In-Store Events

Selling an Experience:

Attracting Loyal Customers with In-Store Events

In today’s retail market, many stores are embracing innovative approaches to marketing. One popular trend is in-store events. During these promotions, retailers have an opportunity to build their community, highlight new merchandise and services, and sell an event along with their products. Offering attendees a memorable experience is an effective way to attract new customers and give existing ones a reason to return.

Every retailer is unique, with different goals and objectives. Therefore, in-store events aren’t a one-size-fits all solution—different promotions will produce different results.

SIA’s Retailer to Consumer Marketing guide is jam-packed with tips to refresh your business with the latest ways to connect with your customer and increase your business. Below we have highlighted how leveraging in-store events can energize your business.

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Recruit New Customers

To recruit new customers, you can use in-store events best suited to groups in order and enlist the help of your current audience. Events that invite people to linger over drinks or appetizers while previewing new products or learn a new skill are great ways to encourage your existing audience to bring their friends.

Learn to Ski or Snowboard Clinic – pg.44

This could be cool co-hosted at a school or public area other than the shop; participants can be given a special coupon or voucher for a promo item/lift ticket when they come to the store.

Bring a Friend Special Shopping Night – pg. 14

Bring a friend and you’ll both enjoy a special night open just to skiers and riders introducing someone to the sport. Get an extra X% off [certain items], sit in on a introductory clinic, enjoy some free promotional gear and [pizza, tacos, etc.]

Family Day – pg. 44

Set up a weekend day where there are resorts/travel agents there promoting family package deals, face painters or balloon makers, sticker and keychain style giveaways, lift ticket raffles, etc.

Educate Your Audience

The more people know about your products and services, the more they’ll want to take advantage of them. By offering free opportunities for education through special in-store events, you can encourage people to learn a new skill, expand their horizons, and open their minds (and their wallets) to new opportunities.

Backcountry Q&A Seminar – pg. 14

Trek leaders and expert backcountry ski/snowboarders host a free info session on equipment and trip planning

Summer Storage Clinic – pg. 57

Learn how to clean, wax and store your ski and snowboard equipment until next season. Get free wax, extra XX% off spring clearance coupon, and even some free pizza!

Customer Clinics – pg. 14

A great way for staff to practice their product tech knowledge and showcase new tech to customers at the same time.

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Create Loyal Clients

Invite-only in-store events are a great way to single out your best customers and reward them for their loyalty. These special VIP events can include sneak peeks at new products, a first look at special sales, and a yearly party to show your gratitude. Anything you can do to celebrate the people who are the core of your business is a great way to say thank you.

VIP Sneak Preview Event – pg. 14

For frequent/past customers; after hours.

VIP First Dibs Clearance Preview – pg. 57

Before spring clearance is made live, invite your VIPs, Facebook Community, etc. for “first dibs” on clearance preview.

Women’s Only Preview & Wine Tasting – pg. 14

Women love to be pampered and are important product purchasers as they buy for their family and significant other in addition to their own gear.

Give Back to the Community

In-store events aren’t just about getting new customers and making sales—they’re also about giving back. Partner with other businesses or community organizations to offer promotions, education opportunities, or DIY projects to underserved communities or non-profit organizations. These events can help your business reach new audiences while earning you karma points.

Cookie Sales – pg. 29

Customers bring in a tray of cookies and receive 10% off one item. Cookies are donated to shelter – a great deed that also brings great local PR and evokes a great feeling about your business.

Learn to Ski and Snowboard Clinic – pg.44

This could be cool co-hosted at a school or public area other than the shop; participants can be given a special coupon or voucher for a promo item/lift ticket when they come to the store.

Family Day – pg.44

Set up a weekend day where there are resorts/travel agents there promoting family package deals, facepainters or balloon makers, sticker and keychain style giveaways, lift ticket raffles, etc.

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Maximize Your Sale

Everyone loves a good sale, which means hosting an innovative opportunity to save money is a great way to excite your community. Don’t relegate clearance items to a hard to find rack or shelf in the back of your store. Instead, throw a party for your end-of-season items and give them the send off they deserve.

Sidewalk Sale – pg. 57

Springtime is the perfect weather to host outdoor sales to attract attention of passers-by in addition to those in your informed customer community. Combined with music, food and other businesses this can boost your inventory turnover at the end of the season!

Shred Betty Sale – pg.44

A weekend of discounts only on women’s snowboard hard and softgoods. Includes brunchy apps each morning, a clinic taught by a female, and a raffle for a women’s snowboard video.

First Dibs Clearance Preview – pg.57

Before spring clearance is made live, invite your VIPs, Facebook Community, etc. for “first dibs” on Clearance preview.

"The ski and snowboard industry really isn’t that big, and if we can partner with some or all of our local ski areas to promote what the Northwest has to offer, we all stand to gain more customers. No matter if we have an event in our store or at their mountain, the more folks we reach the better chance we have of growing the sport. We want to continue to be the best at what we do: 'Retail' and work with partners who are the best at what they do; getting folks on the snow having a good time. If we can grow the sport we will all have more customers and that will make for a healthier industry now and in the future."
Tracy Gibbons Sturtevant's, Bellevue, WA

"We partner with our vendors to make the most use of their talent and marketing teams. The programs they have in place are a great support for in-store events. We become the bridge, improving brand awareness and customer relationships. One of the events that stores can use more effectively is the Line Skis Traveling Circus. We bring everyone back into the store after they ride and have a super relationship with Andy and the crew – the local kids LOVE the event!"
Kjerstin Klein Willi's Ski Shop, Seven Springs, PA

"We just opened our new Portland store this fall, Seattle Flagship store in 2012 and we are really excited about retail stores. No question this sets the stage for the future of evo given all of the opportunity when it comes to creating extraordinary customer experiences. Also, growing our travel business, evoTRIP year over year has been awesome. Chile and Japan are great and we are about to announce new locations as well as additions to mountain bike and surf trips. We love creating and sharing experiences with existing friends and new people. It’s been at the core of who we are since the very beginning."
Bryce Phillips Evo, Seattle, WA

Making virtual waves.

In-store events happen IRL, but they don’t stop there. Create buzz before the event and expand its reach with the help of social media campaigns, hashtags, and behind-the-scenes photos.

GOAL: Recruit New Customers

Develop a hashtag unique to your event and invite guests to share their photos on social media. This will give you a variety of user-generated content to use during your event and long after it’s over.

GOAL: Educate Your Audience

Create how-to and instruction YouTube videos. You can embed these high-value videos on your website and share them across social media channels as a sneak peak to your event and for customers to access 24/7.

GOAL: Create Loyal Clients

Develop a customer loyalty program. This is a great way to incentivize return customers and can be as simple as signing up for an exclusive email list or as elaborate as offering reward points for purchases.

GOAL: Give Back to the Community

Leverage the power of live streaming. Sharing live video footage during your philanthropic event will expand both your reach and your efforts to the entire social community.

GOAL: Maximize Your Sale

Promote your sale with social advertising. Not only will this build awareness around your event, it will also allow you to reach new customers and acquire sales leads.

Ready to learn more?

Check out past addendums and discover more ways to make your business work you.

Customer Connection Addendum

 

 

Download the Addendum »

Retailer to Consumer Addendum

 

 

Download the Addendum »

Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month Addendum

 

 

Download the Addendum »

What Do You Remember?

The feeling of the snow beneath your feet? The air on your face? The falls, the fear, the fun? No matter what your first time was like, one thing is for certain: you’ll never forget it.