Just last week, I went to a book fair with my wife. I have no intention to buy anything there, just accompanying my wife to “satisfy” her needs to spend. 🙂 I was just wandering around, looking how the booths publish their products, how the arrangement of the books or goods, how the sales person sell or introduce the products to potential customers. And well, I just decided to jot down a few observations from the book fair and maybe just share with you all nowadays how they market and sell their products. Also, how a little creativity played in this buying and selling game that may give you all some inspiration. Hopefully this post helps.
To my surprise, I saw a lot of personalized stationary out there on the booths. Some examples are Stapler that you can customize your own design for easier identification, sticky tape dispenser that you can put your own picture, marker pen specifically for drawing designs on shoes, etc. These kind of products does not exist in the market 10 years ago!
So why we see this? Products now are prone to more personal-touch approach, as they know customer’s feeling of ownership matters. Customer’s ability to customize following their own needs would yield in better engagement with the merchant, thus creates a loyalty. Loyal customers which means they will be a returned customer in future, thus secure your revenue.
Example on the sticky tape dispenser, the sales person was doing the design on the spot using Canva designer. He helped the customer to design, then print out the picture, cut out, then put onto the dispenser. And you can see customer’s happy face in return.
2. Sell In Bulk
Now this is not a new method of increasing sales, but what attracts me is that how the sales person actually convince the potential customers to buy in bulk. I do noticed that a lot of glue merchant actually trying to sell the glue in bulk. I mean, how many glue do you need in a semester? There’s certainly some other alternative to replace glue when you want to “stick” two things together, right? What came to my mind were cooked rice, stapler and saliva (yeah, old way). But why do I need to buy a dozen of glue and keep in my house?
I believe the marketing game that they’re playing is not focus on how the customer will use the glue. Well, the merchant won’t really care right? (maybe second priority) So their pitch is they attract prospects by telling they’ll save $xx by buying xx amount of glue. It’s the lowest price in town during this promotion period. Then they demonstrate how good is their glue in sticking both paper together and anytime you can separate both papers without leaving a mark. They further tell kids easily used up glue or lost the glue, so better buy more now to have a peace of mind. Well played.
3. Free Gifts / Lucky Draw
People always say nothing is free in this world. And that’s the reason when someone is giving you something free, you tend to obsess with it. Free stuff is always a good bait or hook to lure new customers as this will make them feel privileged and honored. It’s also a way to let customer thinks it’s worthy. With the already cheaper price and promotion, plus there’s free gift, there’s no reason not to buy right?
Some booths there’s no banner or advertisement saying there’s a free gift, but when there’s customer intended to buy, they personally offer free gifts in the attempt to get the customer to spend more. “If you buy more, I’ll give you this free gift. Or if you also take this stationary, I’ll exclusively give you this free gift plus a chance for lucky draw!” That’s how the sales person tease and pitch you.
Ultimately the merchant get an improved sales per customer. Of course, in my opinion the free gifts should be similar category item which is related to the product, or it will actually complement the product which actually make more sense. Example, if you buy 3 packets of cookies I’ll give you a free container.
Well, this probably the most effective way of getting sales. I observed there’s a lot of booths which have demonstration on the products they want to sell. Demonstration can be the form of live demonstration, or it can just be a video on how people use their product for certain purpose. This not only educate customers how to correctly use the product, it also showed a “prove” on how this products will work for them.
Example, I saw the demonstration about the water-resistant art marker. They purposely recruit an artist to sit on the booth and then use the art marker to draw a personalized patterns on a plain white shoe. This not only able to attract the crowd to gather at the booth (increase traffic), it also demonstrate the capability of the art marker what it can do (prove it works), as well as it gives a confidence to the customer that they also can do the same (personalization). Final product needless to say, it’s a colourful pair of shoe.
Another way is to let customer “demonstrate” their own. Meaning the merchant leave some samples stationary like pens for customer to try out. Customer will test and feel their own how good the product is, as well as determine whether they like the product or not. This usually comes with a sales person at the side to further persuade the customer to buy more at better discounts, or the sales person may get involved to suggest a different product range to suit customer’s needs.
5. Health Trend
People nowadays are getting more health-conscious than ever. We want to live healthily and able to enjoy every moments in our life and not lying on a hospital bed. That’s where this book fair brought in some of the “irrelevant” products to sell. Well, I can say this really works well as an up-sell strategy to boost sales.
Example, hammer massage tool, it’s used to massage your body so that you will not feel tired and body pain after a workout. It’s not really related to book fair, but this small product is selling at cheap price, hand-held and easy to use. I can see a lot of customers are picking it up and put onto their cart. If you think deeply, it can be a complementary product to the readers, because heavy-readers may actually experience shoulder pain and they do need some sort of relief. You can see this product is going for health conscious thought in the first place.
I also see a booth selling plastic BPA-free water bottles. There’s nothing unusual at this booth, except it displays a so-called research statement reminding people to change their plastic water bottle every year to reduce the risk of bacteria growing in the bottle. Again, I’m not too sure if this statement is true, but it does gives a heads-up to customers and get them ready to buy their plastic bottles.
So… what are you trying to say?
Okay, enough of the story. So here are some take-away from this observation of mine and how it related to marketing online.
- Customers like personalized items. E.g. customized message on drinking mugs
- Increase your sales per order by giving more discounts in bulk buy. E.g. buy 6 and get 30% discount
- Free items should be a complement to the primary product that you sell. E.g. buy pencils free pencil box
- Show demonstration videos to help promote the product. E.g. step-by-step how to use a fold-able shopping bag
- Focus on solving customer’s problems. Health-consciousness is increasing and product related to health will sell best. E.g. healthy herbs soup cook book
That’s it for now. Hope you enjoy reading and able to get some inspiration for your online business. Do leave me some comments below if you have something to say. Appreciate your feedback.