The Benefits of a Community Wide Shopping Experience

Holiday season is quickly approaching.  Soon the snow will be falling, the air will be brisk, and a cup of hot cocoa will be in order.  The holiday season is a time for coming together, whether that be for family, friends, or businesses within a community.  A great way to bring this blend of family, friends and businesses together is to organize a community wide shopping experience, where small business owners band together to provide a day of fun for their customers.

The Community Wide Shopping Experience

A community wide shopping experience is the perfect complement to the hectic shopping season.  Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be frantic.  The Holiday Season can be great fun and you can play a key role.  Here are a few ideas for community wide shopping experiences:

  • Partner with one or more charities and have each participating business donate a percentage of sales to a charity.
  • Coordinate a Hot Cocoa or Cookie Walk among participating business.  Each participant who has a card marked for attending all participating businesses receives a special gift.
  • Host a Shop Drink & Be Merry party and offer a special discount to VIP guests. Each participating business offers a different ‘treat’.

Our samples are focused on the holidays, but keep in mind you can also promote a special event for Small Business Saturday or for a number of other occasions throughout the year.

Everyone Wins!

A community wide shopping experience is a win for everyone!  Customers get to retreat from the frantic pace, feel treasured, enjoy the companionship of other like-minded shoppers, and find unique gifts for the closest of their family and friends.  Business owners get to grow relationships with their existing customers, gain new customers, promote their products, and increase their sales.  The community as a whole benefits both economically from the success of the small businesses and culturally from the ensuing sense of community pride.

Finding Unity in Numbers

By working together with other businesses, you will find unity (and savings) in numbers. Create a unified theme that will reach the largest market segment.  This ensures that business owners can expand their reach within each other’s customer base.  Don’t concern yourself that you will lose customers to a competitor.  You are just as likely to gain a customer from the competitor.  More importantly, you are all likely to gain new customers that you otherwise would not have gained.  Keep the mindset of abundance!

Benefits at a Glance:

      • Share advertising costs
      • Gain media attention
      • Reach a wider audience
      • Great fun for customers
      • Emotive purchasing
      • Cross promote
      • Increased sales
      • New customers
      • Deeper relationships with existing customers
      • The value of being part of the community

Make Your Business Stand Out

Now that you have decided to get together with other small business owners to host a holiday event, make sure that you personally make your business stand out.  Focus on exceedingly great customer service, make sure you are well staffed, double check to ensure there will be no bottle necks at the checkout process, and most of all, HAVE FUN!!!  

Need help putting together and executing a community wide shopping experience?  The Edmiston Group can help you facilitate your planning and marketing.  Contact Autumn Edmiston at 724-612-0755 for details.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group.  The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis.  Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

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