Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Retail Display and Merchandising Tips

April 7, 2014

Our Fall/Winter 2014 catalog is now shipping! This book is chock-full of easy, affordable merchandising ideas that will intrigue and interest your customers. Read on to see some photos from this catalog that will help you get display-inspired, but get creative and cater these ideas to fit your store. As a specialty retailer, you have something to offer customers that they can’t find anywhere else, so show it off in a way that no one else does!


Don’t be intimidated by creating a display – it can be a lot of fun if you have everything you need and a plan to make it happen. Before you jump into setting up a display, take time to think about props you have that you may want to use and/or materials you may need to buy. If you’re organized, set up will be quick and easy! Some essentials we used were: twine/rope, raffia, dowel rods, clothespins, seasonal decor items, and lots of plants.

A display doesn’t have to take hours to put together to be effective. Keep it simple and it will be easier for customers to shop – like this BreezeArt garden flag display we put together using an old ladder, rope, dowel rods, and twine. This is a great way to show off a variety of designs, and you can easily freshen up the display by switching out the flags!

Flags over ladder

Items Pictured: 31043, 31013, 31073, 31029, 31016, 31056, 31037, 31031

Another easy way to set up a display is to show how different products that you carry coordinate. Telling the whole story makes it easy for shoppers to see how the items fit together in a collection and will likely increase sales. We really made a statement with this collection by Susan Winget – and we even added some DrinkBlots art coasters to the display! [We used straight pins to secure coasters around a styrofoam circle to make this DrinkBlots wreath… it was so easy!]

Bringing Home the Tree V1_adjusted

Items Pictured: 91010, 01010, 31010, 11010, 71010, and DB11375

Make shopping a breeze for your customers by providing a variety of “gift-to-go” options. In the display pictured below, we pulled related products together to create an ultra-giftable item. For example, we rolled up our “Kitchen Rules” MatMate and tied it together with a wooden spoon and measuring cups – a perfect housewarming present or gift for someone who loves to cook! We used our “Love to Garden” MatMate to create a gift for a gardener, complete with a hand trowel, gloves, and seed packet. Our “Wine” MatMate makes for a perfect hostess gift when paired with a corkscrew and a bottle of wine. Whichever MatMate you choose to roll up as a gift-to-go, make sure you show it flat as well, so shoppers can see the entire design.

Gift 2 Go

Items Pictured: 12085D, 12061D, 12088D, 15016D, 11064D, 12073D

A great way to get your customers’ attention is to show off products in an unexpected way. We used MatMates and BreezeArt flags to create a beautiful, one-of-a-kind table setting. This was so much fun to play with! Since we were shooting at a nursery/greenhouse (Bowood Farms), we created a rustic-themed setting with a garden twist. We wanted to reflect the store’s personality and use items they sell instead of setting the table with traditional dishes, placemats, etc. Clay saucers stood in as dinner and salad plates, MatMates became placemats, and air plants made the perfect garnish. We accented the table with natural items like pinecones, succulents, and tree slices. To give the display some height, we rolled up MatMates to place on the windows that hung above the table.  This unconventional display is sure to interest customers and is a fun way for them to shop for items that would otherwise be hanging on a rack!

Give Thanks Table

Items Pictured: 11068D, 11033, 11005, 31026, 90400, 31059M

Give Thanks Tight V1

Items Pictured: 31026, 90400, 31059M, 11033

Window displays are the perfect place to show off the unique products you offer in your store. The one we put together was so simple – we  just hung two long pieces of rope behind the window and clipped on our “Fall Follies” monogram flags with clothespins! To complete the display, we flew our “Maize” standard flag and filled the bench in front of the store window with other products offered inside, like garden tools, MatMates, and succulents.

Give Thanks Window

Items Pictured: 91020, 91003, 31059, 11068D, 11033, 11005

With our Halloween window display, we chose one standard flag as the centerpiece and hung smaller garden flags to complement it. To make a ghost, we blew up a white balloon and covered it with a white drop cloth, cinching the fabric at the base of the balloon to create the “neck.” This could also easily be done with a white sheet or any other white fabric you might have laying around. To finish, we added some color to the base of the window display with faux leaves and pumpkins.

Hall Window With Ghost

Items Pictured: 31005, 31046, 31044, 91055, 31045, 31036, 31027

Last, but certainly not least, we created an Open House display. If you do not usually have an Open House at your store, you may want to consider it! Hosting an event like this is a great opportunity to strengthen relationships with existing customers and create relationships with newcomers, not to mention it’s a great way to boost sales! Invite customers to enjoy a day (or night!) of fun games, yummy treats, live music… do whatever works best for your store. Get connected with shoppers by setting out a guestbook where they can signup to receive emails and promotions from you. Be sure to offer special discounts and deals to those who attend! For this display we set up a hot chocolate, cupcake, and candy bar complete with a winter themed mini garden in a large glass container. Our “Letters From Santa” monogram flags added a nice touch of color to the front of the table and were a great way to tie in the coordinating MatMate on the tabletop. This welcoming setup is a fun way to show off products while customers snack on delicious sweets!

Open House

Items Pictured: 01041, 01010, 31038, 90400, 11058, 31058

Open House Tight

Items Pictured: 31038, 90400, 11058

I hope these photos and merchandising tips were a source of inspiration and will help you set up creative displays of your own! Thanks for reading!

Have any tips of your own that you’d like to share? Which one of our displays did you like the best? Let us know in the comments!

How a Rep Can Help a Retailer

June 14, 2012

It’s sometimes funny how, even though I work for a gift vendor in the gift industry, I still can’t avoid shopping for birthday gifts at the last minute.

Recently, I visited a favorite retailer of mine to get a last-minute gift when I literally tripped over a local sales rep. She was down on the floor with product spread all over as she was straightening out a display and helping the retailer check inventory for a reorder.

“Hi there,” she said to me. “What are you looking for? I’m actually a sales rep here, but maybe I can help you.

Retail StoreWow! Sometimes it takes literally tripping over them to realize just how much reps can do for retailers.

But I’ll save you the “trip” and share 5 of the ways that reps can help retailers on a regular basis:

1.)  Inventory Management: A sales rep’s success depends on your success, so it’s in their best interest to make sure you’re stocking the items that will sell. When you sell out of an item it’s hard to remember to reorder it – it’s out of sight out of mind. What product has become a top seller? What haven’t you even tried yet?  Take advantage of your rep’s expertise – ask them to help you identify what is missing from your product offering and what items you should add to your next reorder.

2.)  Customer Service: On a busy retail day, your sales rep is always an extra greeter for your customers. They also have a lot of product knowledge they can share with you and your customer.

3.)  Display/Merchandising: Reps have learned some great tricks from other retailers when it comes to displays. They know how to catch a customer’s attention. Next time you’re planning to update a window or product display, reach out to your local reps and pick their brains for creative ideas.

4.)  Trending up or trending down?  Sales reps can help be your eyes and ears to the retail world outside your doors.  They can help you identify which items are “hot” and which are NOT. Ask for their thoughts!

5.)  Specials? Sales? What’s New?  Always ask your reps about specials that are going on or that may be coming up. They’re a great resource for this information and can offer suggestions when your next buying season rolls around.

If you’re a retailer, your reps can be an invaluable resource. Don’t hesitate to contact them and ask for help next time you need it.

How do you feel a rep can best support you as a retailer? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

WWTD: What Would Twitter Do… For My Business?

August 31, 2011

By Jessica Brown, Social Media Specialist at SnapRetail

You’ve built your store. You’ve created your website. You’ve started a Facebook page. So what is this website called Twitter, and why should you add joining to your marketing to-do list?Sticker Asking Customers to Follow Us on Twitter

Twitter is a “microblogging” site. This simply means that there is a limit to the amount of information you can share at a time – and that limit is 140 characters. You would think that fewer characters would mean fewer perks, but that isn’t the case! With more than 200 million accounts created so far, Twitter is absolutely a resource you should consider.

Here is what Twitter could do for you:

1.     Keep you up to date on industry news (or news in general.)

You can consider Twitter to be a live feed of what is happening in the world, in your neighborhood or in your industry. Twitter allows you to see what is being talked about in the world, the United States and in major cities. And by following Twitter users in your area, your Twitter feed itself is a great resource for local news. By searching hashtags (those keywords with the # symbol in front of them) you can search terms such as #retail or #smallbusiness to find information relevant to your business! You can search simply for Twitter users near you by searching for your city on Twellow.

CNN's Twitter Feed

2.     Help you network with other retailers.

There is an old saying which says, “Don’t be a follower, be a leader.” In the world of Twitter, the best way to BECOME a leader is to be a great follower. Following users who you would like to follow you back is the best way to gain followers. Once you have these followers, don’t just let them sit there, interact with them! By typing the @ symbol followed by a user’s Twitter handle (aka username) you are doing what the Twitter-savy call “@ replying.” If the user responds back to you, your username is now on their Twitter page and visible to their users.

3.     Show you what your customers are talking about and who is talking about you!

Twitter is a great forum for consumers to talk about what they love – or hate – about a company. By searching on Twitter for your Twitter handle or store name, you can see what customers are saying about YOUR brand. Maybe your customers aren’t saying much about you, but you want to see what topics they find interesting? Your Twitter feed is a great tool for figuring out your customers’ psychographics.

Tweets on Twitter about Mud Pie

4.     Promote your website or other social media profiles.

When it comes to promoting your business online, you should always be driving your customers to a specific place. Most of the time, this place is a website. Sometimes, it is a Facebook page. The best way to get customers to your website is by promoting it on social media sites. Because these sites are all about sharing, you have a great chance of reaching a bigger audience when your customers share your information with their friends!

5.     Drive people to an event or sale.

Having a special event or sale at your store? Create a hashtag! By creating a hashtag such as #supersale2011 or #cancerbenefit, you can help users to find out information about what you are promoting. Twitter can also help you remind users of an event or allow you to suggest users share with their followers. You could also use Twitter to give your customers a limited time deal by Tweeting something like: “Show us this tweet on your smartphone and get 20% off your purchase!”

Happy tweeting!

Jessica Brown is a Social Media Specialist for SnapRetail, which helps independent retailers market their stores through email, Facebook and Twitter. Jessica works specifically with independent retailers teaching them how to use Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and other social media tools to bring traffic into their stores and strengthen the relationship with their customers. For more information visit or contact Jessica at 412-545-9222,

Photo credit on Flickr.

Are you on twitter? Have you found it to be helpful? …or not? How so? Tell us in the comments section below.

Save Your Business from Facebook Doom – Turn Your Profile into a Page

July 27, 2011

Picture of Facebook's Profile to Business Page Migration ToolI’ve noticed many independent retailers in our industry are marketing on Facebook to improve sell-through and bring new foot traffic into their stores. This is awesome! But many retailers I’ve seen are in violation of Facebook’s terms because they are using a “Profile” to market their store instead of a business “Page.” So in this post, I explain how switching your Profile to a business Page will improve your social marketing impact and save your business from Facebook doom.

How do you know whether your business is using a Profile or a Page? If customers connect with your business on Facebook by clicking “Like,” then your business has a Page. If customers connect with your business by clicking “Add Friend,” then your business has a Profile, and it’s time to switch to a Page.

Here are 5 reasons you should make the switch:

  1. Business is to Page as Person is to Profile – For starters, profiles on Facebook were developed for people, rather than for businesses. In fact, it is against Facebook terms to maintain a personal profile for anything other than an individual person. If Facebook finds out your business is using a personal Profile, it’s possible that they could delete your profile, and all your hard work would be for naught, so make the switch before it’s too late!
  2. Friend Limit – A profile can have a maximum of 5,000 friends, while a Page can have an unlimited amount of Likes or “fans.” With a Page, there’s no limit to the number of potential customers with whom you can connect!
  3. Many vs. One – Facebook only allows one Profile per person, but you can be an administrator for multiple Pages, and each Page can have multiple administrators. In other words, if you open a 2nd business location and create a new Page for it, you can be the administrator for both your original Page and your new Page at the same time. You can also share the workload of maintaining your Page(s) with your business partner or with designated employees by making them administrators too.
  4. Awesome Tools for Pages Only – Facebook Pages were developed with businesses in mind, so they are packed with tools to help you better market your business. With Pages, you get detailed analytics or “Insights” that help you measure your Facebook marketing success by tracking your impressions, likes, comments, etc. You get valuable demographic data that will teach you a bit about who your Facebook audience is. Plus, you’ll be able to use Facebook Deals, which can help you, reward customer loyalty and attract new foot traffic to your store. To use Deals, you’ll need to claim your “place” on Facebook Places first. This video from SnapRetail explains how.
  5.  You Won’t Break a Sweat – You should switch your Profile to a Page because it’s now easier than ever. With Facebook’s migration tool, all of your confirmed friends will automatically be converted to people who “like” your new Page, and your profile pictures and profile URL (i.e. will be migrated as well.

WARNING: Apart from your friends, profile pictures, and Facebook URL, all other content from your Profile (i.e. photo albums, profile information, wall posts, etc.) will NOT be migrated, so I’d suggest that you download your profile information before making the switch. If you don’t, all of that data will be lost.

The benefits of Facebook Insights (analytics) and Deals alone far outweigh the few inconveniences associated with the migration. Plus, your business profile is at risk of being deleted anyway, so I strongly encourage you to make the switch. Best of luck!

If you have any questions about this Profile-to-business-Page conversion process, please feel free to post them in the comments. Have you made the switch already? How did it go? I look forward to hearing from you!

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