Running a successful gift shop is a process that’s full of challenges. You’ll face competition from other brick and mortar stores as well as from ever-popular online retailers. To beat the competition, you must be willing to think outside the box and distinguish yourself. There are many gift shop business ideas that can give you an advantage. These ideas include narrowly tailoring merchandise to specific niches, taking new approaches to marketing, offering eye-catching promotions that are exclusive to your shop, and adjusting operational costs to improve profit margins.
Narrow Your Merchandise Focus to Cater to a Niche Market
Don’t try to attempt to accommodate an overly wide base of consumers. Instead of overspending on a broad spectrum of merchandise, find something that your gift shop excels at and become known as go-to location for that product or service. Hand crafted items or local specialties are just two product suggestions that will make shoppers go out of their way to patronize your shop.
Additionally, a narrower merchandise focus may allow you to limit the number of vendors you work with. With fewer vendors, you can cut down on paperwork and tracking, as well as the mistake of over-ordering to meet minimum order requirements. Plus, taking large orders from fewer vendors may allow you save money with bulk discounting.
Adjust the Way You Do Business to Save Money on Operating Costs
Oftentimes the most successful gifts shops aren’t necessary making significantly more in gross sales. Successful retail businesses don’t just focus on the top line; they also keep a close eye on the bottom line. Healthy profit-margins can allow your business to expand and stand out against competitors. Trimming expenses doesn’t need to involve painful, substantial changes to how you do business.
One way to cut down on operating costs is by limiting employees that perform jobs that you could do themselves. You can also switch to energy efficient lighting, saving as much as 50% of your energy bill by moving away from standard light fixtures. Evaluate your vendors to determine whether they’re providing the best value for your business. Identify payment processors that include equipment and repairs with the service agreement while comparing the prices. You may be able to save money by switching to a new payment processor.
Offer One-Of-A-Kind Promotions that Drive Sales
A third gift shop business idea that will make you stand out from the competition is maintaining a robust promotions calendar. Every week your shop should have some sort of promotional event planned, whether a small in-store event, new product premiere, or social media advertisements. You’ll be well-prepared for promotions when you map out holidays and plan promotions weeks in advance. You can also consider producing promotional products to help your business grow more than your competition, this can have an impact because it gets people talking about your brand. From personalized pens and key rings to printed wristbands. These are all different ways of promoting your business, increasing your clientele and setting yourself apart from other companies in your area.
Holiday events are important opportunities to distinguish your business and drive sales. While you don’t need to offer a promotion for every holiday, you should plan for those which align with your products. The biggest retail holidays like Christmas, Black Friday, and President’s Day should always be on your calendar, but also consider mixing it up with silly holidays like International Talk Like a Pirate Day or Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day. When your promotions are eye-catching, exciting, and memorable, you’ll put your business at a distinct advantage over the competition.
Find New Ways to Approach Your Business Marketing
Your marketing practices play an important role in setting your gift shop apart from competitors. An excellent idea for attracting customers into your store is by hosting exclusive events. Shopify suggests that major events should be held once a month, accompanied by two minor events over that time. These exclusive events give consumers a reason to patronize your store instead of shopping online or at other brick and mortar gift shops. Even if they only come for the event, filling up your shop with new visitors will inevitably lead to sales increases. Additionally, it provides visitors with an experience they connote with your business, which increases visibility and name-recognition.
It’s also important to connect with the local community. When you are an important part of the local economy, shoppers will prioritize shopping at your business over large chains or online competition. When shoppers feel a sense of attachment to a business, they’re more likely to go out of their way to shop their or even spend more money.
These gift shop business ideas are simple yet effective ways to get an advantage over the competition. Between raising your business’s profile in the community, offering promotions and deals that make consumers excited and brings customers in the door, and maximizing the efficiency of your operating costs, these ideas will put your business at an advantage against online competitors as well as rival brick and mortar locations.