It’s always been important to bring in fresh merchandise so that shoppers have a good reason to come into your store frequently.  Even though our shop is limiting customers due to COVID-19, we are still working hard to constantly update our selection.  But without frequent visitors, it’s a challenge to share the excitement of the latest arrivals with our customer base.

We are using social media and email blasts to help spread the word about new items, and constantly adding products to our website for curbside pickup.  It is generally accepted that Facebook and Instagram posts should primarily focus on social sharing rather than advertising products, so it’s important to have a personal sense of excitement accompany this information.  Facebook Live events are a great way to convey your enthusiasm for new products.

There are three main types of announcements regarding merchandise that seem to be effective:

  1. Coming Soon! It’s worked for movies for decades, and it works for retailers too. Create preorder excitement with a post about something new that you know will be arriving in a short time. We recently posted about a Dr. Fauci ornament we’re getting next week, and created some buzz without even seeing it ourselves.
  2. Introducing! Talk about a new line or product, and explain why customers are going to love it.  If the product solves a problem that shoppers may be experiencing, be sure to talk about that.  We have “COVID-keys” on order, and we know that many of our customers haven’t heard about them – but will want one when we post that they’re in the store.
  3. Now Back in Stock! Share the good news that a popular product is back on your shelves – especially if you have a waiting list looking forward to when you get more inventory in.  It’s been hard to get SodaStream cartridges during the pandemic, and we just made lots of people happy by announcing that some had arrived.

An effective way to announce items on Facebook is to upload at least three or four photos.  Customers may well be willing to scroll through the album you create if they are intrigued by the first images shown in their feed.  With Instagram, use Stories to post multiple related images one after another.

Some of the shops I follow post unpacking videos showing new merchandise as it comes out of the box.  The experience of unpacking merchandise may not feel that exciting to you, but consumers love watching this process. In fact, if you Google “unboxing videos,” there are over 103 million hits!  Customers feel more of a personal connection with your store if you constantly let them know you’re working hard to bring in new merchandise you hope they’ll love.

Happy Retailing, 

Carol “Orange” Schroeder

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