You, like the majority of creatives, fell in love with your handmade business leveraging craft fairs and pop-up shows to sell your products. Now you’re ready to make the leap to a year-round vendor booth to drive more consistent traffic & sales. Setting up a vendor booth in a local storefront makes perfect sense!
Most creatives who make this leap often find that once the initial booth is set up is complete, you aren’t sure what’s next! How do you translate the success you’ve found at those temporary shows into a permanent location to increase sales through your booth?
Keeping Customers Coming to Your Vendor Booth
The reality of retail is that customers know they can come anytime, the limited availability and urgency of craft show purchases aren’t quite the same. It’s up to you to create that with your displays and marketing. So how do you make each month a successful ‘show’ for your business? Here are a few ideas of what that can look like:
- Tell everyone where to find you and what you’ll be bringing for them to shop.
- Use your business social media pages to let customers know where they can find your products. Tag the location to drive foot traffic and link to the website if products can be purchased online!
- Share posts and events that your store (the event host) puts out to attract customers. This builds a connection between your brand and the store for your customer so that the two businesses become one place in their mind.
- Send email blasts and let your customers know what you have to offer, what stock is limited and how they can claim theirs before someone else buys it off the shelf.
Customer Insights and Planning
Know what your customers are shopping for so you can create products and plan promotions accordingly. Think about these as you plan your marketing and space.
- You would bring ornaments to a Holiday Market, but probably not a Garden Show. In the same way you would cater your products and offers for a show, consider the way each month is positioned on the calendar to make decisions about stock.
- Holidays and Seasonal Products should be ready at least a month in advance for customers so that they can plan/shop in advance. By the week(s) before a holiday consumers have already made the majority of their seasonal purchases.
- Knowing what is happening in your customers’ lives will help you decide what products or services they are most likely to want from you during that period. For example, one group of customers might be heavily affected by the local school calendar, while another group may be more affected by the temperatures. What you sell and who you sell it to has a huge impact on how you plan your marketing.
- If/when you offer promotions, know what the goal is. Keep offers specific to move certain products at certain times rather than sweeping discounts.
Inventory Planning is Key!
Create your inventory well in advance so you can plan your displays to show off your featured products.
- Don’t wait until your stock is low to create new products, otherwise, you will miss out on potential sales while your display is depleted and you are working to create inventory.
- If you’re always working a month ahead so that you have the product before you need it, the unexpected surprises that come up won’t throw you so far off track.
- Repeat customers to your storefront are looking for something new, so even if you have the same products, rearranging to shift the focus on different items each month will help keep their attention on your space.
Focus on Relationships
Don’t forget to show up to talk with your customers and build relationships.
- Participate in planned store events as much as possible. Piggybacking on these events is less work for you and you will be able to take advantage of the higher traffic.
- Host a workshop or demonstration to educate your customers. Classes are fun for customers while also teaching them the value of your products, making them more likely to purchase.
- Being around to keep a close eye on inventory allows you to restock or rearrange inventory to mask any holes in your display and continue attracting customers.
Delivering “show energy” each month, treating each page on the calendar as a new event to be planned and executed for maximum sales is what you need to drive continued sales and traffic to your new booth space.
Just like every show is different, every month will vary in terms of sales and traffic. Some months will be busier because more folks are out and about, while other months might be slow because your product is seasonal and it’s just not the time for it yet. The key is to keep moving forward, treating each month as a new opportunity for success. Once you’ve been working your business for a year or two you’ll start to recognize patterns in your sales that you can leverage and lean into to find YOUR most successful formula.
Danielle Kaminski is a multi-passionate artist from Duncan, SC. She has been crafting and creating since she was in grade school, learning to sew with her grandmothers. Her brick-and-mortar store, Reinvintage Warehouse, is home to more than 60 different artists and curators. The MADE by Danielle brand encompasses jewelry design, candle making, and canvas & fiber art as well as the occasional furniture makeover! View Danielle’s Full Bio