3 Ways Boutiques Can Attract New Customers

As Spring heats up and the weather gets better, New England boutiques are entering a busy period. Whether you’re in a resort area or downtown in Small Town USA, the great weather brings more window shoppers and walking traffic.

So get ready to capture some of that traffic and turn walk-ins into repeat customers with these three tips.

Send Out Promotions via Text

Large online retailers have been investing heavily in social media ads. Your customers are being served up ads for shoes, tops, dresses and more that they have looked at online – so how does a local boutique compete with the ability to buy something with one-click?

The good news is that the sheer volume of these ads have made most users scroll on by.  And marketing emails from retailers? The vast majority are never opened.  But 99 percent of texts get read.

Create a VIP Group for your store and collect cellphone numbers. Send out occasional texts offering deals if customer come in to shop. These can be timed to new brands coming in, holidays, and other seasonal milestones.

Host Events

Any boutique owner who has ever attended our shows knows that shopping isn’t just about buying – it’s entertaining, too! Build on this and host events that bring people into your store.

Consider fashion shows (and partner with a community organization to raise money for charity – with a percentage of the proceeds from people shopping after the show going toward a donation.) Or a sip and shop, partnering with other local stores that complement but don’t compete with your inventory. You might also consider bringing in a self-care, or styling expert to run a workshop and offer a special deal on attendees who shop with you.

Online retailers cannot provide these types of local and personal experiences, so providing them to your community helps to differentiate your shop and build personal connections.

Whatever you decide to host, make sure to promote it on social media, reach out to local blogs and publications, and send out a text to your VIP Group list.

Be Like Starbucks – Create a Lounge Space with Wifi

Want to become a destination for locals? Offer a lounge space with WiFi in your store! Work from home moms, PTA volunteers, and affinity groups (think knitters, scrapbookers, and others) are always looking for a place to hang out. Why not bring them into your store where they can shop, too?

Turn your physical location into a competitive advantage over online shopping destinations by making your store a true, in real life, destination, and build loyalty and a relationship with your customers. And you have the added benefit of giving non-shoppers a place to hang out while their companion shops – giving them more time to browse and try things on, resulting in bigger sales.

We all know that shopping in person is way more satisfying than shopping online. With a little bit of ingenuity, you can ensure your New England boutique is capturing hearts, minds and sales!

Don’t forget to shop the New England Apparel Show for fresh inventory.

Join us May 21-23 for our next show. Buyer registration is open – and you can view all the brands and reps attending here.