“Suddenly, a market (including 40 percent more competition) are all now fighting for sales with smaller margins — a huge problem.”*
By Lauren Alberque
Shooting sport retailers have experienced boom times when they couldn’t keep enough in stock, and times like now when manufacturers are laying people off, retail sales are slowing, and smarter decisions about inventory and pricing need to be considered.
In speaking with retailers at the recent Sports, Inc. show in Phoenix, I heard how the recent slowdown has forced some to start selling surplus inventory at rock bottom prices to make room for new, in-demand products. The problem is that they are competing with others who are doing the same thing, and they find themselves trying to keep up with these low prices and stay competitive!
Here are some of the most effective ways of reaching your customer and getting them to spend their hard earned dollars with you.
Direct Mail Advertising to your own customer base
“Despite email being at the forefront of marketing, direct USPS mail is actually still a far more effective marketing tool because now most of us receive little mail and we tend to actually look at it now.”**
As you know, your highest ROI comes from your own database of customers. See our blog, Top 3 reasons that your existing customers are your best source of sales. But a number of the retailers that I spoke to have issues with their in-house mailing lists. Some have “antiquated” systems that do not make it easy to have all of your customers and prospects in one manageable place.
Direct Mail to Prospective Customers
Mailing lists and databases can go farther than just tracking customers who have purchased merchandise in your store. Have you ever thought about the prospective looker who walked around and didn’t make a purchase at the time? I’m sure most of didn’t get a chance to chase them down or somehow track your “window shoppers” or “tire kickers.”
Store owners can put programs in place to obtain prospective customer’s information when they are in your store, regardless of whether they make a purchase. Some ideas are: holding a raffle in the store, maintaining a guest book, asking if people would like to sign up for a newsletter, or for your “insider” sales notifications. Your website is another “store front” that you can use to collect the names, e-mail address, physical address, and phone numbers of prospects and customers.
If you are doing FFL transfers, it is another way to get additional names on your mailing list. And while the customer is in the store, you have the opportunity to cross-sell accessories and other items related to their purchase.
We have premium, targeted mailing lists available to augment your own list and attract new business.