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  • Plan a Spa Party with Pennies

    The retail landscape has changed over the years, with e-commerce becoming the number one shopping venue. Retailers need to evolve their strategies to entice shoppers to visit our businesses to purchase rather than in the comfort of their own home.

    Physical stores are still most customers’ preferred shopping method, as online shopping cannot replace the personal experience stores allow. While in store, clients can touch, feel, smell and test products, immersing themselves in a multi-sensory experience while receiving live expert advice. Fortunately, this cannot be accomplished while shopping from your couch. Nowadays, the fastest, most cost-effective way to elevate the in-store experience and attract new clients is by hosting in-store events.

    Provide an Educational Experience

    Your event shouldn’t just be about selling products, but rather to provide a unique experience that differentiates your store from the rest. Offer education and encourage client and professional skin therapist interaction by offering complimentary one-on-one skin care analysis. Your team of professional skin therapists will then have the opportunity to explain the benefits of your products and how they will target specific conditions for client results. Clients can play with their recommended products, ask application questions and receive professional tips from you to help maximize their results.

    Offer mini-treatments to allow guests to sample your services when maybe they wouldn’t otherwise. The therapist can discuss products throughout the entire treatment, explaining what they are using and encouraging home care, as well as solidify a future treatment booking.

    These interactions will provide your guests with professional advice and are the key to stimulating an emotional connection between the client, your team and the product. Clients who are educated and are able to try recommended products are more likely to purchase. In fact, an average retail transaction post service is 40% higher than a retail transaction without a service.

    Partner Up

    Chances are businesses in your local community wouldn’t mind driving business into their stores with some free advertising. Network with like-minded retailer neighboring businesses with a goody bag of samples and your business card. Tell them about your event, and encourage them to partner.

    Partner businesses could include: blow dry bars, fitness studios (yoga, Pilates, spin), clothing boutiques, bakeries, waxing salons, health food stores, massage studios and active wear boutiques. Local businesses can participate by donating bounce backs, or products to be included in your event gift bag or an item to raffle. Many restaurants are willing to provide food or beverages to be served during the event as a way to promote their business.

    Let them know you will include their logo on your invites and tag them on social media. Include a charity you feel passionate about and plan to pledge a percentage of your event’s revenue.

    Motivate your Team

    Hold team meetings to get everyone excited and communicate the in-store event details and retail and service booking goals. Assign the team with event tasks such as: door greeter, cash wrap, treatment services, gift bags, bartender, etc. Launch a contest for the team member with the highest sales of the event or most treatments booked.

    Create Buzz

    Get creative when designing invites. Be sure to include your partner’s logos and all that will be offered. Use words like “complimentary treatments,” “gifts with purchase,” and “door prizes and giveaways.” Charge a small ticket fee redeemable for product purchases to encourage product sales during your event. Events that require ticket purchase and RSVPs have a 60% higher show rate than events with no ticket charge or RSVP requirement. A small ticket charge redeemable for product purchases motivates clients to show up and redeem their retail credit which leads to 95% of attendees purchasing product. Utilize event hosting sites like Eventbrite, which manages RSVPs, payment and the guest list.

    Promote Your Event

    Social media is the most effective way to promote your event at no cost. Create buzz and increase ticket sales with a simple social media strategy. Come up with an event tag line that’s short and catchy, put a hashtag in front of it and use this on all social media channels leading up to your event. Add it to your event invite, signage and use it anytime you are promoting your event. Encourage your partners do to the same. This will expand your reach, create excitement and increase ticket sales.

    Set-up for Success

    Set-up and presentation is a vital part of holding a successful event. You may need to rearrange your store to fit all of your guests and allow for maximum service and retailing capacity. Set up a check-in area outside displaying an easel or step and repeat at your entrance. It is important that clients and passers-by know there is a special event happening.

    Gather your partners’ raffle items and a complimentary treatment gift card from your store and set them up by your entrance. Don’t forget entry cards, pens and a bowl or box of entry cards at this station. The purpose of this is to ensure you capture the email addresses of new customers and existing customers who attend the event. Pick raffle winners multiple times throughout the event to keep the excitement and energy high. This will ensure guests will stick around longer in hopes that they are one of the winners. Clearly display promotional items on a focal table to allure attendees to shop.

    Set up a food, drink and gift bag station. Pump up the music to create fun atmosphere and greet attendees with champagne. Take pictures of the event and post to social media, tagging your partners and attendees and utilizing your hashtag. Encourage attendees to do the same by rewarding the best photo using your hashtag with a prize.

    Follow-up

    Your event was a success. You made some new client connections and achieved your retail target. Events should do so much more than generate revenue; they should leave a lasting impression. Most importantly, they should connect with clients emotionally. This connection alone gives customers a reason to return. Solidify those new relationships and follow up. This is the most important part of holding a successful event. Send a handwritten thank you card to each attendee and include a bounce back to encourage them to return. This personal touch will stand out in their mind, and they will be more likely to become a repeat client. Share event pictures and videos of favorite moments across social media from your event, using your hashtag. Post onto your website to promote, build excitement and encourage guests to attend future events.

    This article was originally published in SkinInc.com.

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