How to Start, Not Bite: The (Small) Shop Small Movement in Retailers
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By: Fiza Khan
The holiday shopping season kicks off the final stretch of the year for retail. The build up to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday brings about a wave of marketing campaigns, special promotions and shopping events. If you’re a local retailer, these holidays also bring about an opportunity to boost sales and get your store in front of more customers. While there are several ways you can do this as an independent business, none are as accessible or low risk as taking part in the Shop Small movement.
At its core, the Shop Small campaign is a set of strategies that encourages shoppers to support small businesses during the holiday season. It’s not just another gimmick that comes around once a year but something that can be adopted by retailers all year round as well.
Why Shop Small?
The holiday shopping season is a great time to bring attention to the benefits of shopping small. This is a time when people are already thinking about gifts for loved ones, but also want to be responsible about budgets. Shopping small helps you support local businesses and entrepreneurs who can put a little extra cash back into your community.
Beyond the holidays, the Shop Small campaign is a great way to extend the shopping season. Small businesses often have shorter seasons than the big box stores, so this campaign can help them get a longer season and more sales. Beyond the financial benefits, shopping small can also bring more personal benefits. Depending on where you live, it can be easier to shop local than go to the big box stores. It can also be easier to get personalized customer service from small businesses, and you can have more control over where your money ends up.
However, for the campaign to be a success with flooded sales, make sure you are making use of the high margin buying strategy that we offer at OFFPRICE Show. This saves buyers' budget and hits higher profit margins. Our vendor partners sell their products at wholesale prices only available to our attendees. This means that we offer great savings to buyers who come to our event.
How to Adopt the Shop Small Strategy
The Shop Small strategy is simple—get customers to shop small by promoting the benefits of shopping at local, independent businesses. In order to do this in your store, you need to make sure that customers know about the movement, and that they can easily take part in the festivities.
There are three main things you can do to promote the Shop Small campaign:
1. Put up signage,
2. Put up signage,
3. Put up signage!
Seriously though, having signage and decorations in your store can grab people’s attention, especially if they’re with their kids and are just browsing the store. If you have a store that doesn’t have a ton of visual elements, like a clothing store, you can also promote it verbally and on social media. Put up signs, send out social media posts, or send out emails to bring attention to the movement.
Decide on your small business beneficiary
Depending on what stage you and your business are in, you might not be able to choose a local small business to benefit from the Shop Small campaign. If you’re just starting out and looking to get your name on the map, it might not be a good idea to promote someone else’s store.
Instead, you can choose a non-profit organization or cause that you can donate to as your beneficiary. If you’ve been in business for a while and have a steady flow of customers, you have the option to partner with a local business and help them get more customers who might not have otherwise found them. Paying it forward.
There are a few things you can do to find the right store or business to partner with.
- Ask your current customers—they might have a great suggestion.
- If you don’t have enough customers yet, ask your staff or friends.
- You can also ask around in your local area to see what businesses are in need of a boost.
Use Rich Media Ads to Drive Awareness
Rich media ads are full-page ads that take over your entire screen when someone clicks on them. These ads are a great way to drive awareness for the Shop Small campaign because you can incorporate photos, videos or graphics of your store and products. This gives potential customers a better idea of what your store is about, and how useful it would be to them.
You can use rich media ads on Google AdWords or Facebook Ads to drive traffic to your website or social media. You can either create an ad just for the Shop Small campaign or include it as part of a broader campaign about supporting small businesses. You can also use rich media ads to drive customers to a special page on your website where you list all the businesses in your area supporting the movement. Visitors can then click on each business to learn more about them.
Use Instagram Ads to Build Brand Awareness
Instagram ads have become a great tool for growing brand awareness and can be a part of your Shop Small campaign. You can use these ads to attract new customers and drive them to your website or social media page to learn more about your brand. If you have a brick and mortar apparel store, you can use your Instagram Ads to drive people to your website and sign up for email lists or special offers. If you’re an online-only retailer, your Instagram Ads can bring people to your social media pages where you can market to them as well.
Instagram ads are great for brand awareness because you can create visual ads that are themed around your brand. Your ads should be visually appealing and reflect your brand so that people can identify your company.
Tip: Check out Offprice’s Instagram page to get some cool ideas for your next campaign.
Other Ways to Get Locals’ Love
We know you want to be active in your community and support local organizations, but you don't have the time or resources for it.
We hear you, totally!
The good news is that there are ways that you can get involved without having to do much work.
Here are some ideas:
1-Civic Organizations: If you have a civic organization in your area, then why not become a member? Most of these organizations need volunteers and if you offer your help, they will likely give you more exposure than any other type of marketing tool. Just make sure that they have your business name on their website and/or newsletter so that people know who is donating their time and money!
2-Host Parties/Events: Hosting parties at your store is another great way to gain exposure. This could be as simple as having a potluck with your friends or family at the shop or hosting an event for local businesses to network together. The key here is for people to come into your shop after the party so that they can see what else goes on there besides just selling products or services!
3-Invest in community events: Provide sponsorship dollars and/or merchandise donations for local festivals, fairs and other community events. Get involved with organizations like chambers of commerce, economic development councils and neighborhood associations. These groups often have annual events that need sponsorships or donations of products or services. Show your support by getting involved in these activities — it's an easy way to get involved without having to do much work!
For example, if there's a local fundraiser for cancer research, consider donating gift cards or other prizes for a raffle or silent auction. You can also host a fundraiser at your business — ask customers to donate gently used items, then donate them to a charity of your choice.
The Shop Small campaign is a great way to bring attention to your store and the benefits of shopping local. You can use signage, rich media ads and social media posts to highlight the campaign and get more customers in your store. If you’re just starting out, you can use the Shop Small campaign to get more customers and promote your business without having to take on extra hours or heavy costs. Even if you’ve been in business for some time, the Shop Small campaign is a great way to boost sales and get more customers through your doors and onto your mailing list.