What is the Crafty Retailer to do?
Shake things up a bit! You can do it several ways: Get on the phone and call your customers. Send out an exciting email blast. Both are quick and easy. Inexpensive store promotions are a great way to expedite the sale of dead inventory and we have promo ideas here, here, here, and here, but one often overlooked means to a profitable quarter is through your website! Seriously, making better use of your website can make a real difference to your bottom line. Most of my retail store customers have a web presence, but for too many the site is a stagnant presence that is informational only. Once the site is live, it is often left to wither on the vine. There is no opportunity for customer interaction---what a waste! I mean, seriously! Unfortunately, many retailers use an anonymous "web guy" and find that getting the site updated in a timely fashion is either an exercise in futility or a major drain on the budget. If it ain't working, fix it!
my site. There was a heck of a learning curve, and we still have big room for improvement, but it has been well worth it. I pay Volusion $100 a month and have total control. Happy Sigh. Of course, if you want a site but would rather pay for the convenience, it is doable and it won't cost you a princely sum. Bead Retailer Brenda Hinesley of Beading Elements in Sarasota, Florida is opting for a more sophisticated site which will be going live in a few weeks. Brenda has invested about six thousand dollars and will have a beautiful site, replete with all of the training she needs to maintain it herself. You go, girl!
What Not to Crochet to garner a giggle.
Showcase an artist whose work would be inspiring to your customer base. Jewelry and fiber aficionados would be charmed to see the work of Ivy Long of Edera Jewelry. Ivy has magic fingers, to be sure!
A quick google image search will provide a wealth of imagery to inspire even the most reluctant crafter. Find it, share it, and offer the materials needed to make it!
Be a resource for your current customer base and your potential customer base. Use your home page as a fluid means to communicate with your customers. Shoppers don't like to go into stores that look the same every single visit and web site visitors feel the same way! Engage your community and change it up often.....you will reap the benefits in increased sales and a more engaged clientele!
IN OTHER NEWS:
EASY PEACH COBBLER
Make a batter from:
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of flour
3/4 cup of milk
2 teaspoons of baking powder
pinch of salt
Pour the batter over the melted butter. DO NOT STIR!
2 cups of sliced peaches
1 cup of sugar
Put peaches on top of the batter. DO NOT STIR!
Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. Don't forget the vanilla ice cream!
Warm weather can pose a challenge for fiber retailers. After all, creative humans generally have more than one crafty muse calling them. If it is too hot to have a fibery "work in progress" draped across my lap, I tend to move on to something else...gardening, weaving, sewing....any one of a dozen projects that I have percolating at any given time. Unfortunately, yarn shop owners have rent to pay during the summer months, too! Look for a different sort of project to entice your customers when the weather is wicked hot!
A friend of mine recently turned her son's prized artwork from many years ago into a treasured Softie. You can check out the HOW TO here.