What would make you want to go shopping at a local store instead of online? An enjoyable shopping experience can be the single largest differentiator between online and offline shopping. Retailers who provide not only one-of-a-kind service but also host events that bring like-minded people together position their store as a part of their community.
When Accenture surveyed 1,500 consumers it found that 75% were more likely to buy from a retailer that recognized them by name, recommended products to them based on past purchases, or knew their purchase history.
Supporting your retailers with in-store events is vital to engaging local communities and ultimately, creating dedicated customers.
Brands can get involved in these events through sponsorship, sales rep attendance, or creating incentives and directions around new campaigns. Brands that participate in local events:
- Show that they care about their retailers
- Get to know their consumers
- Have the opportunity to make a difference
- Help retailers grow their local presence and create a community (which will create repeat customers and sales!)
We gathered some of our favorite examples of community events hosted by retailers as a source of inspiration!
Partner with Local Nonprofits
The Gray Mill, Logansport, IN
“In my community, 50% of children are living in poverty with severe food insecurities. “Headboards 4 Hunger” came from that need. The first Gray Mill fundraiser we hosted had more than 300 people come through, countless smiles on the faces of adults and kids alike. I turned the front half of the store into the North Pole, snow globes and all. I transformed our bedding department into a “drive-in movie theater.” One of the best moments of my life was walking into that bedding room and seeing over 50 kids lounging on our beds watching the movie, laughing, and making new friends.
The most outstanding part was that we raised over $3,200 for the Logansport Backpack Program, and that money was used to fund a full month of food for children with food insecurity.”
“Every event we host benefits a local nonprofit. A few years ago, we started The Denali Foundation so that we could dictate when and where we donate. We base this on where we see a need, with a strong focus on causes and organizations that get kids outdoors, like the Common Ground High School and Environmental Education Center. Twice a year we do a gauntlet race that benefits the New Haven Parks and Rec Eco Adventure Camp and the Soundview Family YMCA. Rock the Gauntlet each spring provide a Denali Foundation scholarship to a dozen or so children to attend Eco Adventure Camp where they can get outside and experience paddle boarding, white water rafting, scuba diving, and more, sometimes for the first time.The 2017 race was sponsored by The North Face, Smartwool, Merrell, and GoPro.”
Host a Race
Tahoe Mountain Sports, Truckee, California
“We host the Truckee Running Series, which are five summer races that raise funds for the Auburn Ski Club. For our running and race events, we draw people from all around the country and have larger brand sponsors, like Osprey, The North Face, and Salomon.”
Community Pint Nights
“We hold Pint Nights with brands with beer, wine, food, live music and prize raffles. With a suggested $5 donation for participants and the help of our brands, we pick a local nonprofit that either helps kids get outside or helps protect public lands. Smartwool helps pay for pint glasses and food for the event and brands will often donate items to raffle. Our store staff will also go out into the community and ask for donations for raffle items from local businesses. It’s a real group effort with our brands and our local community.”
Teach the Community about Your Specialty
Redwood Trading Post, Redwood City, CA
“In partnership with outdoor education programs at local schools, Redwood Trading Post works alongside educators in encouraging youth to enjoy nature while emphasizing sustainability and environmental awareness. Jim, Redwood Trading Post’s store manager, hosts on-site informational meetings with school staff, administrators, and parents about essential equipment and attire necessary for outdoor adventures.”
Promote a Brand Campaign
Legend Nissan, Syossett, NY
“We host in-store events. These are mostly events that we establish via an online promotion and in a digital atmosphere, like a President’s Day or holiday event. We promote these events through Facebook and other social media channels. Anyway we can bring them into the store.
For example, Nissan had a Star Wars: Rogue One event. We promoted the heck out of that online, which drove in all kinds of customers. We showed them the limited edition Star Wars: Rogue One car at our dealer location and gave out the free keychains. It brought tremendous exposure to us and other Nissan dealers!”
Drive Sales Through Community Events During Offseason
Tahoe Mountain Sports, Truckee, California
“Some of our events are community focused and happen during the offseason. We love being able to get people in the store during the transition times to give them an idea of products that are seasonally curated, outside of the main sport season wares.”
Organize a Weekly Bike Ride or Happy Hour
Cadence Cyclery, Texas
“We host our own Saturday morning group ride every week to get people out and on their bikes. Attendance can range from five to 70 riders. The last Friday of every month we partner with TUPPS Brewery to host an in-shop happy hour. It’s a great off-the-bike event to get people to come into the store, get to know us and get involved in the shop and our products.
That is one thing we pride ourselves on. We might provide large brands, but we also provide old-school customer service and want to make sure our customers end up on the right bikes. We want to show that in our content.”
Ready to Get Started with In-Store Events?
When brands and retailers work together, everyone benefits! Retailers are often already hosting many of their own events and are open to bringing you in or creating a new one around your brand. Reach out to them and watch your connection within local communities grow.
Interested in becoming an even better brand partner for your retailers? Request a demo of Promoboxx today and find out how to help drive local awareness and in-store sales.