The Internet has revolutionized the way customers consume. And it would be too risky to announce that the canvas signs the death warrant for retail. Right now, the only ones who can afford to close stores to hope to get customers on the web are big brands whose reputation is well established …

E-commerce is starting to work, but it has by no means spelled the end of retail. For example, 90 percent of sales are still made in stores. In the following article, and building on the organization of events within various functions, I will present the importance of organizing events for launching a business as well as in its development.

Training & Co'm

Consumer behavior has also changed over the past twenty years. To think that it will only consume in stores or online is a misconception as the following demonstration will prove to you that it is not enough to open a website to sell. Conversely, the retail trade is not condemned either (even if these sales shares tend to decrease sharply). Also, whether you are selling direct, online or at a point of sale, communication events must be included in your marketing plan as obvious (and rather too much than not enough).

Consumer evolution

Here are the different types of consumer behavior in 2019:

He researches, compares, tests and buys the solution to his needs in a store. To anyone
currently, the Internet is not involved in its purchasing process; it is
today the least widely used case.

  • “Full web” behavior – Research Online and Purchase Online

This consumer searches, compares and tests the solution to their needs on the internet; all the stages of the online purchasing process follow.

  • “Showroomer” behavior – Research Offline and Purchase Online

This consumer searches, compares and tests the solution to their needs in stores and then buys on the internet. The search therefore takes place in store while the purchase is made online.

  • ROPO behavior – Research Online and Purchase Offline

This consumer searches, compares the solution to their needs on the internet, then tests and buys in a store.

Depending on the product, consumers are in one of the boxes … Few of the purchases are the subject of a full web. These are generally lower quality products at very low prices.

It is therefore important that each entrepreneur can know the complete profile of his client: what does he think? What need will he seek to satisfy by buying my product? Etc.

Therefore, one must therefore be present to
the consumer and all the more if you don’t have a good place of sale
defined. Organize ephemeral sales, be present at trade fairs and
venues will therefore be essential.

Here are some tips in the realization
of events, taken from my personal experiences as a sales manager
Retail.

First, create an event of “collective interest” (or even several) per year. For example, a business that opens must necessarily make one (or even two or three) inauguration. My functions at Kusmi Tea allowed me to organize and participate in two launches of new products: Blue Detox and White Anastacia.

Date and place

Set the date, duration and location of the event.
From this date will depend the success of the evening. Make sure you don’t have
choose a day of major cultural event, a festival period, a
eve or return from vacation, school holidays…. Also check the
days of guest press closings and avoid Monday as much as possible
and Friday.

You will then have to choose a place (if it is not in your room). Take into account the practical aspects, such as access by car, parking or even the restaurant service, but allow yourself a little originality. The chosen location must match the image you want to convey of your project … it can also slightly off the beaten track.

Signage and Logistics

Ideally, the path should be indicated at the
both in communication but also on site.

Think of the reception (hostess, badges …).

Mandate an internal person to manage photos, videos and social media (or even several people).

Don’t forget the sound system.

Refreshments should be available: cocktails are most appreciated in the evening.

The operations

Remember that your intention is above all
to get closer to your customers and ambassadors. Certainly making sales will
important but it is not necessarily the major issue. The idea is to do
discover (the brand, a particular product….) and propose
activities: For the launch of the Blue Detox, we had decided, in full
winter, to offer customers a unique experience: Discover our
new Pineapple tea with a store redecorated in the colors of the Tropics and
of summer. It was important to ask the question: how to do
stay customers?

Here is a list of activities that we have therefore implemented:

  • Welcoming customers with a homemade “Blue Detox” cocktail;
  • Recovery of coats;
  • Discovery of hot and cold Blue Detox;
  • Creative workshop “create your own tea bag yourself”;
  • Contest: Make the most beautiful photo of yourself with the Blue Detox and post it on Instagram;
  • Parade of three models with swimwear from an independent partner;
  • Presence of our partner L’Occitane who presented certain summer products.

The power of communication

For the launch of Blue Detox, we had outsourced web communication to an influencer (allow a budget of 2 to 3000 euros). The latter therefore managed the web visuals, the event as well as the invitations and the logistics of the event.

The influencer will also have to ensure the presence of journalists and, if necessary, photographers mandated to cover the event. Of course, getting the services of an influencer comes at a cost, but it provides direct access to your audience both for their presence at the event but also in web communications. It is therefore an event, the costs of which will be easily amortized throughout the year.

For the launch of White Anastasia, and despite the obvious success of the operation Kusmi in the Tropics, it was important to modify our operations. Indeed, for each action, it is more suitable to seek another target so as not to cannibalize the targets with too high a recurrence.

Thus, we have chosen to keep the event completely internally by broadcasting both on social networks (Facebook Ads and Instagram) and in our customer database (via the MailChimp application with which we send newsletters); we had a similar budget (cost per click on Facebook as well as a more aggressive in-store promotional offer).

Our event announced fewer activities
but more discounts on site and the possibility of reserving its offer
promotional by email return for the customer database.

The idea, this time, was not to keep our customers to discover the products but to spend (even in gale) in order to obtain a pecuniary advantage that we had never offered at Kusmi Tea .

The importance of press relations

Whether you keep press relations in
internal or that you use the services of a professional, it will be advisable to
pay particular attention to this aspect.

Indeed, it is often difficult to validate
media presence at events; that’s why it’s sometimes more
wise to take a press officer.

Whatever decision you make,
take special care in writing a press release:
journalists must want to move and they are often very
solicited.

Once your press release has been received, the journalist must think that he will interest his readers by communicating the information to them. The information must therefore appear sufficiently original and attractive to be reflected in the headings, reports, programs, etc.

The objective of the editor of the press release will be
therefore to transform a commercial news into an event likely
to interest the public.

It goes without saying that it is advisable to have a
up-to-date mailing list and that just for that sometimes is better
to go through a press officer (not to mention the fact that he will probably be
recognized in the profession more than your email which the sender will not speak about
probably not to the media).

Think the press officers work
in RSVP, that is to say by invitation. In general, a press release is sent two
times by recalling enough times that it should be made known
presence.

Even if the attendance rate is often lower than desired, count + or – 30% present compared to those registered (in terms of media).

The invitation must be clear and understand
the following points :

  • What is it about ?
  • Dates?
  • From what time to what time does the event take place?
  • Where is it going? How to get there ?
  • Procedure, who talks about what, when …
  • Response deadline?

Journalists should invite journalists at least 2 weeks before. For weekly and monthly, invite at least 2 months in advance.

Optionally, call the newsroom by phone the day before or the day before to make sure a reporter arrives.

Journalists are by nature very busy; it will be important to tell them when the most important moments will take place. Be careful, they will generally not stay more than an hour / an hour and a half. So plan the intervention program; check with them how to reach them following the event (either to send them photos, or to be kept informed of the broadcast).

The press kit must be sent in the press release; it synthesizes the essential elements and contains the dissemination material to publicize the announced event or manifestation (information note, brochure, photos, external links to videos or additional content).

The presence of distinguished guests

Last less obvious element, the distinguished guests. For some events, it may be rewarding to get a sponsor. So, for the second edition of Genevieve Bujold and Roy Dupuis Prize, I set out to motivate Isabelle Blais and Sébastien Huberdeau, renowned actors in Quebec, to sponsor the event. Not only would this Prize gain credibility for the public, but also for the media.

It was an approach that required a bit of audacity, courage and, of course, determination. I decided not to go through their agents and try to reach them directly: Facebook, networking and other creative ideas were necessary before obtaining their final acceptance (count two months between the first steps and acceptance final)

Same thing for the personalities who came to the plays I produced: I invited Yunus Chkirate and Eric Radford and asked them, in return, to advertise their presence on social networks.

Once again, the secret lies in daring … Whoever tries nothing has nothing and you have to be persistent in order to get the support you want.