January is coming. Is your store ready to become a “resolution destination?” This is the second in a series of blog posts to help get you there.
For most natural products stores, January is the most important month of the year. It’s a great month for sales, because so many people make health-related New Year’s resolutions. Many of the shoppers deciding to live and eat better are going to be new to your store, so the sales gains from January—if handled right—can lead to sales gains that last for the rest of the year and beyond.
January, including the week leading up to it, is a key time for marketing your store. Hopefully you have a good marketing mix—a regular communication stream going out via various outlets in your community and directly to your shoppers that is helping keep you front and center in their thinking about healthy living. If not, January is a good time to start!
Communicate with customers
Ask your regular shoppers what local magazines and newspapers they read. Ask them what local radio they listen to. Most local media have a drop-off in advertising after the holidays. You might be able to get some good pricing for a January campaign. Also, be sure that your customers (and potential customers) know you have a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, a blog, a YouTube channel, a Pinterest page, an email list, etc.
You know better than I do that your store is not equipped to succeed by being the low price leader in town. During January, use hot prices on key items to draw in shoppers, but be sure that the message of quality and value is what they learn when they get to your store. Have recipes in the store (and in your online presence). Also be sure to talk up the local ownership of your store, how long you have been in town and your reasons for opening your store. Let your shoppers, your neighbors, know of your mission to help them live healthy lives and of your commitment to them.
For January look for marketing opportunities that:
- Position your store as a place to find solutions, not just products.
- Help you reach out to new shoppers who don’t shop with you currently.
And be sure you:
- Update your social media often all year long, but keep it especially current and fresh in January.
- Try new methods and channels of marketing.
- Track the results so that you can measure the effectiveness of each marketing tool that you use.
Seek like-minded partners
Also, and this may be tough to pull off by January, but it is worth starting on: Consider what other local businesses can you partner with. Who else reaches the same customers that you do, but does not sell products or services that compete with you? Do any local health clubs and gyms come to mind? Are there naturally focused health care providers? What about salons and spas? A local bookstore? Cooking schools? Farmers markets? Partnering with them helps a different set of customers see your store—and your store’s products are right in sync with what they are buying from those other businesses.