Hello and welcome to KORONA! We’re here today to talk about starting
a new gift shop. Like any retail niche, gift shops or other
types of homeware stores have to find ways to separate themselves from others in the
crowd. Unfortunately, the crowd is only getting bigger. But it’s not as hard to stand out as you
might imagine. Through some creative gift shop marketing,
in-store merchandising, and general passion as a small business owner, you can learn how
to run a successful gift shop. First, gift stores are most commonly found
in areas teeming with tourists. They’re outside museum exhibits, inside
stadiums and arenas, and even at events and amusement parks. So wherever your gift shop is, focus on bringing
in products that tourists in the area would want. Of course, this is obvious. But it’s difficult to do it well. Consider scaling back the token shot glasses
or novelty rocks and add items that hold a more unique appeal. Consumers are tired of seeing the exact same
things in every gift shop. Surprise them with trinkets that they will
be excited to bring home to family and friends. Next, think about branding, Many gift store
products will be branded with designs from nearby attractions and sights. But don’t be afraid to brand yourself, too. Other products, like t-shirts or other apparel
items, might have both a nearby attraction and your retail store’s logo. If you do it right, your gift shop might even
turn into as big of a tourist attraction as the attractions that surround you. Take some inspiration from Wall Drug. It started as a gift shop for those on their
way to Mount Rushmore. Business was slow until the owners decided
to offer free ice water to tourists traveling across the Midwest in the summer heat. It quickly became a destination in and of
itself and now gets over 2 million visitors a year, nearly as many as its much more spectacular
neighbor. But don’t just offer touristy products. If you have the retail space, try to stock
your shelves with everyday items. Most tourists are traveling far from home,
often times for several days or even weeks. And many of them forget at least one or two
of these. A successful gift shop should be a one-stop
shop for those in the area. If there are accommodations nearby, you may
even be a daily stop for those staying in the area. Also be sure to carry a wide array of snacks
and drinks. People who are vacationing are more willing
to spend money on treats. Depending on the laws and regulations in your
location, it might be wise to sell wine and beer as well or even to start a quick-service
restaurant on your premises. Again, find ways to add convenience for tourists
in the area. You may even get new regulars, even if they’re
only regulars for a week. Next, pricing. Gift shops, in general, have the reputation
of being outrageously priced for products that are typically inexpensive. Don’t let that define your shop. Real estate next to tourist attractions will
naturally be higher, so fair pricing is typically slightly more than your average market, but
don’t lose new shoppers because you’re trying to gouge them. One great way of doing this is by offering
creative bundled deals. It’s rare that someone goes to a gift store
for just one item. Remind them of what else they need by grouping
similar items together. Adding a discount to these purchases is even
better. They’ll be excited to save a bit of money
on the boring stuff and spend more on your bigger gift shop items. A little creative marketing like this can
go a long way. Keep your displays fresh and clean across
the retail space. Displays are meant to draw in customers and
highlight a few products that you want to move quickly. Spend time sprucing up the display areas with
new designs, products, and colors. Use your great staff to help with the process. These projects are a great way to get everyone
involved and discover hidden talent and ambition. Another item to consider is your inventory. Gift shops can often feel tired and uninspired. But remember that many of your customers are
on vacation and excited to be exploring something new. Get on their level and be excited about what
you sell. The best way to ensure this is to rotate your
products. At the very least, most items should be cycled
through seasonally: stock your shelves with more hoodies and beanies during the winter;
sell ice cream and frozen drinks during hot summer months. Try to mix up products in other ways, too. A/B test an array of items to see which sell
better at different times or in different areas of your store. Use your inventory management tools to better
identify each product’s performance. Choosing the right technology is important,
too. Like any modern retail store, integrating
technology into your store is a must. While loyalty programs and customer resource
management tools might not be as critical for your business type, you absolutely need
solid inventory management, sales reporting, and product analytics. These should all be found in your gift shop
POS system, along with retail metrics like revenue, gross and net margins, sales conversions,
and more. A great solution will help your small business
in ways you never thought possible. You’ll never have nightmares about your
inventory again. Finally, offer your shoppers some additional
services. Providing these in addition to your products
can push your store to another level. It shows your customers how much you care
and how well they are taken care of. It will certainly set your gift shop apart
from your competitors. Gift wrapping is a good option if you have
shoppers looking for holiday gifts for family and friends back home. Coffee and pastries go a long for tired tourists
that just a little added convenience. Tour information or guides and maps allow
you to interact with your shoppers on a more personal level and help foster partnerships
with neighboring small businesses. Events and presentations are fun to put on
and show your pride in the history and culture of your home. These are just a few ways to get started. At KORONA, we’ve worked with many gift stores
over the years and have software designed specifically for your business. To learn more, sign up for a free trial and
one of our great team members will walk you through a demo of the software. You can upload your own data and play around
with each feature for as long as you’d like. This allows you to know exactly what our product
is and how it works before even spending a cent. So try it out today! Thanks for visiting, and for more retail advice,
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