Grab a cup of coffee. This one doesn’t have pictures – but is a great read even if you aren’t involved in a shop hop!
Make your store a destination shop this Shop Hop season! Shop Hops are designed to bring new customers to your store. Use this opportunity to make a memorable first impression.
Remember, a first impression starts OUTSIDE the store. This has been a brutal winter. As soon as the weather breaks, walk around the perimeter of your store – including the parking lot. Now is the time to fill potholes, wash windows, clean out cobwebs, and pick up yard debris. Plan any major improvements – including landscaping.
Determine where your customers will be waiting in line – and display new merchandise including books, patterns, and notions. We hope that they won’t have to wait long, but if they can look at new products or watch a demo while they are waiting, they will leave with a smile (and possibly a new favorite)!
Make sure that you have the stock to support any samples hanging in the shop. If you don’t, take them down! Customers are frustrated when they see something they can’t have. Decide now if they have outlived their usefulness and have stopped generating sales. If the book or pattern is no longer available, it is a no-brainer. Take it down! Any samples that have been hanging since last year’s shop hop may also not make the cut. But, if they have sold well and are easy to kit, just updating or moving the display may bring new life to an old favorite.
Give premium display space to those projects that can also be kitted. Make labels for the quilts you are keeping. Be sure to include the name & price of the book or pattern, the price of the kit, and the yardage for the backing. If the project requires any special notions, include that too. Pick out the fabrics now so kits can be cut whenever there is time. Display the books, patterns, notions and kits nearby – along with possible backing fabrics – and label them as such!
Put a price tag on these samples and sell them during the shop hop.
Choosing New Projects
Now that you have done some Spring cleaning, look at the samples you are keeping. Samples should include a diverse assortment of projects – quilts, table toppers, place mats, and purses. Smaller projects are easy to kit and affordable. During shop hops, these sales become impulse buys.
Choose some projects that also showcase new notions such as Creative Grids rulers. These notions provide a learning opportunity so you can demonstrate products throughout the shop hop.
Cut Loose Press
Consider CLP patterns when choosing new projects. These patterns are reasonably priced so they can be included in a kit or offered as a freebie when demonstrating products. An added bonus – they are personalized with your shop name and contact information. And at just $3.99, a counter display is like quilter’s candy!
Have a demonstration area available – with seats if possible. Customers appreciate a chance to rest. This also gives you an opportunity to interact with these new, potential customers!
Have the product available and hand them around during the demo so they can see – up close and personal – what you are talking about.
Provide a Lounge
Be a gracious hostess. Turn your class room into a lounge for husbands and customers who are waiting on friends to finish shopping. Or, sit some rocking chairs by the entrance. Nothing is more inviting. Have some snacks and magazines available as well. Have newsletters and class schedules available for easy reading. And, provide forms to sign up for your newsletter.
Personalize your Kits
I live in Ohio State country. Anything I did in scarlet and gray sold out immediately. Choosing your local team colors may be the edge you need to get the sale.
Now is the time to talk to your employees to see who will be available during the shop hop – and who is willing to work additional hours.
It is always nice to have everyone wear an apron or something else that will let new customers know who is available to help them. Make them NOW! Don’t wait until the last minute!
And, don’t forge….We provide the products – and you provide the smile!