Posted on October 05 2016
This article is for head shop / smoke shop managers and owners.
Do you have a loyalty program in place for your customers?
If no -- why not?!
Successful retailers understand that it's worth every penny of investment. We're not talking old fashioned punch cards, we're talking about automated loyalty programs like Five Stars that not only reward customers for their repeat business, but that proactively reach out and contact customers and entice them to return to your store if you haven't heard from them in a while -- all automatically!
If this sounds a little bizarre coming from a smoking supply company, allow me to explain. Before I started Green Goddess Supply, I spent over 20 years running marketing and design agencies. I've worked with businesses of all sizes, ranging from small local restaurants to Fortune 100 companies and households brands like Harley Davidson, American Express, Folger's Coffee, Elvis Presley and more. So we understand marketing programs, and are leveraging these capabilities to help small shop owners build their businesses. The reason should be obvious: the more successful our shop owners are, the more successful we will be. We want you around for a long time, selling high quality products from Green Goddess Supply.
So our first freebie marketing tip is to investigate a loyalty program immediately! This falls into the category of the old adage "you have to spend money to make money." Shops that have quality loyalty programs realize that they are not an expense, they're an investment -- and they pay off in spades.
Imagine a customer needs a cheap pack of rolling papers. He could just pop into the gas station / convenience store on the corner, but he remembers that if he just drives three more blocks down to your shop, he'll get credit for it towards his loyalty points and can earn free merch! That loyalty program gets him coming back to you. If nothing else, it keeps your shop top of mind and builds the loyalty. More often than not, when he steps into the shop something catches his eye and that $5 sale turns into $30! That's part of the magic of the loyalty program.
But I say "part" because it gets better. A lot better. If you were using old fashioned punch cards it would end there. But with today's modern technology, rewards programs are much more sophisticated. This isn't your dad's loyalty card...
A system like Five Stars collects mobile phone #s from the people who sign up. 30 days after their last visit they will get a text message - "hey, we miss you... here's a coupon for 10% off your next visit. Reply to activate this coupon, which is good for the next 24 hours." So BAM! They're incentivized to come back. But not "eventually" -- right now! Within the next 24 hours.
The details of the program, time frames, discounts, and more are all programmable by the shop owner. This is just an example to illustrate how it can work. Even better - you get real statistics on purchasing history for your clients. You can find out who the heavy spenders are, and more!
The loyalty program itself has nothing to do with Green Goddess Supply. We have no stake in Five Stars. We like their system, but you can use whatever you want, if you can find something better. Go for it. But we know this one works.
For our part, we've put together in-store merchandising programs to help incentivize your customers to sign up. For example, we can provide you with a professionally designed point-of-purchase sign and a free item up to $40 MSRP to giveaway as a promotional item for a lucky winner, to drive signups of YOUR rewards program! This can make it fun and exciting for your patrons, and introduce an interesting element to your shop, to set you apart.
Contact us for details - we have many co-op marketing programs that we've put together, and are willing to work with you to help co-promote your store online and offline. As much as we love selling our products, we're not here for transactions - we are here to build long term relationships with our retail partners.