From crossing items off the honey-do list to making a DIY Pinterest project, your customers should have everything they need to fix, craft, paint, and create. Providing what customers need doesn’t always result in lucrative sales. That’s why we’ve compiled 10 secrets to boost sales in your hardware store. Let’s nail down some specific tactics!
1. Create a Niche
What kind of niche can you market to in your store? This depends on your location and buyers and will be personalized to customers you regularly receive. Are you in a new town with houses popping up every day? Then your niche might be new homeowners and your hot items might be kits with everything a new homeowner might need. Is your store located in a “green” area? Then economically friendly materials would be your niche. An excellent example of niche markets are the prevalent breweries, Hydro Flasks, and chai tea blends of Bend, Oregon. If you’re not sure what your niche market is, then ask yourself: “What is my customer’s biggest problem?” Your store should be the best solution to their problem. Are your customers always needing help with gardening? Floor plans? Electrical repair? Whatever the niche, stock your shelves accordingly.
To go along with creating a niche market, some hardware stores hire full-time designers to specialize in creating remodeling plans for customers. Does your hardware store specialize in crafting kitchen floors or luxurious bathrooms? A designer might help to give your business that high-end boost.
3. Serve the Community
Community service is a must for a hardware store’s success. Can your store get the community involved in rebuilding a park? Painting the library? Fixing an old fence for someone in need? Community service goes a long way in the hearts of citizens. It also builds a bond between you and your customer. They’ll remember what you did, and they’ll remember your store.
4. Stay in Season
In the spring, your store should be stocked with the must-haves for gardening, bright colors for painting, and organizational tools for spring cleaning. If it’s winter, create an eye-catching window display of shiny new tools for shoveling snow. Adjust to the season to keep your sales flowing smoothly.
5. Keep It Pinteresting
Pinterest is a hardware store’s dream. With all the do-it-yourself projects, spring-cleaning tips, and paint creations, a hardware store could thrive just on Pinterest-loving users alone. Have a display just for Pinterest projects. Offer a workshop on a popular, trending Pinterest project. Your hardware store should also have a Pinterest account. In case you’re leery, here are three reasons why Pinterest is an excellent platform for hardware stores:
- In 2014, Pinterest was the fastest-growing social network, gaining 97% more active users year-on-year
- Pinterest brings in 41% e-commerce traffics—that’s more than Facebook!
- Pinterest has 20 million active users
6. Reward Your Customers
Want to keep your customers coming back for more? Say hello to Rich Rewards from Paladin. A loyalty program is one of the best ways to keep customers coming in for more. A loyalty program gives an incentive for the customer to buy more; once they reach a certain amount, they get a freebie. And as you know, free is a customer’s favorite word. Learn more about why (and how) loyalty programs work.
7. Offer Convenience
If you can stop a customer from having to go to two different places to finish his to-do list, then make that happen. Can you sell snacks? Office supplies? What are some things customers have asked for that you don’t carry? How can you make shopping convenient for your customers?
8. Update Your Technology
If there’s a hamster running on a wheel in order for your cash register to open, then it’s time to update your technology. Keeping your store up-to-date with technology gives your customers a sense of security and benefits your store with organization, automation, and accuracy. A point-of-sale system is a huge benefit for your store. Paladin offers a point-of-sale solution specifically for hardware stores. The Paladin Point of Sale system provides a complete view of your inventory, customers, and transactions. Simplify your store with 21st century technology and old-fashioned support that keeps your best interests at heart. For more information, call 800-725-2346.
9. Offer Helpful Tips
Your online presence is important—and so is helping your customers solve a problem. Bring those together with daily (or weekly) tips on your blog. Instruct customers on how to remove snow (with your products, of course) or how to lay tile. Think about your niche market and the specific problems you want to solve for your customers. Now ask: What do they need help with? What can my store teach them? These answers are perfect for your blog or social media.
10. Go the Extra Mile
What can your store offer that Amazon can’t? A customer relationship. When you go above and beyond to help a customer put together a birdhouse for her daughter, you now have a loyal customer. No matter how big or small, going the extra mile will always keep customers coming through your door.
Which secret will you use?
Now that you know ten secrets to running a profitable hardware store, it’s time to get busy and make some sales! Let us know which of these tips came in handy by commenting below.
Post written by: Shayla Eaton