Ringing in the new year means bringing in new products, redecorating your booth, and rethinking your marketing strategy to appeal to more customers and keep current buyers excited to return. Businesses have already started new marketing practices, such as Amazon and their new initiative to start sending customers free samples of new products, so it’s time for you to think outside the box and come up with different ways to put your business out there. The Merchandiser Group, along with other business owners, have some tips on how you can market yourself this year.
- Build relationships with your market owners. It’s super important to keep an open relationship with the management at your market because when you work with them, they will also work with you. You can talk to management about any ideas you may have, such as a special event you want to plan or even just promoting your booth around the market. Customers can also tell when there’s a bad atmosphere, so if you’re happy where you’re selling, buyers will see it and are more likely to come shopping there again.
Business Tip: “For smaller businesses with a tighter budget, leveraging already existent mobile app technology is a lightweight way to digitally transform their brand. For example, social media is a good way for companies on a budget to integrate a more digital presence when it comes to the customer experience. Using a platform such as Facebook Messenger allows resellers to cover a variety of areas from sending promotions to sharing upcoming events and new products.” – Matt Fry, VP, Business Development, Sitel Group
- Create a unique and powerful description of your business to post on your market’s website. A lot of flea markets like to post their vendors on their website to give customers a little taste of what they can find when they shop at the market. This is a great way to put your business out there and give buyers a reason to come to your booth when they visit. Talk with your market manager about including a vendor directory on their website, if you don’t already have one, and adding some contact information and maybe even a website for customers to actually see what you sell. The Street Fair at College of the Desert Flea Market has a colorful vendor directory on their website that not only pinpo? ints on a digital map where the seller can be found, but it also includes the vendor’s contact information and website url, if they have one. This is an easy way to help both you and the market by putting your business name out there and getting more traffic to your flea market’s website, since customers will know they can go to the site if they want to look up any new vendors.
Business Tip: “Gen Z is all about customization and personalization in their in-store experience. This generation is actually more inclined to shop in store than millennials – according to the NRF, 98 percent of Gen Zers shop in store some or most of the time. That said, they aren’t just looking to go into the store to pick up an item, they’re looking for a unique shopping experience, particularly one driven by technology. This could mean the ability to use mobile payments, exchange a size from a dressing room on a tablet or even simply have an Instagram-friendly store design. Integrating social media into the experience is another way to entice Gen Z, for example, by sending local followers in-store only deals or event information.” – Matt Fry, VP, Business Development, Sitel Group
- Promote yourself online. Social media is still the ultimate powerhouse for getting your market’s name out there. The market can be included in flea market directories such as FleaMarketZone.com to help potential buyers see your location and find you easier. James Wei, owner of Kiwi Expressions, sees huge success with promoting his business through ads in The Merchandiser magazine and online through WholesaleCentral.com. “My products fit in better with the flea market crowd, but I primarily market myself online, and it’s definitely working so far,” Wei said.