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Tag Archives: Retail

  • Welcome To The Grommet Wholesale Showroom!

    While browsing wholesale.thegrommet.com in the comfort of your home is nice, sometimes you want to see, touch, and feel products before you buy. That’s why The Grommet Wholesale has opened showrooms at AmericasMart, Las Vegas Market, and Dallas Market Center.

    In our showrooms you will be able to find new-to-market products and products that have proven to be best sellers in gift boutiques across the country. Every show cycle we feature new Makers to help you find those unique and innovative products that your customers have ever seen. Our Boston-based team will be in our showrooms to help answer any questions you may have and show you products that may be a good fit for your store.

    If you haven’t been to one of our showrooms yet, click on the video below to get an overview of our space at AmericasMart.

     

    The next Trade Show cycle is quickly approaching. Start planning your trip now and make sure you put The Grommet Wholesale on your list, we would love to see you! If you would like to schedule an appointment with someone for our team click here or email [email protected] 

    Upcoming Shows Dates:

    Dallas Total Home & Gift Market, June 19-25, 2019, TradeMart-1303

     

    Atlanta Summer Gift & Home Furnishings Market, July 9-15, 2019, Building 2, Floor 6, Showroom #612B

     

    Las Vegas Market, July 28-August 1, 2019, Building C, Showroom 1094

     

    NY NOW*, August 10 - 13, 2019, Level 2 across from Hudson News by the Roadway Entrance

     

    *NY NOW is a temporary booth

  • 5 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Gift Shop's In-Store Experience on a Budget

    As with most aspects of life, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a big impression. When designing your retail store layout, it’s more important to be efficient both in terms of cost and space than it is to blow your budget on unnecessary displays and products. Here are five simple ways to easily improve your in-store experience without breaking the bank.

    Less is more

    If working with limited square footage, it may sound counterintuitive, but decluttering your space will actually help eliminate overstimulation. Shoppers’ eyes are drawn toward cleaner displays that allow artisan gifts to shine, cutting down on the need to fill empty shelf space. This principle can be applied throughout the store, including at the register and in the window display.

     

    Light it up

    Drawing attention to you displays can be as simple as adjusting the lighting throughout the store. In addition to making sure all bulbs are working, the use of uplighting, spotlighting, and track lighting can all guide the customer visually to promotions and displays of featured products.

     

    Engage the senses

    Visual appeal is naturally at the top of any shop owner’s list, but don’t discount the other four senses that encourage customers to engage with the products, down to the music that pipes throughout the store. Free samples that you can touch and even taste are a small investment that go a long way, and you don’t have to be a parfumerie for your store to smell like anything other than cleaning products.

     

    Use resources you already have

    Chances are, you have accumulated a lot of creative packaging while stocking your store with wholesale artisan gifts. Rather than purchasing expensive shelving or display cases, put those empty crates and boxes to use by setting up a display or end cap, or even use old picture frames, corkboards, or hooks to display products in an eye-catching way.

     

    Think signage

    Printing and reprinting new signs for every promotion or sale can be an unexpected cost, so instead invest in chalkboards or even an electronic lightbox to display your rotating messages. What’s more, use QR codes for customers to scan to learn more about a product on your website rather than printing out bios for every new artisan.

  • What Campaigns Should You Be Running To Get People In The Door?

    Retail stores should not rely on inventory alone to get customers in the door. Think outside the proverbial packaging box, and start a campaign that is low cost but high payoff. Whether getting customers in the door for the first or hundredth time, there’s a method to match your store’s financial and time budgets. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

    Social media

    Sure, you post new product photos and share in-store promotions, but if you aren’t truly engaging with your customers on your social media accounts, you’re missing an opportunity to take your relationship to the next level. Aside from replying to questions and comments, even in the form of a direct message, run contests featuring unique hashtags that require followers to share on their own pages. The prize can be something as simple as a seasonal item that will get them in the door wanting more.

     

    Email campaigns

    Without being obtrusive, email campaigns can give those who choose to sign up extra incentive to visit your store. A monthly email to subscribers can quickly include any special events, new product highlights, a coupon, and links to social media handles without clogging inboxes. Signing up for the newsletter can easily be done on your store’s website, at the cash register, and promoted via social media.

     

    Loyalty program

    Discounts work to draw customers in, but repeat visitors will come back time and time again if they are members of a loyalty program. Money off future purchases or even access to an exclusive event in store or online can often entice customers to return for a repeat visit. Make the reward worthwhile and easy to obtain to motivate customers to reach it, such as free lifetime shipping.


    Giveaways

    Everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s from their favorite retail store. Give customers incentive not only to set foot in the store, but also to sign up for your email newsletters or follow your social media accounts by entering them to win even the smallest of trinkets. Even if they didn’t need to be present to win, they’ll have to stop by to claim their prize, and regular contests will only help to identify both loyal followers and product trends.

     

    In-store events

    Partnering with a local yoga studio or restaurant for an in-store event can be hosted after business hours without interrupting regular business operations. The same can be said for special ladies nights that bring in a local maker to teach calligraphy or even a craft beer or wine tasting. It’s a win-win-win for you, your customers, and the business with whom you’ve partnered. Engaging your customers with your products while offering expertise and advice will only make them want to come back to learn (and buy) more.

     

    Charity drives

    Take advantage of organizations that already exist and align with your store’s mission by sponsoring a local event or donating to a worthy cause that will get your company name in front of current and potential customers. Host an annual food or clothing drive, then offer a discount to customers who bring items to donate. Not only will it get traffic in the door, but it will also start a conversation worth engaging in.

  • The Risk Of Bringing In A New Product, And Why It's Important To Take That Risk

    It can be equally exciting and overwhelming when looking to update your inventory with new products. The desire to support local makers can often be overrun with seemingly endless options that may fly off the shelves or fall flat.

    AfterShokz— Bone Conduction Headphones

     

    So when and why is it important to take that risk, and better yet, how? Here are some sample scenarios and suggestions worth considering when weighing the pros and cons of ordering new products:

     

    Stay ahead of competition

    Don’t wait until you see a new product in a competitor’s store to decide whether or not to carry it. Rather, be the store worthy of emulating. By regularly freshening up your inventory with what’s new, customers will begin to think of your store as the go-to spot for unique gifts, whether browsing for themselves or for others, even if they don’t know what they want before visiting.

     

    Keep displays fresh

    The point of sale begins with foot traffic, starting with your window and sidewalk displays. Giving new products prime real estate will draw the attention of both current and potential customers alike while also making regular passersby feel like there’s always something new and exciting happening in your store, which there is and will be.

     

    Attract new customers

    Don’t think of introducing new products as replacing old ones. Fill shelving and product line gaps with a small batch of trial-runs that could diversify your inventory and, in turn, your customer base. Then, put those social media channels to good use promoting any new attention-grabbing products and lines.

     

    Increase customer loyalty

    Just like customers have brand loyalty, they will come to develop maker loyalty, so adding new products from makers you already carry will attract the eyes of your not-to-be-overlooked existing customer base. Likewise, a trusted partnership can also pay off for the retailer, maker, and distributor when it comes to learning about new products.

     

    Fill in the blanks

    Even tried-and-true products can feel stale to regular customers if not supplemented with complementary merchandise. Don’t even hesitate to pick the brains of those who are buying the staples from your merchandise to figure out what else they are buying or looking for at your store and others.

     

    Create demand

    Sites like The Grommet add new products every week, making it exciting to check back to see what makers are adding to the line. Similarly, the more often you update your inventory, the more often customers will be drawn back to see what’s new so they don’t feel like they’re missing out.

  • How Do You Become A Brand, Not Just A Retail Store?

    These days, people don’t just buy products; they buy brands. But don’t mistake brand identity for brand loyalty. Brand loyalty has become much more than just a tag or logo; it’s a lifestyle.

     

    So how do you take your retail store to the next level? By getting your customers involved every step of the way, of course. Here’s how:

    Tell your story

    If you started a camping store because you once hiked the Appalachian Trail solo, then make that your brand’s narrative. You’ll create the impression that you’re much more committed and devoted than your competition, while also instilling trust in the brands you carry (as long as your employees are experts on these products, too).

     

    Focus on in-store experience

    Customers should want to come to your store, not dread it. In other words, it should be a destination worthy of emulating. A fashion boutique that mimics a luxurious walk-in closet or a home goods store that oozes abode envy only makes your customers want to re-create that experience at home (using all your products, of course).

     

    Create curb appeal

    Don’t underestimate the power of seasonal window displays with an unavoidable sandwich board for passersby. And even if it’s not an actual sidewalk sale, moving merchandise outside will make pedestrians slow down at the very least. What’s more, a bike shop with a tire pump out front and a pet store with water dishes for dogs will all but force potential customers to stop and stay a while.

     

    Host events

    Bringing potential and existing customers into your store on a regular basis can be as easy as hosting a running or yoga group at your athleisure store every week or as extensive as a monthly calligraphy course at your stationery store. Even go a step further and create your own or piggyback on an annual holiday (National Grilled Cheese Day, anyone?). Engaging your customers with your products while offering expertise and advice will only make them want to come back to learn (and buy) more.

     

    Give back

    A win-win for customers to learn more about your background and mission is to partner with a local charity. Host an annual food or clothing drive, then offer a discount to customers who bring items to donate. Not only will it get traffic in the door, but it will also start a conversation worth engaging in.

     

    Social media presence

    While there is something to be said about connecting with your customers offline, crafting a social media presence online can’t go unnoticed. Start a blog that doesn’t pitch your products but rather tells a story, then use your social media accounts to make followers feel like they are getting insight into new products and events. Also be sure to respond to comments and questions, good and bad alike.

  • Shop For Your Store Online, Just Like You Shop For Yourself

    You’ve attended trade shows, scoured the internet, and followed all the hot social media influencers to keep on top of new products and trends. But as the first curated, online B2B e-commerce platform for the discovery of products made by independent Makers and small businesses, The Grommet is a digitally enabled way for brick-and-mortar stores to stock their shelves with the same ease of online shopping.

    In other words, The Grommet does all the heavy lifting to find things worth buying and are proven to sell so you don’t have to. Here’s a breakdown of the sections to browse by that’ll make your life as an entrepreneur easier and certainly more fun:

    Category

    Beyond the obvious lists of jewelry and kitchen accessories, products for your fitness-fanatic and budding-foodie customers go beyond the ho-hum gadgets and instead offer unique whatnots at all price points.

     

    Personal value

    Chances are, as a shop owner, your personal values align with the mission of your store. Whether you’re passionate about products made in the USA, made by independent Makers, or made sustainably, there’s a whole section of products that’ll seamlessly fit into your values and on your shelves.  

     

    Specialty shop

    Whatever your niche, there’s a collection to dial in your needs. Bookstores, garden stores, and even wine and spirits shops are one click away from a curated list of the nicknacks and in-betweens to round out your inventory and create eye-catching displays you’d be proud to feature.

     

    Gift type

    There’s the typical lists of him, her, and kids as recipients, as well as shopping by price point as low as $25 up to $200, but sorting by interest opens new gift-giving doors. Categories, such as gifts for the fashionista, techie, or outdoor enthusiast, will only help refine your search to quickly and efficiently stock your shelves based on both your customer profiles and demographics.

     

    Best sellers

    It goes without saying that the customers have spoken when it comes to best sellers. Take the guesswork out of what’s flying off the proverbial shelves by scrolling through a chronological list to connect the trending dots that make sense for your store and its customers.

     

    Curated collections

    Curated collections fill all those hard-to-find items that aren’t necessarily for a particular demographic but rather those impulse buys or must-have gadgets that solve everyone’s shopping quandaries, like a retail starter kit or products featured at annual trade shows.

     

    Shop locally

    The Grommet Wholesale lets you choose from Makers in your state of choice, 47 and counting. Each product page includes the maker’s story and even a product video, in addition to photos and customer reviews to help narrow down your decision.

     

    What’s new

    When you feel like you’ve exhausted all your options, check back to the Wholesale landing page to browse new products as they are added in real time—at least one new product every week, in fact. It takes less time than checking your social media feeds and is way more productive.

  • 8 Ways To Encourage Repeat Business For Your Store

    In a time of online retailers, it’s important not to overlook the power of a brick-and-mortar store. While getting foot traffic in the door might not be the issue, it’s keeping customers engaged and coming back that proves to be challenging. As the tried-and-true formula goes: Understand your customer base and target market, look for ways to differentiate from your competitors, remain relatable and relevant, repeat. Here are some ways to foster that relationship, no matter the type of shop:

    Image courtesy of Getty Images

     

    Focus on Service

    Simply put, shoppers are much more likely to become loyal customers if you offer a better experience than your competitors. Provide an extra service that shoppers can’t get elsewhere, like contacting shoppers when products that are out of stock become available or offering a generous return policy. What’s more, properly training staff to be knowledgeable about products and makers keeps both employees and customers happy. Click here to read our blog post on service.

     

    Create a loyalty program

    Discounts work to draw customers in, but repeat visitors will come back time and time again if they are members of a loyalty program. Money off future purchases or even access to an exclusive event in store or online can often make the difference between whether a consumer shops with you or a competitor. Make the reward worthwhile and easy to obtain to motivate customers to reach it.

     

    Engage online

    Whether in the form of a blog, social media post, or email newsletter that encourages discussion among its customers, you can produce easy-to-digest content geared toward your readers, such as how-to guides, product spotlights, or gift giving guides for specific holidays. You can also entice your customers with new products, best sellers, or in-store giveaways on social channels to get them to come back to your store.

     

    Think convenience

    Offering free in-store pickup or multiple payment options are just two quick and easy ways to make the shopping experience more pleasurable and less painful for the customer. Hire an in-store expert who can offer complimentary consultations on product usage or free alterations or customization with purchase. Think value, not price.

     

    Create comfort

    Shopping doesn’t have to be an in-and-out experience. Encourage customers to stay a while by setting up a lounge area with free Wi-Fi and a charging station. Set up sampling stations or other ways to engage with the products. Sure, it’s fun to try on clothes, but “try before you buy” can work equally well with crafts or even technology.

     

    Offer classes or groups

    A craft shop that offers a knitting group, a fitness retailer that organizes a running club, a craft brewery that hosts yoga, cooking classes at a specialty food store, calligraphy lessons at the local stationery store—these are all simple but fun ways to bring the same consumers back on a regular basis and get them in front of your products.

     

    Engage in the community

    Take advantage of organizations that already exist and align with your store’s mission by sponsoring a local event or donating to a worthy cause that will get your company name in front of current and potential customers. Name recognition, especially in a charitable way, certainly won’t hurt your cause.

     

    Enlist help

    When all else fails, hire a mystery shopper whose job it is to give honest and unbiased feedback about the shopping experience. Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh set of eyes to walk through the whole experience from storefront to transaction to share how and why the shopping experience can turn shoppers into lifelong customers.

  • 2018 Summer Trade Show Schedule

    The blue bins filled with samples are packed and stacked. Flights and Airbnbs are booked. And the merchandising plan is set. It’s time for the Summer Trade Show circuit.

    Starting next Monday, we’ll be crisscrossing the country with dozens of our best selling products. If you’re at any one of the shows listed below, make sure you stop by and say hello. We’ll have product demos, show specials, and, of course, our trademark Grommet Wholesale charm.

     

    Informal poll: should we start making tour date t-shirts like bands do? Leave your answer in the comments below.

    Before you leave, check out our six tips for conquering any trade show.

    And when you get back, learn about what you can do to promote your purchase and excite your customers about what's new. 

    Finally, follow the action of each show on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

  • Harness the Power of Social Media to Promote Your Purchase

    After spending hours searching for new products for your store and days spent anxiously awaiting their arrival, they’re finally in your hands and all you want to do is tell everyone about them.

    If you’re familiar with social media, you know just how easy it is to spread the word about your new arrivals, best sellers, and seasonal hits. But if you're not active on social media, here’s something to consider: it can be one of your biggest assets AND it’s easy.

    You may be hesitant to post your first picture, self-conscious of your follower count, or even nervous about how many 'likes' you get, but the easiest way to overcome those qualms is to just start. Simply taking 15 minutes out of your day to snap a picture & post it, can help in generating more of a following.

    Social media is a great opportunity for you to build your store’s brand and tell your story. It serves as an extension of your store and should be used with the goal of encouraging your current and prospective customers to visit you.

    Here are a few ways to do it.

    Continue Reading

  • As Retail Reaches Its Tipping Point, Double Down on Service

    If you’re a small business owner, much of the recent news surrounding retail is grim (see: boarded store fronts, ghost town malls, the internet consuming in-person sales). Retail, one of the largest contributors to our economy, is reaching its tipping point, and with each new acquisition made by an e-commerce giant, the tipping point draws nearer.

    The world of retail is changing. Technology has made it possible for goods to be delivered by drone, there’s no going back to the hey-days. But the rise of technology does not spell the end of Main St. and brick and mortar retailers, it just means it is time to adapt.

    In a world where technological convenience reigns, the only check on its pervasive rule is service—the strength of service can be flexed in many ways.

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