In Store Event Marketing: The Best Events to Host at Your Store
In store event marketing is a great way to build community, engage with customers and increase sales.
Retailers need to remember that in store events can strengthen customer relationships while increasing revenue when they’re well-executed.
The Event Marketing Institute found that 87% of consumers say they will buy the products from a brand after attending one of their in store events.
Why is that?
Retailers are using in store event marketing to showcase their products and services. It’s a win for the retailers because they can get an ROI, but it also benefits consumers who have a strong interest in those items.
Today, however, let’s focus on the value of in store retail events. Events are a great way to get customers excited about your brand and generate sales.
What Are Retail Events?
Retail events are designed to help customers find out more about the products they sell and build a sense of community. We will discuss the best in store retail events, later.
For example, “Lululemon” offers yoga classes in their stores to promote the company’s products. These classes are open for all experience levels and offer a way for people who enjoy the product to share that with others.
“Lululemon” addresses customer pain points by telling the user how their product can help. For example, on one of Lulu’s yoga class landing pages, they show a photo with an illustration of what happens to your butt if you don’t use “Groove Gear” shorts.
The brand does not want to make its yoga classes seem like a sales event. They just wish for people to come and feel the benefits of doing yoga. This event got so successful because it focuses on the user experience, rather than product promotion. It does this by subtly aligning with its products and indirectly promoting them.
However, this is just one type of event that can be done in-store. There are many other types of events to choose from.
What Makes A Retail Event Popular?
Like “Lululemon’s” in store event marketing, you also need to be aligned with your customer’s interests. For example, if you sell yoga clothes and your customer base is interested in fitness-related items, then a marathon will do well.
How do you know what interests customers?
It is important to find out what your business offers that other businesses do not. This will help you convince customers to choose your company over competitors.
The best way to hold successful in store events is by aligning them with the company’s values, mission, and products. This will attract people who are actually interested in what you’re selling. Click To Tweet
What Are the Most Popular In-store Retail Events?
Are you searching for in store event ideas? One of the most popular ways to promote your products in-store is through an event. There are many benefits and use-cases for each of these event types. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Launch parties
Do you have a new product or collection coming out?
If you are planning a product launch, host an event before the release date. Invite your most loyal customers and ask them to invite their friends who may be interested in your new products.
Launch parties are a great way to meet new people in the industry, especially if they’re small-scale.
Launch parties are a great way to create buzz around your new products, build loyalty with customers and generate sales. 84% of consumers who attended the launch party bought something again. For example, I might offer a promotional discount or gift to entice people into coming.
Which retailers will benefit most from launch parties?
- Beauty products
- Fashion and apparel
- Book stores
- Home and decor
2. Meetup groups
Meetup groups are organized around a specific industry and the products that you sell. The objective is to create recurring events for members of your group.
A meetup group is a way for your customers to connect with one another and form bonds over common interests. Your store doesn’t even need to spend any money in order for this to happen.
For example, the “Woouf “pet supplies store offers a variety of in-store services and complimentary classes. They also host Puppy Night where dog owners can socialize their pups with other dogs to help them get used to being around strangers.
When dog owners are in the market for supplies, they’ll think of your store first. You’re not just another pet shop – you care about dogs as much as they do and have everything on their wish list.
Tip: “Woouf” also uses its workshops to promote new treats and toys by giving out free samples. Giving away a few items from your inventory can be an effective way of increasing sales.
Which retailers will benefit from meetup groups?
- Pet stores
- Sporting goods stores
- Bike stores
- DIY arts and crafts stores
- Book stores
- Video game stores
3. Classes and workshops
Hosting in-store workshops is a way to show your customers that you care about them. It also gives the store credibility as an expert on its products.
For retail spaces that are large enough, hosting events during work hours is a great way to market and sell products. If your space isn’t very big, host the workshops or classes after hours. When you are at an event, it is up to the merchant whether they want their mobile POS in easy reach for customers to make a purchase. However, that should not be your primary goal when hosting this type of event.
For example, “Apple” hosts free in-store workshops to empower their customers and create a community around the brand.
There is good news for companies with limited marketing budgets. The same principles of Apple’s successful campaigns can be applied without the budget to achieve success.
“Apple’s” classes and workshops were so successful because of these factors.
- They enable everyone to learn how to use a computer.
- They support continuous learning.
- Apple products are presented as easy to use, even if they actually require some skill.
These classes and workshops were all free, but I noticed that the people who attended them seemed to be more interested in “Apple” products.
Which retailers will benefit from workshops?
- Electronics stores
- Hobby shops
- Pet stores
- Sporting goods stores
How to Plan Events for A Retail Store
Here are some questions to ask about in store event marketing like “Is the event actionable?” “Does it have a realistic budget that you can actually afford?” “If there is no specific objective, what will be gained from this event besides increased awareness or exposure?”
What is your goal?
If you are hosting an event, make sure that it is relevant to your product or service. For example, “Woouf” offers puppy workshops.
Where will you host the event?
Of course, it is ideal to host events in your own store (because that’s where all of the products and merchandise are on display), but this isn’t always possible. Take for example a bike shop – you can use their space as an event venue, then migrate elsewhere with your group if needed.
Do you know who your loyal customers are?
When you’re planning an event, your most loyal customers are the first ones to invite. They have a higher chance of attending and inviting their friends.
How to Market In-store Retail Events
In store event marketing is a complex topic, but we have three different categories to help you organize your goals:
1. Before the event
You want to be sure that your event is in the spotlight.
The first step is to send an email invite to your loyal customers that include a calendar event. This will simplify their lives and increase attendance rates because the customer sees it in his or her personal calendar.
The most important thing to do is contact local influencers in your industry. They will be able to create content for you, which can generate a buzz around the store.
Invitations to events are typically sent three-five weeks before the event date. This gives you time to plan ahead and if attendance is low, it allows for more marketing efforts in order to get a larger audience.
Social media promotion
Include all pertinent information in your Facebook event (when, where, and why they should register to attend). Creating a post that will create awareness for your workshops and events is also an option.
You can also use Facebook’s proximity ads, which are targeted at people who live close by. Proximity advertising is 75% more likely to work than general targeting.
In-store promotional material
One way to promote your events is by producing flyers and distributing them at all possible customer touchpoints. This will allow you to get people talking about the event, which may in turn result in more attendance.
2. During the event
Share the pictures and videos you take during your event on social media, as well as content that attendees are taking.
If you want to get people interested in your event, then be sure to share it on social media. You can do this by posting an Instagram story or live video of the events so that followers who couldn’t attend will know when and where they should go next time.
Also, another way to get customers involved is by running a social media contest at your events. Customers can share their pictures or videos of the event on Facebook and Instagram, with #retailstorename in the caption.
After an event, ask all of the people who posted on social media to gather for a prize giveaway. Announce it on Facebook and Instagram so that your followers know about this exciting promotion.
3. After the event
Don’t forget to thank your guests for coming. A simple gesture can go a long way, so don’t just post on social media and call it done.
The goal is to show people that you appreciate them for coming out and giving up their time. It’s a simple gesture, so make sure it does not go unnoticed.
Build A Community with In Store Event Marketing
Investing in events that teach people something or help them meet others with similar interests will not only make your store more than just a place to buy stuff; it can also be very beneficial for the business.
It’s important to remember also that in store event marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. The most important thing is aligning the theme of your store with a popular product or service and building a community around it.