Carol L Schroeder

A Fine Presentation

May 13, 2014

Byers Choice promoAs retailers we are bombarded with as many “buy me” messages every day as our customers. The one we received recently from Byers’ Choice Ltd. was so well done that I think we can all learn some important lessons from them.

First of all, it was carefully targeted.  In nm addition to having our shop name at the top of the list of “Nice” stores in Santa’s hands, the enclosed note mentioned that Buyers’ Choice offers chef figurines.  That shows that they had done their research and knew that our store sells cookware and kitchen items in addition to Christmas merchandise.

Attention was paid to detail.  The enclosed materials were addressed to me personally, and in addition to a typed letter there was a hand-written note stating why the company feels their line would be perfect for our store.

The Santa was a surprise.  Everyone loves a gift, of course, especially one  that is unexpected. Did this beautifully wrapped package attract attention when it arrived? You bet. We also appreciate the fact that the company expects nothing in return, although we know they are hoping for an order.

The way in which the merchandise might solves a problem for us were spelled out. For example the fact that the Santa was made in the USA was emphasized both in the letter and in a tent card enclosed in the box.  Byers’ Choice knows that we might have trouble finding quality domestic goods, coming up with signage, etc.

How does this translate to your promotional efforts as a retailer?  We know that good customer service comes from having what our customers want.  Big online retailers use sophisticated tracking of ordering and even browsing patterns to try to predict what a customer will like.  As independent stores we have the opportunity to get to know our shoppers in person, and to aim our marketing in order to have the greatest likelihood of success.

Target your efforts, pay attention to detail, surprise and delight your customers and think about how your merchandise may solve a problem for them -- just like Byers’ Choice has done with their recent Santa sample.