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How to Find New Customers Without Breaking the Bank

Websites for Small Business Owners | Sylvia Adams

Are you stuck trying to come up with a cost-effective way to drum-up more online sales offline? Then you may want to check out this week’s featured post from Constance Gustke at The NY Times. Gustke provides some choice “golden nuggets” on how a pop-up shop may be the best solution for emerging small businesses, both online and off.

Retail has been struggling to keep providing customers with unique enough experiences to make a visit to their store “worth the trouble”, but for online shop owners, the “pop-up” shop has proven to be a surprising advantage for them.

Pop-ups are a great way to test new products faster, garner additional sales, test possible retail locations and increase brand awareness without the hefty financial commitment of a full-blown store.

If you run a wholesale business or sell your products or services only online, you may have been frustrated from time-to-time about losing sales because the customer can’t touch, taste or feel what you have to offer.

Jane Mosbacher Morris who was a counterterrorism adviser for the State Department, turned to pop-up stores as a way to sell the jewelry, handbags and other items made by women in war-torn countries. Her website www.tothemarket.com has a good following, but Morris used “pop-ups” as a way to spread to word about the message by the products even faster.

Eyewear maker Warby Parker, used a converted school bus as their “pop-up” and toured the country for nearly a year to promote their products.

Other owners, in the post, formed partnerships with food makers and other artisans to host “events” in unusual spaces or with less conventional themes like a Valentine’s Day theme complete with chocolate sellers and message therapists or even “bourbon tastings” held in local breweries.

These “events” gave customers a chance to experience their brands in a way that simply can’t be done online.

The post also offers some key insights as to how the concept of a pop-up store can be profitable and build and unknown brand more quickly than ever before.

If you are looking for new business, check out how “Pop-Up Stores Thrive in a World of Failing Retailers” from the Entrepreneurship section of The New York Times.

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