Some car audio specialists want to get a jump on the holidays next year with Black Tuesday or Wednesday promotions.
One reason is that in-store traffic over the holiday weekend is growing at a much slower pace than cyber traffic. Increasingly, people are shopping sitting on the couch with a laptop or tablet, even during Thanksgiving. So it may be in the interest of the specialist to try to draw people into the stores before they hit their laptops after dessert.
On Black Friday, in-store sales grew only 7 percent this year, but online, sales jumped by almost 40 percent on Thanksgiving Day, 25 percent Black Friday, and 33 percent on Cyber Monday, said The Altantic.
Some marketing experts agree that the early holiday approach for the specialist may be wise.
Westminster Speed & Sound in Westminster, MD tried it. The store holds a “Purple Wednesday” sale. This year, owner Mark Miller advertised the sale only on Facebook where he has 1,200 fans and through an email blast to 1,500 people. And of course, he promoted on his web site. His business was up 35 percent for Wednesday, Friday and Saturday over Thanksgiving. He sold $299 remote starters, not $99 models. He advertised a $59 Sony CD/radio that usually sells for $99 but hardly sold any, because customers were stepped up to radios at $200 and above.
Over 460 people opened his first email blast, (more than 30 percent).
Also, salespeople were told to keep the special deals from Wed. going on Friday and Saturday if necessary.
Joe Cassity of Alarms, Etc in Tampa, FL believes that Wednesday is the time to strike for the smaller specialist without the big ad budget. “I think the mass merchants are getting a jump on everything. It reduced traffic considerably the day after Thanksgiving. The road traffic on Thanksgiving was higher than in the past. We’ve been joking about it. Forget about ‘Small Business Saturday,’ we need a ‘Why wait Wednesday for small business,’” he said.
Marketing experts say early sales may work. Jim Ackerman of Ascend Marketing and a keynote speaker at KnowledgeFest 2011 said, “It’s not a bad idea to try to get a jump on your competition.” He suggests sending real mail invitations out 2 weeks prior to a private sale held after hours (7 – 9pm) on “Black Tuesday” AND on “Black Wednesday.” You follow up those invitations with email and also personal calls to your customers before the sale.
Rob Wempe, national sales manager at Cerwin Vega and principal at marketing firm Promotions That Work says he thinks November 15 may a good day for a sale.
“Every person I’ve ever coached doing a November sale, I always tell to do it on the 15th,” Wempe said. Most people get paid on the first of the month and the 15th, and the first paycheck goes to rent and car payments. Also, he noted that a lot of people are traveling or busy on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
Read more after the break….
This year, Cassity tried a promotion for Black Friday with some success. He teamed up with the local Domino’s Pizza. Domino’s put a flier on every pizza box it delivered a week before Thanksgiving promoting a Black Friday sale at Alarms, Etc. In turn, the car stereo shop hired Domino’s to give out free pizzas and soda in front of its 3 shops on Black Friday. “We paid $5 a pizza and $2 a liter [of soda],” said Cassity. The stores did about $10 grand each on Black Friday. Cassity was hoping for $20 grand, but said he made a profit and wasn’t complaining. So just some food 🙂 for thought.
Here’s some more marketing info.
Miller invested in working with a consultant who helps specialists in all industries. Miller said when consultants look at the 12 volt industry they say “’Dude, that’s easy….it’s not like a pizza shop where there’s hundreds in a market.’ There’s nobody or one guy that’s probably discounting….There’s a lot of potential in our industry for any store to do noticeably more business,” he said.
He’s very focused on branding—using the Westminster (WSS) logo of his store. It’s on all his store displays, and all over his web site, Facebook page and email messages.
Here’s the reason why consistent branding of your store is so important. Says Mehdi Narimanian owner of Sound of Tri-State, Claymont, DE, which was up 17 percent over Thanksgiving weekend. “The customer looks at Facebook, and gets an email and then goes on the web site and then he feels more comfortable,” because he’s seeing the same message repeated. The same logo and the same message (that you are the top installer), when repeated is reassuring to the customer. “He feels like he’s looking at a more professional merchant,” said Narminian.
“I see retailers who are very, very hard-working guys. All of these small retailers who install remote starts, they are almost like surgeons with these new vehicles. But we don’t promote ourselves that we’re the best at our job,” he said.
“We’re realizing we need to do something together to compete with that big mass merchant out there. That’s why I put a lot of effort into the marketing part of MESA, so we are organized and ready for these type of events,” he said referring to the Mobile Electronics Specialists of America buying group.
Ackerman at Ascend Marketing said he may offer turnkey promotions with artwork, email templates, and mail invitations for car stereo retailers who sign up for his coaching program. Three car stereo retailers have already signed up. If three more sign up, he will add the turnkey promotional materials at no extra charge. For information email [email protected]
Top photo is from Blackfridaycountdown.net