Boost 4th Quarter Sales by Responding to Trends in Your Customers’ Lives
Recent reports by the National Retail Federation suggest sales are finally trending up, and fall/holiday looks promising. That’s great news—but what the data doesn’t show is how much customers have shifted energetically over the last few years. Most have experienced tremendous change and growth; they’re simply not the same folks they were before. Your challenge? Meet them where they are now.
Many of your customers experienced loss over the last few years—jobs, homes, businesses, more. Biggest lesson learned? Overspending didn’t buy happiness. Now, like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, a more conscious group of buyers is walking through your door: They’ve been through the wringer and are looking for products that will help them rebuild in alignment with their new awareness. “Customers are cautiously optimistic,” notes Kim Perkins of Elysian Fields in Sarasota, Fla. “They’re a little more comfortable now; they feel they can spend a bit more on themselves.”
Healing is happening
At any given time, your customers are experiencing either deep personal crisis or accelerated personal growth—and they’ve arrived on your doorstep in search of that serendipitous, synchronistic new book, audio course, or product that will take them to the next stage of healing. Be there, with products designed to release emotion, raise vibration, and open hearts. Haven’t committed to services and events yet? Realize that hosting great readers, presenters, and teachers builds long-term connections.
Friends, fans, and followers
Nearly a third of the world’s population is now online. That means if you’re not actively rocking (and tracking) your e-newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter, you’re missing out. What social networking media does best is make a direct customer connection, plus it creates an instant “like” endorsement system for your products. Beef up your messaging, contact customers more frequently with interesting content—and while you’re at it, offer them something fresh. Flash mob with 20% off? Why not? Erin Donley, who writes a popular weekly e-newsletter for New Renaissance Books in Portland, Ore., says the store notes an up-tick every time their newsletter goes out.
Ring in the new
For years, your customers have been loyal followers of trusted experts, the leading voices in the New Age field. But new shifts in consciousness also mean new voices are emerging, and you should have them in your store. Don’t wait to be told what’s “hot”—if your customers can’t find it in your store, they will look elsewhere, especially online. How to choose? Look for fresh, positive products that resonate with your heart—if they make you grin, laugh, smile, feel better, or say “ahh,” chances are good they’re right for your store.
Customers are still wary of overspending; this quarter, they’ll be on the lookout for small indulgences that won’t break the bank. For example, The Little Book of Light by Mikaela Jones is a small, top-of-counter inspirational book. In fact, it’s so inspirational, it’s made the rounds at such diverse venues as The Bodhi Tree Bookstore, Center for Spiritual Living, Cedar Sinai Medical Center, New Seasons Markets, and more—and already sold 6,000 copies self-published! What tiny treasures and gotta-have-’ems will perk interest on your counter? Comb your store for small delights and place them where they’re not just impulse buys—they’re irresistible.
First published in Vol. 26 No. 6 of Retailing Insight. © 2012 Continuity Publishing Inc. All rights reserved.