coming in. Keep putting together deals of the day / week, fiver Friday, multi buys, special buys and mix things up. Your customers will thank you for it.
For more tips from Vicky Powell – the retail business queen, why not join the Free facebook group just for small retailers. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RetailBizClub