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Increasing Sales BEA 2005 NEW YORK, NEW YORK June, 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Increasing Sales BEA 2005 NEW YORK, NEW YORK June, 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Increasing Sales BEA 2005 NEW YORK, NEW YORK June, 2005

2 ABACUS ABACUS is an initiative to create a benchmark for the measurement of independent bookstore operations. The numbers generated by the ABACUS study were used to create…

3 THE 2% SOLUTION Concentrates on Four Areas: Sales Margin Compensation Occupancy Today were focusing on Sales

4 The 2% Solution How do you Increase Sales? 1. Bring more customers into the store 2. Sell more to customers once they are in the store 3. Sell more outside the store Todays seminar will expand upon these ideas presented in the 2% Solution

5 Increasing Sales What well cover… Use advertising and public relations to raise the profile of your store Form stronger relationships with your customers Get to know your best customers and reward them Make your website an extension of your store Make your store an exciting and unique place to visit, both physically and virtually Reach out to find new customers

6 Section 1 Bring more customers into the store.

7 Bring more customers into the store… Develop a co-op plan Find out how much co-op is available to you Talk to your reps Find out about additional co-op programs Claim indirect co-op through wholesalers Dont forget about co-op for non-book Create an advertising budget for the year Set the advertising budget as a percentage of sales Start with last years expense and industry benchmarks Set the budget at the net amount youre going to spend (Co-op 1 of 2)

8 Bring more customers into the store… Develop a co-op plan Tips for claiming and using co-op efficiently Focus on the big dollars first Consolidate advertising to use up smaller co-op amounts Be sure to use your co-op before the end of the year Know and use the right medium Monitor your advertising expense on an ongoing basis Create an advertising package and rate card that publishers can easily understand (Co-op 2 of 2)

9 Bring more customers into the store… Implement a public relations plan Project your stores image Find a personality that represents your store Project that personality consistently in all of your advertising and public relations (PR Plan 1 of 3)

10 Bring more customers into the store… Implement a public relations plan Cultivate media contacts Identify appropriate local media contacts Have a designated media relations contact Invite key media to special store events Provide members of the media with copies of your newsletter, events announcements, etc. (PR Plan 2 of 3)

11 Bring more customers into the store… Implement a public relations plan Make your store newsworthy Send out press releases about forthcoming events Write op-ed articles and letters to the editor on relevant topics Make your website a source for news Use your stores owner as a public relations asset (PR Plan 3 of 3)

12 Bring more customers into the store… Build a customer database What the heck is a customer database anyway? A system for keeping track of who your customers are, what they are interested in, and how much they spend. It is a crucial tool for growing relationships with your customers. …enterprises that fail to establish strong relationships with their customers will see their position eroded by up to 20% per year. --Gartner Research Its a lot like dating. Im dating my customers. That is how an independent is going to compete. --Tim Metcalfe, Sentry Foods-Hilldale, Madison, Wisconsin (Database 1 of 6)

13 Bring more customers into the store… Build a customer database Before setting up your database, decide: What information you want to keep How you will capture and store that information How you will get customers to give you that information (Database 2 of 6)

14 Bring more customers into the store… Build a customer database Information you must keep on your customers Basic contact information What the customer is interested in How they prefer to be contacted Information you should keep on your customers: How much they spend When they last shopped in your store What they buy (Database 3 of 6)

15 Bring more customers into the store… Build a customer database Have a clear privacy policy Tell your customers what information you keep, and whether you share it with anybody Stress your commitment to protecting their privacy Use this as an opportunity to talk about how independent booksellers are at the forefront of fighting to protect consumer privacy (Database 4 of 6)

16 Bring more customers into the store… Build a customer database Your database will allow you to: Reach out to new customers Bring back former customers Bring existing customers in more frequently Reward your best customers (Database 5 of 6)

17 Bring more customers into the store… Build a customer database Tips for getting the most out of your database Ask complimentary businesses to share their customer lists Create a welcome message for new members of the database Mail your best customers hand-written thank you letters Send key customers coupons, gift cards, or other incentives Contact customers who havent purchased in six months or more (Database 6 of 6)

18 Bring more customers into the store… Use your website as a marketing tool The store remains the primary channel for purchase among the multi-channel shoppers we surveyed… What is striking is that of the 38% who used the Web to research their purchases, 71% chose to complete their purchase in the store. --Foresee Results/FGI Research Report, January 2005 (Website 1 of 4)

19 Bring more customers into the store… Use your website as a marketing tool Your website is an extension of the store Designate a staff member to be responsible for the site Require all staff to become familiar with website content Mirror online displays and promotions in the store Have content that will entice people to come back Forthcoming events and promotions Staff picks with blurbs Book Sense Picks/Bestsellers New releases News items/Commentary Update your website content at least weekly (Website 2 of 4)

20 Bring more customers into the store… Use your website as a marketing tool Make your website user friendly, by allowing customers to: Search for books and place orders See lists of upcoming events Opt-in to receiving your newsletters and other announcements Contact store staff (Website 3 of 4)

21 Bring more customers into the store… Use your website as a marketing tool Promote your website heavily Mention your website everywhere: on store signage; in your newsletter; in advertising; on store bags, bookmarks, gift cards, etc.; on your voicemail Create an affiliate program Make staff members evangelists for your site Create an in-store kiosk featuring your website (Website 4 of 4)

22 Bring more customers into the store… Use e-mail as a marketing tool Sending e-mail Make your e-mails relevant, interesting, and timely Dont bombard customers (remember the Rule of 24) Always get permission first Have a clearly stated privacy policy, and make it easy for customers to opt out Dont be a Monday Morning Emailer (E-mail 1 of 2)

23 Bring more customers into the store… Use e-mail as a marketing tool Get the Most Out of Your E-mail Campaign Track the success of each e-mail sent – How many customers (and which ones) opened the email? – Which customers clicked on which links? – Which content was ignored? Add what you learn to your customer database Personalize e-mail messages Avoid having your e-mails classified as spam Investigate outside services to send and host e-mail (E-mail 2 of 2)

24 Bring more customers into the store… Do more in-store events The goal of an event is not just to sell books, but also to make the store an interesting, inviting, and lively place to which people will want to return. (In-store Events 1 of 4)

25 Bring more customers into the store… Do more in-store events Be proactive in asking for authors Know who the publicists are and stay in touch Request authors early Make concrete proposals (In-store Events 2 of 4)

26 Bring more customers into the store… Do more in-store events Promote your events List events on your website and in your newsletter Use in-store displays and signs Get the press interested Promote your success Follow up with publicists after the event Keep reminding publishers how good your events are Remember, publicists look at websites (In-store Events 3 of 4)

27 Bring more customers into the store… Do more in-store events Think outside the box Host book groups Create theme events Host a weekly story-time for children Bring in experts to give lectures and demonstrations Host political debates and discussions Allow self-published authors to hold events Hold private events for your best customers (In-store Events 4 of 4)

28 Bring more customers into the store… Reach out to underserved markets Identify which market you want to target Learn about the market Find a good source of books Promote that you now serve this market Be patient …because of the changing demographics of the U.S., there was an increase in the number of literary readers from all ethnic and racial groups except white Americans. -- National Endowment for the Arts Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, June, 2004 (Reach Out 1 of 1)

29 Bring more customers into the store… Form marketing alliances Raise your profile in the community Look for other businesses or organizations that complement your image Cross promote and merchandise Consider setting up or joining an independent business alliance (Alliances 1 of 1)

30 Bring more customers into the store… Join Book Sense We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately --Benjamin Franklin, July 4, 1776 Being part of Book Sense connects us to the community of independent booksellers across America. Thats very important to us, and I know it gets us more attention from publishers. --Virginia Powers, General Manager, Olssons Books & Records, Washington DC (Book Sense 1 of 1)

31 Section 2 Sell more to customers once they are in the store.

32 Sell more to customers in the store… Improve traffic flow and ambience Look at your store through the eyes of the consumer Start outside, work your way inside and around the store Follow your customers traffic patterns Notice how each part of the store looks, feels, sounds, and (yes) even smells (Ambience 1 of 4)

33 Sell more to customers in the store… Improve traffic flow and ambience Pay particular attention to: Visibility Height and spacing of fixtures Layout Ease and logic of traffic flow Locations of departments, information points, and cash registers Convenience Accessibility of merchandise Ease of access to information resources Speed of check out General ambience Visual harmony Background music, temperature and smell (Ambience 2 of 4)

34 Sell more to customers in the store… Improve traffic flow and ambience Add amenities that build traffic A café A magazine/news section Internet access terminals Ticket sales A masseuse? (Ambience 3 of 4)

35 Sell more to customers in the store… Improve traffic flow and ambience Focus on merchandising, to make it more: Eye catching Interesting Customer friendly Timely Well-maintained (Ambience 4 of 4)

36 Sell more to customers in the store… Introduce a customer loyalty program Decide on a program structure Extra discount at the cash register? A gift card each time the customer spends a certain amount? Charitable contributions? Invitations to special events? …and remember, price is not everything (Loyalty 1 of 2)

37 Sell more to customers in the store… Introduce a customer loyalty program Keep it simple! If your staff cant explain the program in the time it takes to ring up a sale, it is too complicated. (Loyalty 2 of 2)

38 Sell more to customers in the store… Bring in non-book merchandise Decide what kind of merchandise makes sense Source merchandise A good book buyer does not a good non-book buyer make Plan carefully Follow through, be a retailer (Non-book 1 of 1)

39 Sell more to customers in the store… Sell gift cards The statistics on gift cards: Gift card purchases grew 50% from 2002 to 2003 Gift card sales are projected to exceed $73 billion by 2007 Most bookstores tell ABA that theyve seen a minimum of a 20% increase in gift card sales versus gift certificate sales, and some over 100% (Gift Card 1 of 2)

40 Sell more to customers in the store… Sell gift cards Getting the most out of gift cards Position gift card merchandisers around the store Sell gift cards on your website Promote gift cards in your newsletter Remember that the recipient of a gift card is frequently a new customer, and surveys show that they often spend more than the value of the card (Gift Card 2 of 2)

41 Section 3 Sell more to customers outside the store.

42 Sell more to customers outside the store… Use out-of-store events Decide what kinds of events you want to do Off-site author signings at conferences and meetings Book tables or booths at conventions Book fairs (Outside Events 1 of 3)

43 Sell more to customers outside the store… Use out-of-store events Let the world know that you can do events Contact publicists and sales reps Post signs in your store Mention it on your website and in your newsletter Contact local non-profit organizations, event planners, etc. (Outside Events 2 of 3)

44 Sell more to customers outside the store… Use out-of-store events Use events to promote your store Take promotional materials with you: Bookmarks Bags Your newsletter and event calendar Invite attendees to visit your store (Outside Events 3 of 3)

45 Sell more to customers outside the store… Sell to corporations and institutions Create a store policy for corporate discounts, and publicize it Identify key local corporations and key contacts within those corporations Do targeted mailings announcing your corporate sales program Participate in your Chamber of Commerce (Corporate Sales 1 of 1)

46 Increasing Sales Summary Use advertising and public relations to raise the profile of your store Form stronger relationships with your customers Get to know your best customers and reward them Make your website an extension of your store Make your store an exciting and unique place to visit, both physically and virtually Reach out to find new customers

47 The End! Thanks for listening!


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