During an economic recession, the retail industry has taken a major hit as customers simply don’t have as much discretionary income as they used to. Regardless of whether your shoe store is part of a large chain or just a small independent retailer, you should always be on the lookout for new, interesting marketing ideas that can boost business. Here are some great ways to show your best side.
- Events in store– Customers need to know the benefits of your shoes, whether they are fancy and fashionable or provide a comfortable walking experience. Hosting an in-store event like a fashion show or educational event will not only generate excitement and awareness for your store, but it will also sell a lot of shoes! Let your featured products be fully visible using a vertical banner or even a window film so customers know which shoes they are about to research.
- loyalty cards– Most women have a shoe fetish, so create a loyalty program that will keep them coming back for more shoes. This could be a punch card or you could even use a computer tracking system. From a certain number of pairs purchased, your customer will receive a free (or at least discounted) pair. Not only do you sell more shoes, but you keep loyal customers.
- shoe care– A great way to make your business more marketable is to offer shoe care services like polishing, stretching and even minor repairs. If you Yes, really want to offer a premium experience, want to offer free shoe repair services. You probably won’t be able to do this in store, but make an arrangement with a local shoe hospital or cobbler. Your customer will appreciate the VIP treatment and this ensures that they visit your store at least twice (once to drop off the shoes and again to pick them up). Chances are they’ll find a new couple on at least one of those visits. Attach vinyl stickers to your checkout wrappers to let customers know about these special services you offer, and make sure your sales team advertises them too.
- Sponsorship/Donation– Sponsoring local events is a great way to build a positive business reputation. You can usually advertise this at these events with a vinyl banner or in the program booklet. Another unique idea is to create a shoe donation program. Partner with charities like The Salvation Army to donate a pair of shoes for every X amount you sell. That is a gigantic PR boost and makes your business socially responsible. It certainly worked for TOMS.
- family packages– If you are a shoe store that caters to all customers (men, women and children), create a family pack. Offer a special discount when customers buy a pair of shoes for each family member, or even have a special offer. They are a one-stop shop for the family, but it may take a special offer for customers to realize this.