Getting Customers in the Door

AngelGirlIncAngelGirlInc Posts: 2subscriber
edited August 2009 in Marketing
Hello SUN Community,
I`m struggling to figure out what the most effective way is to drive traffic into our store (brick and mortar, not our website). First some background.
Angel Girl sells children`s clothing. Specifically our USP is affordable children`s clothing for all occasions - we offer school uniforms, dresses and suits/tux`s, and consignment/resale everyday clothing. We have a physical store located in Federal Way, WA in a high traffic area, though it`s hard to spot from the street.
Our marketing efforts and results thus far have been as follows:We attended a wedding show earlier this year at the Tacoma Dome. Our emphasis here was the flower girl dresses and boys suits and tux. We expected that we were not going to be able to sell much at the expo but hoped to make up for it by making contacts with customers and handing out coupons and literature. We handed out thousands of fliers but, like many other vendors there reported, people simply weren`t buying. We made a handful of sales and collected a few hundred e-mail addresses, but got very few sales afterward as a result of the expo.We sponsored a fashion show at the Commons (the Federal Way Mall). Out of the 40 models at the show 10 were wearing our formal and school apparel. We did get some good exposure, including some very cute photos, but again the effect on getting people in the door at our store was very limited.On the advise of our local chamber of commerce, we began running newspaper ads. I was skeptical that the newspaper ads would result in much interest. I was wrong, they resulted in no interest whatsoever - I`ve yet to have a single customer say they found us in the paper. We included different types of ads - some included a call to action involving money off a purchase. We ran the ads consistently every week for nearly two months in both the local papers.Our most successful effort yet has been our investment in great looking A-boards. We spent a few hundred dollars on several A-boards to place on the busy streets around us to compensate for the fact that our store is difficult to see directly from the street, connecting the heavy traffic of Pacific Avenue (aka Pac Highway) with our store. It worked great, we`ve been able to generate a steady flow of traffic and customers this way.
This isn`t everything we`ve done, but it`s a good summary of our major efforts. What do you, the SUN community, think is the most effective way to advertise? Have any ideas you think we should try? I`m very open and am determined to succeed - I am confident the concept behind our business is sound as our reponses from customer who come into our store has been very strong. We just need to get mroe customers in the door. =)
Thank you in advance for you thoughts,

Comments

  • AngelGirlIncAngelGirlInc Posts: 2subscriber
    Thanks for the reply! Those are some very good ideas.
    I like your idea about working with daycare centers... I`ll brain storm for some ideas, perhaps there`s someone we could give away that would attract people there.
    One question for you, if we end up going with the local mailing/postcard marketing - do you have any recommendations for who to buy a mailing list from?
  • AngelGirlIncAngelGirlInc Posts: 2subscriber
    Thanks again for the tips you guys,
    I know there is a great deal of power in the free stuff offers, I just have to figure out what the "right" free item is for us and our market. I`ll definitely be thinking about that a lot in the next few days.
  • profitizerprofitizer Posts: 16subscriber
    Hello Josh.
    I see you`ve received some really nice feedback here.
    To add to the list, because of this economy where many folks are out of work and even homeless, them being able to afford what their children need for school whether uniforms, clothes in general, school supplies, etc. is often times out of their reach.
    You can possibly integrate your business into this `cause` whereby you provide a way to help solve that problem for some who are in need.
    One way to do this is to team up with city missions to find the people then with various sponsors including your city who can offset your costs to provide the items I previously mentioned that will do a lot to help out those children. Your product is perfect for this.
    Both you and the sponsors will benefit from the advertising opportunity that, if done effectively, will spillover into local or even national news which costs you nothing but pays you quite nicely in the good deed as well as increased business and possibly long-term contracts whereby you get your merchandise into stores or provide garments to the needy across the country. 
    This may even propel you into speaking engagements in the humanities side of the news especially after folks see video footage of the smiles on both the kids and their parents` faces. And remember the grandparents who are raising their e.g. drug-addicted children`s kids even though many times they can`t afford to do so like they`d like.
    You can invite the media and provide press releases prior to your event regardless of how small it may be so you can get free coverage.
    The types of sponsors could be those who supply school supplies which can even be a drug store that can also promote that which it takes to achieve good health since many larger chains are getting into in-store clinics in addition to their pharmacy. 
    Other sponsors you can piggyback with or vice versa could be physicians who can provide free checkups at your events or you at theirs including the grocery stores who team up with nutritionists whereby they can show children and their family how to eat healthy on a shoestring budget.  Sponsors can even include those in the pets industry like pet stores who may want to show those who still keep their pets how to preserve their health as well including providing free pet checkups at your event. Their trying to increase their target market, too is the same as your target market.  The sponsor list goes on.
    You could maybe use a hook like "Every boy and girl needs a white shirt or blouse" as the cause that the media and the communities would go for.  That way your store is looked at as more than just providing uniforms and other items that your competitors also offer.
    Think outside of the box - about the `whole child` and see what you come up with.
    HTHprofitizer8/2/2009 6:24 PM
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