A few years ago, I worked for a popular restoration company franchise as their marketing manager. Part of my responsibilities beyond handling the online marketing was providing support for our sales representatives, which could be anything from registering them for events with the chamber of commerce or researching a prospective customer. I also ordered promotional products for them to hand out when they visited customers. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was actually using a SAGE Company Store to order!
It had coloring books about fire safety, stuffed animals to give out to kids who had just been through a fire and needed a comfort item, and of course the classic promotional items like pens, hand sanitizer, and notebooks. My coworker and I could spend an hour or two just looking at all the products we could order and scheming up ways to convince the franchise owner to buy them. We visited the website at least once a month.
So, what kept bringing us back other than just our need for promotional products? What made us choose this particular vendor over someone else?
It was the curation.
Okay, that was a little vague; let me explain.
Each and every product in the store had our logo on it, and there were products in it that were perfect for the restoration industry! Even though each franchise in the nation used this store, it still felt personalized and unique to us because the distributor took the time to come up with some cool ideas for promotional products that we could hand out or make gift baskets with.
We all know that company stores are a great way to save time for both you and your customer – they can order when they need to on their own time, and you have the ease of automatic shipping calculations, tax calculations, and loads of payment options. But anyone can just put a product on a page; what makes a company store stand out is thinking about what you know your customer needs and then thinking outside the box.
So what kind of products should you use? Other than adding in the products that they routinely order – it all comes down to the type of business that your customer is in. Remember how I mentioned that in our company store, there were coloring books that talked about fire safety? On the back of the book, there was a space for our logo because we were a restoration company that dealt with fire and smoke restoration; we could give those to local firefighters who could then give them out to kids when they went to their school to talk about fire safety. So try and pick out products that will make your customer say, “huh! that’s a really neat idea!”
For example, you may have a dentist that would like to open a company store because they always order supplies for those classic dental goodie bags – but what about the office staff? Adding in a scrub coat with the dentist’s logo might make whoever is ordering think that would make a pretty excellent employee appreciation gift.
They say when you meet someone and are trying to make an impression, you say their name at least three times – they feel heard and special. With my experience using a SAGE Company Store, I fully believe that the same principle applies to having a fully curated company store. Your customer will continue to come back to do business with you because they feel that you went above and beyond – I know I certainly did.
So, what do you think – do you have a company store success story? We want to hear about it; tell us in the comments below! Ready to get a SAGE Company Store up and running? Take a gander at all of our options here and give your account representative a call today.