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5 Marketing Tips for Promoting Your Gift or Toy Store

Mar 05, 2018


When you’re running an independent toy store or gift shop, you’re in charge of doing the marketing yourself. If you’ve just opened and are trying to get the business off the ground, you must get the word out about your store. If your shop has been around for a while, you must promote the things you have to offer to keep customers coming back for more. Here are some ideas to help you market your store.

Host a Drawing

People love to win prizes, especially if it doesn’t take much to enter into the drawing. Naturally, the prizes should be exciting. For example, you could raffle off gift certificates for your store. This allows the winners to purchase whichever products they like, and it encourages them to come back to the shop. The amount for the gift certificate should be high enough to make it worth it. If you’re selling a lot of trinkets for a couple of dollars, a $10 gift card would go a long way. Instead of raffling off one grand prize, you could also offer more prizes with smaller values.

It’s a good idea to connect the drawing in a way that allows you to contact the customer later. For example, anyone who visits your store could participate if they join your mailing list. People who make a purchase at the same time could get an additional entry in the drawing (or more than one, depending on how much they spend). This will help you build a customer list quickly. Then all you need to do is keep up with the mailing list and send them special offers to entice them to come back.

Start a Kid Contest

Which child doesn’t want to participate in a contest, especially if they can win a toy they really like or a gift certificate to their favorite toy store? When you hold a contest that’s geared toward the different age groups your toys appeal to, word will spread – especially if it’s easy to enter and participate. You could host a drawing contest or a create essay writing contest for older kids. To make it fair, you should have prizes awarded to each age category. It’s also important that you get the parents’ permission for their child’s participation. At the end, you can proudly display the winners in your store.

Partner Up

There is a growing trend to shop local. Many people in your town want to support the small businesses. If they’re purchasing from you, they’re probably also buying from other local businesses in town. This is your chance to partner up to help your business and another local company to get more customers. It’s easy to set up a referral program like that. You can simply hand out coupons to your partner store with every receipt, and they can do the same for you. Ideally, you’ll want to partner with other stores that appeal to the same demographic without being direct competitors. For example, you can partner with a children’s clothing store.

Contact the Press

Writing a press release takes some skill, but it could be worth your time. Instead of trying to contact national papers, you should keep it local. Most local newspapers are always looking for something of interest to write about. If you’re telling them that your business is struggling because of other major retailers in the area, they’re likely to talk about it. It’s the essential David versus Goliath story, which always appeals to the readers. When you combine some of these marketing tips, David has a good chance of winning this round, too! You could let the press know when you’re hosting a contest, because this is also of interest to local readers. Don’t be afraid to let them know what’s going on. The worst that could happen is that they decide not to print a story about you.

Optimize Your Signage

Is your store easy to find, or do people seem surprised when they walk in? If many of your customers just happened to stumble in or didn’t even realize your store was there, it’s time to update your signage. In addition to refreshing your letters at the front of the store, you may want to invest in a larger sign by the curb or a billboard up high. Which one makes more sense depends on your location. Curbside signs are great for attracting walk-in traffic and can be seen on residential streets or smaller streets. Tall signs are necessary if you’re located off the interstate – otherwise nobody will notice you’re there as they speed by.