We once received a shipment of picture frames that included a piece of pizza with a bite taken out of it. We all laughed at the thought of the warehouse worker wondering where his lunch went – but today we would have shared that funny anecdote on social media. We know that customers love inside stories from their favorite stores, and that platforms like Facebook and Instagram work best when the posts are partly human interest instead of just product announcements.

Why not let your followers see what goes on beyond your attractive sales floor?  A great way to start might be by showing one of your staff members unpacking the new styles of some of your most popular items.  In addition to giving a sneak peek of merchandise that will soon be on your shelves, you will be taking advantage of the hot trend of unboxing videos.

An unboxing video usually shows a consumer opening a package and narrating what they discover inside.  According to a marketing post by Jonathan Chang-Soon for Animoto, a search for the keywords “unboxing video” resulted in finding 3 billion videos online. Since wholesale shipments usually contain multiples of each product, you might want to stage yours by having just one of each featured item in the box for your staff member to reveal as they unpack it.

Most customers have no idea how much work goes into a window or in-store display. Using a timelapse video is easy to do on most smart phones. You’ll need a tripod to hold the phone steady over the long period of time. Keep in mind that a couple of minutes will result in a couple of seconds of video, so an hour of activity will result in a 2 ½ minutes of play back. Click here for some tips for getting started in this medium.

If you don’t want to make a video, you can of course also use photos to show your behind-the-scenes activities. Going to a trade show? Have someone take a photo of you and the vendors for the new lines you’ve discovered.  Treating your staff to a team-building social event? That’s something your customers wouldn’t normally know about when shopping in the store.  

People like to buy from people, and it’s especially important to put a human face on your business when your main competitor is an anonymous giant.  And who knows – if you make it look like fun to be part of your team, you might even gain some job applicants from your posts!

Happy retailing, 

Carol “Orange” Schroeder

Please note that there will not be a Specialty Shop Retailing blog post next week due to the New York NOW gift show. Hope to see you there!