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Keeping Up With the Jones’s

Keeping up with the Jones's

It seems like every time you get good at something new, it changes—trust us, we’ve been there.

What do you do to stay fresh and make sure you’re keeping up with the Jones’s? Check out these conventions and strategies to keep your store up to date.

ASD Market Week

ASD Market Week is held twice a year at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The most recent Market Week ends today, and includes nine shows in one. Plus, it’s also home to the Independent Retailer Conference that hosts 15 minute presentations by vendors who typically don’t attend conferences.

After you attend these presentations and start seeing merchandising differently, you’ll begin to see booths at the trade show differently, too. What are common themes? What were the best displays, and what made them pleasing to the eye?

Also take note of the booths that have a lot of people at them. Is it because they are having a good sale, or their products are that in demand? This is the perfect opportunity to strike up conversations with independent retailers just like you to get new ideas and questions answered.

Other Observations

You can take advantage of everything new you learned when you return back to your normal life as well. Continue to start conversations with customers; what do they like about your store? What products would they like to see? Another good insight is which influencers they’re following. Follow up after the conversation to see what the influencers are pushing and try to guess why your customer likes them.

Once you see trade floors differently, you’ll see malls differently too (especially the shoppers in these malls). If you’re hesitant about trying something new, utilize Facebook and email surveys before launching a product.

Be sure to have a running note in your phone to keep all these great ideas organized. You’ll never know when a fleeting thought will strike gold!

Inspiration for this post came from Georgeanne Bender and Rich Kizer of Kizer & Bender. You can find out more about them and their product offerings here.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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Your Competitor’s Store

Competitor

Keeping up with your competitors can feel like Keeping up with the Jones’—a never ending process that includes keeping constant tabs on social media and websites.

As it turns out, comparing your business to your competitor’s requires more work than just stopping by. Check out this list for how to best approach an in-store visit.

Prepare

Start by making a list of everything you want to compare. This can include pricing and signage, and overall things like customer experience, first impression, appearance, customer flow, and in-person experience.

Let’s be honest, walking into your competitor’s store can feel uncomfortable. Pick a reliable and trustworthy friend to make the trip for you! Have them read your prep list so they know what to keep an eye out for, and make sure they stop by the restrooms and classrooms while they’re there, too. Better yet, chose a topic they have knowledge about to ask a sales associate while they’re scouting your competition; this is a tell-tale sign of both training and how your competitor is trying to sell.

Review

After you visit your competitor’s store, see how you stack up. Make a list of everything you need to improve on, and schedule it into your next few weeks. Every time you complete a task, cross if off the list.

Visiting your competitor’s stores should be done at least every quarter—trust us when we say your competitors are definitely shopping you.

*Inspiration for this post comes from Georgeanne Bender and Rich Kizer. Check out their website to find out more about them and their services.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.