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Marketing Tips for Gift and Toy Stores

Jun 02, 2017


Running a specialty store that sells gifts and toys is fun, but marketing a small store can have its challenges, especially when you’re going up against larger, more well-known chain stores and online stores with a big, overwhelming presence. How do you get the attention that your store deserves? How do you make your business stand out? There are many ways to market a smaller gift and toy store and let people know your business is special. Take some steps to ensure local business comes your way, and with the right word of mouth, you’ll get out of town business, too! First, make sure you’re offering unique, interesting items that customers can’t get anywhere else! Then, the rest is up to marketing, promotion, and advertising!

Get the Word Out!

The number one rule when it comes to marketing is getting exposure. Getting your company’s name out there is the first priority. These days, there are many ways to do that. You could go the old school route, and print up business cards, advertise in the local newspapers, take out a commercial on public television, and pay for billboards. Another creative idea is to create a display window in a place many people will see it, such as office buildings or local businesses. Another idea is to print up promotional merchandise, such as T-shirts, pens, and notepads with your shop’s name on them and hand them out freely.

When it comes to internet marketing, the sky is the limit! Create a website for your store, have a presence on social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and create a blog discussing your products. You could even start a YouTube channel talking about new items, how to use/play with items, and special events in your store.

Offer Benefits

Some stores offer many benefits to keep customers coming back, such as a loyalty program, in-store coupons, a discount for referrals, etc. Think of some benefits you can offer your customers to keep them coming back. This could be anything from a first look at new products to a discount on certain items, and even deeper discounts with referrals or frequent purchases. Make your customers happy and keep them purchasing your products again and again! Give them benefits they can’t get at some big chain store or internet retailer. 

Get Creative with Events

If people aren’t shopping, bring them in with special events. Bring in entertainment for kids. Storytellers, balloon artists, face painters, toy demonstrators. Events are a fun way for the public to see what you sell, and for kids to get hands-on experience with your toys. Hold contests, drawings, and giveaways, and make your store the most fun place to be on a constant basis! Seasonal events are a great idea, and you can offer certain deals for Christmas, offer board game nights or toy demo nights, offer classes for crafting, or even have a special room that can be rented out for parties or showers. 

Become a Community Fixture

Becoming well-known in your community will quickly garner interest. Take part in community fundraisers, donate products to local raffles and giveaways, and always be on hand for community events, parades, markets, and other events. Give speeches at the local collage and high school about owning a small business or business promotion. Have open houses and serve refreshments, offer giveaways, and meet people in your community. Join the Chamber of Commerce in your city. Always donate items to charity, and become a fixture in your community. People always want to support a friendly, familiar face!