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David vs Goliath: How to Compete, And Beat, The On-Line Giant. 100 Proven Promotions For Brick & Mortar Retailers

David vs Goliath: How to Compete, And Beat, The On-Line Giant. 100 Proven Promotions For Brick & Mortar Retailers

Автором David Garofalo

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David vs Goliath: How to Compete, And Beat, The On-Line Giant. 100 Proven Promotions For Brick & Mortar Retailers

Автором David Garofalo

342 pages
2 hours
May 12, 2019


In this age of Amazon, Google, and online ordering, sometimes it's hard to remember the days of brick and mortar stores, when you could walk into a physical store, and touch, see, smell the food, clothes, books. Brick and mortar (or B&M, as we will refer to it in this book), are those retail businesses that are located in an actual building (as opposed to an online retailer, or e-tailer, who rarely has a physical location for shoppers to visit). Retailers today no longer have the biggest inventories, best selections or best prices. Brick & Mortar retailers don't have the best hours of operation and cannot compete with the giant on-line retailers or can they? Yes they can, but they need to change the game, and play to the advantages they have and there are many advantages and strengths that must be utilized to not just compete, but beat the on-line giant. In this book you will learn 100 proven promotions and lots of advise and wisdom to win.
May 12, 2019

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David vs Goliath - David Garofalo

Print ISBN: 978-1-54396-637-4

eBook ISBN: 978-1-54396-638-1

Copyright © 2019 by David Garofalo

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the author, David Garofalo, 304 South Broadway, Salem, New Hampshire 03079 or email at dave@2GuysCigars.com

Printed in the United States of America


In this age of Amazon, Google, and online ordering, sometimes it’s hard to remember the days of brick and mortar stores, when you could walk into a physical store, and touch, see, smell the food, clothes, books. Brick and mortar (or B&M, as we will refer to it in this book), are those retail businesses that are located in an actual building (as opposed to an online retailer, or e-tailer, who rarely has a physical location for shoppers to visit). The booming retail world we know today began humbly, growing from vendor stalls in settlements, where merchants sold or traded agricultural produce, clay pots and handmade clothing.

That concept evolved with ambitious settlers who moved to the middle of the prairie and opened general stores which formed the backbone of the retail economy in the United States. As the country grew, so too did the need for more shopping options, like full grocery stores and clothiers. Ready-made items became a product of the industrial age, opening an entirely new world to people who needed dresses, shirts, blankets, dishes—already created and sitting on store shelves.

The first official retail store in the United States was Brooks Brothers (known then as D.H. Brooks and Company), built in 1818, four decades after the United States itself was born. Brooks Brothers must have done something right, because they are still in business today. Other well-known retail giants were also founded in the 1800s. Many have stood the test of time, others are struggling or went out of business. Some of the oldest legacy retail giants that were founded in the 19th century include:

Lord & Taylor, 1826

Macys, 1858

Bloomingdales, 1861

Sherwin-Williams, 1866

Saks Fifth Avenue, 1867

Montgomery Ward, 1872

Barnes & Noble, 1873

Foot Locker, 1878

Target, 1881

The Kroger Company, 1883

Sears, Roebuck & Co., 1888

Abercrombie & Fitch, 1892

Kmart, 1899

It wasn’t until the early part of the 21st century when things at the retail level really started to change. As soon as the internet was introduced to the world, it was only a matter of time before smart companies monetized their online presence. This new e-commerce world shifted sales transactions to the internet, and quickly started taking away sales from the B&M retailer.

This first e-commerce retail began in 1984 with Tesco, a British multinational general merchandise retailer with headquarters in Hertfordshire, England. Tesco became the first B2C (Business to Consumer) online shopping system when Mrs. Snowball, a seventy-two-year old grandmother ordered margarine, cornflakes and eggs to be shipped to her home. She made this online order as part of a council initiative to help the elderly.

In the U.S., Book Stacks Unlimited started the first e-commerce business 1992 at www.books.com, selling books online with credit card processing. Today that website is owned by Barnes & Noble.

In a relatively short period of time, total retail e-commerce sales across the world has reached $3 trillion. Were all those sales taken away from the B&M retailer? Is the rise of e-commerce threatening the existence of the traditional retail stores? I don’t think so, but B&M retailers need to be aware of their market, and adapt as necessary. Maybe that means changing the way they run their shops, making a shift in their product mix or simply operating differently than they had in the past. The one thing that won’t work is playing the pricing game that online discounters are engaging in right now, because that could lead to the B&M demise.

If you, as a B&M shop owner, try to compete with lowest price and biggest selection the e-tailer offers, you will lose. No longer can the B& M claim we have the biggest and best selection at the best prices because they don’t, it’s just that simple. The best selection is online, with every item and every color in stock right now. Almost every time, there is someone selling the same product as you for less money. A B&M just can’t compete with the e-tailers’ buying power, giant warehouses of inventory and the fierce competition of the online marketplace (sometimes against the very manufacturer of the product). Sometimes the manufacturer is selling directly to the end user, who used to be your customer. Is all hope lost? Not at all. It just requires a rethinking of strategy, and to work smarter, not harder. B&M retailers need to play to their own strengths, which are totally different than those of online retailers.

There’s one major advantage B&M has that online retailers will never have—our customers can use all their senses in the shopping experience. With online retailers, you can see beautiful pictures of the products with carefully laid out dimensions, 3-D imagery, and all the comparison information you never knew you needed. But what you can’t do is touch, smell, hear, or taste the merchandise.

That is the edge that B&M has—an edge they need to exploit as much as possible. The B&M retailer needs to be great at what the online shop can’t ever be good at, and deliver what the consumer can’t get on their computers or cell phones.

Start with a clean, well-lit store, with a friendly staff that plays to the Cheers theory: where everyone knows your name. Add to that pleasant music, live interaction, and tremendous customer service. Be sure to capitalize on all the senses that the consumer is missing in their online shopping:

Seeing a product face to face as opposed to a picture often gives you a better image than you expected. Have you ever bought something online and were surprised when you received it? Was the product smaller, flimsier, duller, than you expected? Those are qualities you can see and determine in a B&M store.

Hearing is often underrated but vitally important. If the product has any sound including motor noise, mechanical sounds, or even a simple beeping, that’s something you can’t ascertain in the online experience. Try out the product in the store. Is it too loud? Too soft? Just right?

Smelling is something you can’t do online (yet). So, take advantage of that and be sure customers can smell the coffee beans, the perfume, or the flowers. Be sure your location capitalizes on clean, fresh aromas of your product.

Taste is another sense that can’t be done online and another powerful opportunity to use it every chance you can. From sample tables to tasting menus, be sure to allow customers that sensory experience. There’s a reason major companies have representatives handing out samples of everything from lunch meat to breakfast cereal—consumers like the taste and make an immediate purchase.

Touch is a hugely important part of the buying experience. Is the blanket soft or scratchy? The jeans stiff or comfortable? The dish smooth or rough? Touch involves so many elements too, including pressure perception, heat and the absence of heat (cold), and texture.

I’d like to add a sixth sense to this mix—feeling. Feeling is not the same as touching; it’s an experience. The feeling I’m talking about is the warm joy that a person can receive in the B&M environment that the online e-tailer can’t provide with a cold, distant website. Compassionate, kind, thoughtful and sympathetic is not something that can happen on a video monitor, but you and your staff can provide that atmosphere. Customers return to stores that make them feel important and special.

The B&M retail experience must be better than sitting at home and clicking a button. It must motivate the customer to get off their couch and go to your establishment. To help make this happen there must be a form of retail-tainment which is a cross between retailing and entertainment. That’s what this book helps you deliver—a reinvention of a staid, predictable B&M environment with fun, interactive attention-getters. In a word…Promotions!

Some of the promotional events detailed in this book are new, some are decades old, and some are even centuries old. Some promotions have been tweaked with new twists and turns, but all are proven winners that I have personally tested, experienced or developed over my forty years in retail sales. Some can be used as they are and some may need to be adapted to work in your shop but they are all worth a try. Not only will these tools—because that’s what marketing and promotions are, tools of the trade—get your customers engaged, but they will also give your staff an additional means of socializing with your customer, thereby building a friendly and fun environment.

Be open to trying new techniques, because your goal is the same as mine—to help you make a successful financial change in your business, one that lasts for years to come. This book is compiled with plenty of real-life case studies, along with some words of wisdom and experience to help you make the most of all the ideas in these pages.

We’ve made it easy by including a prep list, an overview, and some hints and tips for making the promotions in these pages work for you. In addition, you’ll find retail wisdom sprinkled between the pages—insights into the retail world that I have learned over my years in business and share to help you utilize those strategies for success too! So, get ready to take your business to the next level by building stronger customer relationships and wider word of mouth!

Remember: It was small businesses that built our country, from one general store to the behemoths that anchor malls across America. Stop trying to play the online game, and instead make the most of your strengths. Are you ready to change your future? Then turn the page and let’s start playing.

Table of Contents

How Many Jelly Beans?

Pop the Balloon

Retail Wisdom: The #1 Question to Ask

Spin and Win

Retail Wisdom: Core Principles

Easter Egg Giveaway

Roll the Dice and Win

Deck of Cards Raffle

Retail Wisdom: The Bag Stuffer

Deck of Cards with a Twist

Fish Bowl of Business Cards

The Valuable Business Card

Retail Wisdom: Have Insurance for Amazing Results

Create a Holiday

A Birthday Every Day

Buy a Box get a Box Free

Retail Wisdom: The Interruption

The Phone Smile

Midnight Madness Sale

Fix it Free Friday

Retail Wisdom: Why is That There?

Opening Day Home Run

Are You the Missing Piece?

Sweet March Madness

Retail Wisdom: Black Friday

The Famous Birthday

Super Bowl Saturday

Beat the Clock

Retail Wisdom: Loyalty Programs

The Kentucky Derby Gamble

The Gift Card Business Card

The Triangulation Theory

Retail Wisdom: The Going Out of Business Sale

Take a Straw Poll

The Parking Ticket

The Red Light Special

Retail Wisdom: The Not Going Out of Business Sale

The One-Cent Sale

Owner’s Birthday Party

BOGO Profit Maker

Retail Wisdom: The Single Most Powerful Word

After-Hours Jammy Jam

It’s Markdown Madness!

Happy Hour Specials

Retail Wisdom: Donations that Pay

The Supplier Trunk Show

The 3/3 Sale Theory

Two-Fer Tuesdays

Retail Wisdom: Customer Appreciation Day

Bundling Bonanza

T-Shirt Thursday

Full Moon Sale

Retail Wisdom: Keep Time on Your Side

Christmas in July

Free Mystery Samples

A Chance to Win $100,000,000,000!

Turkey Bowling

Retail Wisdom: The Pop-Up Store

The Chicken Picker Game

Book a Book Signing

Awards Night

Retail Wisdom: Capture the Whales

Instant Gratification Promotion

Double Points Day

The Melting Point

Retail Wisdom: Activate That Customer

The Meet & Greet

Retail Wisdom: Support the Community

An After-Hours Hosting

Man’s Best Friend

Retail Wisdom: Branding Your Shop

New Shape = More Attention

High Five Day

Retail Wisdom: The Only Three Ways to Grow

Five-Dollar Tables

Fill a Bag

Hat Day

Free Sample Sunday

Retail Wisdom: Creating Social Media Buzz

The 12 Days of Christmas

Lucky Friday the 13th¹⁷¹

Workshop Wednesdays

Retail Wisdom: The Power of the Bounce Back

Oh Yes, it’s Ladies’ Night

The Any Color Sale

Retail Wisdom: Salesman vs Cashier

Pi (Pie) Day

Retail Wisdom: Co-Operative Promotions and Advertising

Flash Sale Fridays

2 Coins in a Fountain

Blind Taste Test

Retail Wisdom: The Power of the Podcast

Annual Cookout

Tent Sale

Retail Wisdom: There is a Limit

The Annual Ornament

Trivia Bowl

Mark Your Calendars…and Go!

Retail Wisdom: Why Do Customers Leave?

Retail Wisdom: The After Effect

Happy Anniversary

In Closing: The Time for Events is Now!

About the Author

How Many Jelly Beans?

I’m sure you’ve seen this one at your doctor’s office, bank, or local merchant. It’s a fun, simple method to drive business, engage your customers, and encourage them to return to your shop.

PROMOTION BASICS: Fill a jar with candy (jelly beans are a pretty typical option), or some small item specific to your business: pennies for a bank, bullets for a gun shop or gem stones for a jewelry store, for example. Customers are invited to make a guess of the quantity of the item in the jar and if their guess comes the closest, they win a prize. The prize doesn’t have to be big; it can be as small as the jar of jelly beans or a sampling of one of your most popular products. Look at your customer base—relationship-based customers who are regular shoppers might be happy with just the jelly beans, whereas a newer customer base might need a bigger prize to draw them back to your store.

PREP WORK: You’ll need a clear, clean jar, preferably with a locking lid, as well as enough of one item to fill the jar. You can count the contents before you fill the jar, or just fill it and, for added suspense and excitement, count them in front of a crowd of customers on a designated date.

For a great attention getter, find an oversize jar that can be seen in your shop window. Be sure to add lots of promotional signage for your contest. The sign should have the who, what, where, when and why. Who: the name of your shop (people might take pictures and share them on social media, giving you extra exposure). What: The rules of the guessing game (do you require a purchase for entrants? How do they submit their guess?). Where: The details on where the winner will be announced. When: Specifics on the date of the contest’s end. Why: What you will win if you are the closest without going over.

You’ll need to decide exactly what constitutes winning—exact guess, closest without going over, or closest either

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