One benefit a brick-and-mortar store has over an online business is the opportunity to offer an interactive shopping experience. For tableware, home decor or specialty foods, for example, an in-house tasting party is an excellent way to boost sales while strengthening relationships with customers and community. Make it a fun and regular event, and you’ll encourage customer loyalty.
Here are five tips to hosting a great in-house event:
1. Make the most of the date. Coordinate your party date around a product launch, holiday or cultural event in your community.
2. Generate interest and a guest list. Let your customers know about your event’s details through social media, postcard mailings, in-store signage and advertising in your community’s media platforms.
3. Serve bites for browsing. Choose a local caterer or restaurant to provide appetizers and tag them in your social media posts for extra exposure. If you sell a specialty food, offer that to your clients, too. Don’t forget fun drinks!
4. Do a trunk show with demonstrations. Use the event to showcase your products—such as dinnerware, table linens, napkin rings and home décor—with how-to demonstrations on table settings and party tips.
5. Create contests and causes. If it makes sense for your party, have a contest in painting, cooking or costumes, with the winner receiving prizes such as a gift card or a percentage off a purchase. Encourage customers to enter a gift basket drawing at the event, or give a portion of sales from the event to a charity.
By: Jennifer Dennison
Compiled by: Abigail Boatwright
For more tips, check out “Life of the Party,” by Jennifer Denison in the 2017 issue of Western LifestyleRetailer magazine.