Texas Retailers Association joined more than 5,000 professionals at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center as they discovered new ideas, got actionable takeaways and built strong relationships with the brightest and most innovative players in the digital retail world.
There are a lot of people spending quite a bit of money around the holidays, and as a local business, you need to be ready for customers on the busiest shopping weekend of the year – Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. Follow these six tips to make sure your business is primed for success come November 25.
1. Make it a community affair
With so many large retailers attracting crowds on post-Thanksgiving weekend, it can be tricky to get people to choose your local business instead. As a smaller store, you probably don’t have enough resources to plan a major attraction for those consumers, but if you partner with other local businesses, you’ll experience a much larger reach. You can do basic promotions, like ensuring that each store in your area has a Small Business Saturday sign prominently posted, or get more advanced with a community-wide promotion or hashtag. Use specifics in your hashtag, like #ShopSmallWickerPark, or create a scavenger hunt around your neighborhood shops to get customers involved and exposed to more local businesses.
2. Share your story
Small Business Saturday is all about your business’ local roots, and customers will be more likely to frequent your business over the big box retailers on Black Friday if they know more about you. Let your customers know you care about the community and how you enjoy being a part of it. Whether you’re a 50-year-old business with strong community ties or a newer shop that is just enjoying the enormous support you’ve received in the past two years, sharing your origin story is an important part of that localized connection.
3. Take advantage of existing marketing assets
Since American Express created Small Business Saturday in 2010, they have been instrumental in helping the event expand, mainly due to their free marketing materials available online. With everything from downloadable graphics to marketing ideas for your local business community, their Shop Small page has numerous resources to streamline branding as an entire community of local businesses. You can incorporate logos in your own marketing assets or use the provided assets on the site. If you haven’t taken advantage of these resources before, make sure to do so this year and rally your community of local businesses.
4. Hold an event, not just a sale
When everyone has a sale, you compete for the most alluring discount or lowest price to entice people to your store. But if you take a different approach by offering something new and special, your store will stand out and become an unmissable stop on the busiest shopping weekend of the year. Putting together an event requires creativity, but it doesn’t need to be complicated in order to be unique. For example, if you’re a bookstore, featuring readings of local authors, as well as having them as “employees for a day” to help customers find books isn’t a common practice and will speak to your target audience. If you’re a local spa, you can hold a daylong massage or manicure party, allowing people to walk in for discounted services on their own schedules. There are many options for your business, just put on your thinking cap and start planning!
5. Promote your events accordingly
Social media and email communications are crucial for the success of your seasonal promotions. With social media, you’ll want to leverage both organic posting as well as Facebook ads. Organic posts should start well before the actual event date, then ramp up as it comes closer with engaging photos and videos — everyone loves a video and it gets more traction from Facebook’s News Feed algorithms. Facebook ads allow you to target people similar to your current audience, meaning you can reach people who are likely interested in your offerings because they’re similar to your current customers. As far as email communications, include your special event or promotion in your monthly newsletter to drum up early interest. Then, as your event nears, send a specific, more robust email with event specifics to get people excited and entice them to come in-store for the shopping weekend.
6. Encourage your customers to share their experience
To compound your promotional efforts, ask your customers to join in on social media through a promotional contest using a specific hashtag. This works best if you can offer a gift card or item to the winner. There are a few different ways to engage your social fan base, being sure to encourage people to chatter about your business, while not “bribing” them. Encourage customers to post about your business once they’ve purchased a product or ask them to post about themes related to your store. If you’re a juice bar, you could have customers post photos of their juice and say what they love about that specific flavor. With the second approach, a camera shop could ask customers and followers to post their favorite travel photos with a specific hashtag. The options here are endless, but once again, you have to be creative and get the word out. Whatever your promotional strategy, the important thing is to participate. So many people shop on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, and you want them to know about your store’s amazing offers and what deals or perks they might receive by doing business with you. By gaining and delighting new customers on this crucial retail weekend, you can earn loyalty through the entire year!
For the full article and more about digital marketing please visit G/O Digital’s Website.
Dear TRA Members and Friends,
We are thrilled to launch our new website, complete with our blog that will become your source for Texas retail industry news updates. Please take a second to view our updated TRA branding, our initiatives such as our education foundation, advocacy and our news section which includes tags to industry topics that can be filtered by your needs.
Over the past year TRA has undertaken a series of initiatives to build on TRA’s legacy of success and position our association to meet the needs, goals and challenges of our members and our industry. Specifically, our focus has been to maximize our visibility, particularly in this important election year, laying the foundation to leverage our strength as a trusted resource on behalf of our members in 2017, during the 85th Texas Legislative session.
Our new website is yet another piece we have added to improve the quality and attention to detail we provide to ensure that our members’ interests and needs are reflected in everything we do.
Please share our website with your industry colleagues so they can also become members and join online!
2016 will be an important year, given that it is an election year, as well as the run-up to the 85th Texas Legislative Session. As we move into 2016, we will be evolving to focus on highlighting the impact of Texas retailers, as well as building collaborative partnerships to support retailer priorities. As such, we are proud to announce the formation of the Retail Advocacy Fund (RAF). It will be critical that we continue emphasizing that retailers are engines of economic development for our state and communities, and additional funding is necessary to meet the need of telling the story of retailers.
We are asking for your support as we move into this new and critical time for our industry, to ensure that we have the tools needed to build the foundation for our success next session. The funding provided through the Retail Advocacy Fund will allow us to expand our reach to new potential members and partners at the state and local level, in addition to supporting the critical government affairs work of TRA.
How the RAF can help better position TRA:
· Provide TRA with opportunities to meet with elected officials in their home districts to introduce our members and solidify that connection with their local retailers and retail industry.
· Increase TRA’s ability to connect one-on-one with elected officials and their staff to promote the retail industry and educate them on our programs, benefits and key issues.
· Keep our membership more closely informed, engaged and educated on developments in our industry while bringing the importance of Texas Retailers to the forefront of decision maker’s minds across the state.
Moving forward, we will continue to build on our past successes by identifying new opportunities where we can continue to spread the message of Texas retailers while strengthen existing partnerships.
Thank you to all that have supported the GAC in the past, both financially and with efforts in your community. We sincerely hope you can participate and assist our industry in this important initiative. An option assessment has been added to your dues invoice.
Please understand that this is not a dues supplement and contributions to the Retail Advocacy Fund do not replace regular dues or voluntary contributions to the TRAPAC. Contributions to the Retail Advocacy Fund are considered an additional assessment to support the indirect expenses (non-lobbying and non-PAC) related to the government affairs work of TRA.
If you have any questions or comments about the Retail Advocacy Fund please feel free to contact Jim Sheer for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-472-8261. If you are ready to make a contribution, please use the form below.
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