By Mr Retail
If you are like many folks in the mobile electronics industry, business has gotten soft. And because, for the past two years, all we had to do was unlock the doors and the business flowed in, we may be slow to react to this new shift.
I have talked to many folks and have found that some stores are up, and profits are still strong. The defining point with these owners is that they are promoting or marketing themselves. And in some cases, they are really focusing on it to the tune of 5 percent or more of their gross sales. So, let’s explore six things to do if business is down.
Have a private sale. You send out an invitation via email or snail mail to your existing contact list. You invite them to a private event that is not advertised anywhere (hence private). This accomplishes two things; your cost to market the event is really low and it adds some “exclusivity” to make it special to your customers. In our store we pick a day like Thursday and do it over 10 hours. We give pricing discounts that are a little bit lower than we would do in a public sale. And I can tell you that we did one recently and it was our best sale in 24 years! Absolutely fantastic. Clients responded in ways that seriously exceeded our expectations.
Increase your marketing budget. Many retailers have found this to be extremely successful.
Start marketing NOW if you aren’t already. Everything from organic (standard) posts on social media to boosted posts and targeted ads. Consider any traditional media where you can get a deal, as they are out there. Everyone is looking for more business at the moment, including billboard media agencies, radio, etc. A deal may be out there.
If you aren’t regularly using email to market to your clients, start now. Right now. It is extremely inexpensive. You can even pay a graphics company to create an initial template for you that will cost a few hundred dollars and then pay them $50-125 to modify it with every new email sent. During the holiday season, I pick my categories that consumers like the most at that time of year. Outside of that, I pick seasonal categories, meaning tint, marine and motorcycle in warmer months and remote start and seat heaters in colder months.
Go talk to vendors with ideas for a promotion. They need business right now as much as we do. See if one of your main vendors would give you free or deeply discounted product for a giveaway related to a promotion. Of course, they will want to see increased business around it. They might also agree to a DFI deal on certain product for a period of time wrapped up around an in-store promo. Just keep in mind that any outside-of-the-store promo you do will still need to adhere to any MAP program that vendor has in place.
Consider networking with reputable independent service shops and body shops. This is zero cost to you. Used car pricing is starting to normalize, though new car pricing is still ridiculous for lots of popular vehicles. So people are fixing up their older cars. We just sold a bunch of stuff for a guy with a 2012 Expedition with 219,000 miles on it, as buying a newer one was outrageous.
Keep your business out in front of as many people as possible!
In closing, recognize that the future is now and start being proactive instead of reactive. I sincerely think it will pay off. I believe in you.
About Mr Retail
Mr Retail offers opinions and information on car audio retailing for CEoutlook. He wishes to remain anonymous. He has owned a retail store in this country for over 20 years now. Mr Retail loves what he does and loves the 12 volt industry and is happy to share his hard won expertise.