Driving New Traffic to Your Showroom
Whether you’re opening a new showroom or have a space you have been running for decades, getting foot traffic into your showroom is essential.
Below are some marketing ideas for showroom brands. Read through to see if you can make them work in your design business.
1. Start with the assets you already have
Whether you have an independent location or if you are part of a design center, using your merchandise and fixtures to create a visually enticing experience is the best way to get those passing by coming into your showroom. Come up with creative displays and arrangements to make them different from your neighbors and compelling to people peeking in.
Refresh your display regularly and start your design from the front door. Put the newest, most appealing, brightest or eye-popping pieces toward the front to draw people in. Everyday, basic items should be moved further back. Also, remember that 90% of customers enter a store and look or turn to the right. Respect that habit by merchandising that area of your showroom with care.
If you have a window, consider telling a story in your window display. The most obvious example of this is the department store windows during the Holidays in New York city. They consistently pick a theme and tell a story to pull people in. Create a buzz with your window display by doing the same thing. What does your brand represent? Can you tell that story in a display that’s visually intriguing and eye-catching? That is a great place to start for a window display.
Your team is the most important marketing tool you have. They are the front lines, speaking to designers, pulling people in, and bringing them back. They should be the personification of your brand and represent you in the best possible way.
The best way to attract and keep talent is to keep them happy. That’s why Starbucks invests more money in healthcare for their employees than they do on coffee beans. They recognize the importance of a strong team.
Through fair compensation, a strong training program, and appreciation programs - strive to create a team that is happy, enthusiastic, and does the best they can on behalf of you and your brand.
2. Leverage social media
Social media is an essential strategy for not only driving awareness, but bringing people into your showroom. When considering social media, look to Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. When investing anything in social media, make sure you are tracking and have an idea of what your cost per acquisition might be. Here is a great place to start.
Make sure you have a business account and you are investing (and testing) a variety of campaigns on Facebook. While Facebook has taken some PR hits this past year, they are still the social media platform with the most users and the most regular users. It is still an important place to be and is often where you can get the lowest cost per impression.
Facebook has a variety of ad products with robust targeting capabilities that let you zero in on your specific audience.
The best thing to do is test different advertising solutions, then keep track of your metrics (e.g. clicks, engagement, sales, etc.) Take note of the numbers, then use those insights to determine your ROI. This will help you figure which ad types are right for you and how much to budget for Facebook advertising.
When thinking through your Instagram account, it can be helpful to think of posts like a gallery (use high-resolution, carefully curated images) and your stories as a place to show your process, promote or summarize live events, highlight any new launches or promotions you might be running, launch polls, and link to your products or your website.
When thinking about Instagram posts, a few things that will influence your posts’ success:
How much engagement a post gets - and how quickly it gets it
How long people spend reading your posts - you don’t need to cut captions short if you have something to say
Who you interact with - if you’re liking and commenting on someone’s posts and they’re doing the same, you’ll see each other’s posts. An engagement is a vote.
Pinterest can be extremely effective in driving interest and inquiries to specific products in your showroom. Pinterest’s mission is to help you discover and do things you love. People usually go to Pinterest to discover new ideas and plan for special events or experiences (weddings, home redesigns, etc.) in their lives. During this planning mindset, people are open to new brands and products. On Pinterest, you can find and save these ideas by pinning them to your boards to arrange and organize them visually.
At Dering Hall, we want our Pinterest account to focus on showcasing products and portfolio content. Brands and design professionals are updating products and portfolios daily, so we continue to update our boards to keep our account fresh. By viewing analytics, we are able to cater our content to resonate better with our audience to continue driving traffic.
Partnering with a local business or charity is a wonderful way to get your brand’s name out to people who can come and shop in person, not just online. You can host breakfasts, informational sessions, launch parties, book signings, panels and more. By partnering with other organizations or showrooms, you are able to split the cost but double the amount of exposure through joint marketing efforts.
Partner with other showrooms in your design center
Partner with showrooms in which you share a common clientele but have a different aesthetic
Partner with a local charity to put on an event
4. Email marketing
Email marketing is still the most effective marketing channel. Make sure you are capturing the names and contact information of your visitors (both online and in your showroom) so you can take advantage of this effective marketing tactic.
Segmentation – Segment by geography, those who have made a purchase (versus not) and if warranted, those who are professional designers versus end users. Knowing who you are reaching out to with this type of segmentation will help you craft a more relevant message to the appropriate audience and will get you better engagement and overall response from your efforts.
Tell a story– Nothing is more impactful than story-telling, even in a short, punchy email. The story of your brand reinforces the value of your products and makes people fall in love with what you have to offer. Don’t forget about the story.
Give recipients a reason to respond – Whether it is value through a temporary discount, new news with the launch of a new line or product, or a compelling event - give them something to respond to in every email.
These days, a nod or endorsement from an influencer carries more weight than traditional advertising. Why? Because people are more inclined to act on the recommendations of sources they know, like, and trust.
This is why it pays to have an influencer strategy. Getting key individuals to recommend or talk about your brand can drive awareness, traffic, and ultimately, sales.
Bringing people into your showroom can feel daunting, but implementing some of these strategies can put you on the right track to success.