The Bed Expert gets aggressive with marketing

Vic Smith, owner of independent beds retailer Vic Smith Beds, talks about why now is the time for ‘aggressive marketing’ and how staring through the window of your store is more beneficial than you may think.

Christmas now feels like a distant memory for most of us, the credit card bills have arrived, and we’ve had the first payday since the festivities, so hopefully our customers know where they are financially.

Most people haven’t started planning their summer holiday spending, so this is the best time to start with, for want of a better term, ‘aggressive’ marketing. We still have to bear in mind the interest rates aren’t stable for most and that utility bills aren’t settled. We need to ensure we are all getting that slice of the pie – after all, we all have bills to pay too!

By now, you should have downloaded the NBF planning calendar and highlighted the dates they suggest, and commenced with your marketing plan, tailoring it to your type of customer/product.  It’s a great free tool that more people should be utilising. You would be surprised how many dates in the year can be linked towards customers hopefully spending in your shop.

March is always a big one for us, and we focus February to design artwork – as you may recall, we invested in a large poster printer to create instore signage so we can move and adapt quickly with our marketing. People notice when your shop window displays change – for us our shops are part of the High St, so there is a constant stream of walking traffic that we should be using as a resource. After all, that’s what shop windows are for.

Not suggesting you just stand in your window and stare at people, but subtlety take a look, and watch. People will stop and read your window display – they can’t help themselves. And subliminally they start to be reminded of you as the go to for their next furniture purchase. It doesn’t even have to be always serious facts – inject a bit of fun into your marketing.

Like it or not, the world is relying on technology more and more – using our mobiles as an everyday tool kit – so make sure your social media and website is up to date and check your backlinks work. Are your opening hours and contact details correct online too? Can your customers get straight through to you?

Not all customers are loyal – and we have become an impatient generation – doesn’t matter they have put off that new furniture purchase for months – they want it now, and if they can’t get through on the phone or walk through your door, they will go elsewhere. Your job is to stop them doing that.

Take two minutes and go stand outside the front of your store. Then look in. Take a photo. Be objective, what do you see? Create a snag list – even if it’s something as simple as hoovering the inside of the window ledges. Look at your store as a customer would, see it through their eyes – what are they thinking when they are window shopping?

People are being more selective on how they spend their money, so let’s ensure that 2024 is the success we all want it to be. Look at the uniform your staff wear – if it’s looking tired, you’re not creating a good image. You’d be surprised as to the difference those little touches make! Try them and let me know how you get on.

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