Much like any other business, you’re bound to see ebbs and flows in your revenue throughout the year.
During periods of slower-than-normal business, it’s more important than ever to use your online storefront effectively, as it can be an additional source of income for your business during this time.
Even if your customers aren’t in a position where they can book private parties with you, people are always looking for ways to support local businesses in any way they’re able, and suggesting they take a look at your online storefront is a fantastic way to do this.
If you’re doing this however, you want to make sure that they’re getting the best guest experience you can offer, right?
Here are a few ways you can use your online storefront more effectively to boost revenue during times of slower business.
When’s the last time you took a look at your online storefront?
And I mean….REALLY took a look at it?
If you’ve asked yourself these questions and think your storefront could use a face lift, reach out to your party booking software provider and ask them for help! If you’re a current Party Center Software customer, give our support line a call—we’d love to help you!
You can also visit our Help Center for more information on how to use the store from within the software. You can find information on organizing products or configuring text sets there. Every little bit helps distinguish your storefront and make it unique.
If you’re not a current customer OR if you (dare I say it) haven’t used an online store before for your FEC, now (read: yesterday) is a great time to get started. You’re truly missing out on a key component of potential extra revenue if you don't!
Offering incentives for customers to use your online store is the key to making business. Many other facilities have been using gift certificates as their main offering. Consider advertising a gift certificate at a reduced price. People are more likely to purchase items they want if you offer it to them at a slightly lower price!
For example, consider offering the ability for your guests to purchase a gift certificate with a $50 value for $40 instead. Gift certificates are great because they’re a promise of future business. Not only are you making an initial sale and have additional revenue coming in immediately, they’re purchasing an item that they need to come to your facility to use, and potentially spend even more money while they’re there, effectively making the money back you “gave up” by discounting it. It’s a win-win!
Offering party vouchers is another great way to promote future business. Consider creating a few special parties or deal incentives to sell through your store, especially during times when your facility may not be able to be open to the public, whether it be for maintenance, weather, or other outside factors out of your control.
These vouchers can act as reservations—the promise of a future booking—once you are open for business again. Consider bundling additional items with these parties, so customers know they’re getting a unique deal that wouldn’t normally be offered.
If you offer some sort of season pass, that’s another great opportunity to offer guests an incentive to purchase! Summer is on the horizon—create an offering to sell summer passes NOW up until a certain date at a significant discount. This puts money in your pocket now, promises guests in your facility, and gives your customers something to look forward to.
Now that you’ve got your storefront ready to go and your products ready to sell, you need to let your customers know! Your online party booking/facility management software should make it easy for you to download a list of customers for use with mass email systems.
To do so, you should run something similar to a Customer Detail Report to retrieve this list. Then use a program such as Constant Contact or Mailchimp to get in touch with as many customers as possible in a short amount of time! Facebook and other social media platforms are also fantastic ways of letting people know what special offerings you have available.
Regardless of your preferred marketing avenue, make sure to include the link to your online storefront in your message!
You’ll also want to ensure that you have a link to your storefront on your main website. The more roads that lead to your storefront, the better. Constantly make sure your target audience knows you’re looking to give them a great experience. Keep them engaged, supporting your business, and wanting to come back again and again.
Every business owner goes through hard times, or times where they feel stuck and that they don’t know what else they can do to create more revenue for their facility.
Remember, your community is always looking for opportunities to support you. Focus on building an online storefront with offerings and deals your customers want to jump on immediately, and make sure to promote it across multiple channels, so your guests have no trouble reaching you.
Join the conversation with hundreds of other FEC business owners and operators in our Party Center Software Community Group on Facebook! You'll have access to learning best practices, as well as get and give advice for what to do to achieve success with your family entertainment center.