|DaySpring director highlights need for ‘real’ customer connections|
|Written by Ginny McCabe|
|Wednesday, 29 June 2016 08:03 AM America/New_York|
Christian retail customers long for community, says DaySpring Brand Director Kim Marquette. During one of Tuesday's breakout sessions at CBA's Unite 2016, Marquette instructed retailers on "In-Store Event Planning."
Hosted by Illustrated Faith by DaySpring, the session offered insider tips on planning and executing an in-store event that builds faith, fosters community and creates an unforgettable experience.
“People long for community," Marquette said. "We were created for community. You have an opportunity as merchants/ministers to build community and customer loyalty."
Attendees learned eight tips for a successful event as well as the who, what, where, when and why. Guests also walked away with complimentary sample products and resources for in-store events.
“Our communication has become a little bit transactional, so we speak in 140 characters, and we text people. ... This is crazy, we don’t even talk face to face," Marquette said. "Because communication is becoming more and more transactional, people are longing for moments that aren’t transactional, moments that are real."
Marquette also touched on several macro-trends, including the “maker-movement” and “experience economy.”
“A macro-trend is something that is significantly shifting the consumer interest, and it is sustainable. ... It’s changing the way people are thinking, processing, purchasing and how they are living,” she said.
For example, the “maker-movement” says “I want to make something. I want to create something.”
“There are activities we can do in our stores. I just have to do a couple of things to be a maker. We want to tap into that. Think about the coloring books, and how popular that has become,” Marquette said.
An in-store event can be anything from offering a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie to a more extensive event like a night out. An in-store event also allows retailers a chance to show off their stores. It can bring in new customers and offer an opportunity to form partnerships with other local businesses. Retailers can also engage with existing and potential new customers by promoting in-store events on social media.
Marquette emphasized the personal.
“When your customers come into your store, they have an experience," she said. "If you can learn their names, that creates a very positive experience.”
She also said retailers can create events to meet customer needs such as an event for moms or empty nesters.
Along with being well-staffed, Marquette suggested sending out evites, placing flyers on store windows or using them as bag stuffers, and mailing personal invitations or notes.
Danni Schneidt-Hill, owner of Promises “His” Coffee & Cottage Shoppe, said she frequently hosts in-store events.
“I started hosting a ‘Kolor-N-Koffee’ event once a month," Schneidt-Hill said. "Now I’m doing it in three different communities once a week. I’m not artistic. I’m creative. You can be creative without having to be artistic. That’s what this is all about, and then hearing from God."
Retailers can take advantage of the tools and resources that are available as part of DaySpring’s Illustrated Faith program (illustratedfaith.com), including event flyers, postcards, enter-to-win forms and coupons. Each of these can be personalized with a store name and other pertinent information.