Market stalls are a great way to test out new markets and to generate some extra income for your brand. If you are thinking about opening a retail store, market stalls are an excellent way to test out your concept and to get valuable market research before taking the plunge. For my brand Goodordering, we have a stall every weekend at Broadway Market. I have learnt a lot from having this stall and selling our bags at community events and festivals, pop-up shops and tradeshows which all have similar purposes. Here are my top 10 tips for getting the most out of a market stall.1. Set goals
These could be financial or non financial. Having a market stall should also be about building brand awareness, so don’t focus only on sales. Each Saturday I have a goal target in £ and also a target to make leads and collect email addresses. Some weekends I fall short of the targets and some weekends i exceed them, but having goals, which are reviewed every few months, i can see whether i am on track and whether the stall is improving. If you have some specific bags high in stock you can also do promotions that can boost sales without compromising wholesale relationships.
2. Collect contact details
Have a sign-up to mailing list list, with clipboard + pen on hand somewhere easily accessible on your stand or table. If you can offer something in return for adding your email address all the better eg. i have done “win one of our display bags from the pop up. You can use these email addresses to follow up with newsletters or to inform people of upcoming events. These are all your potential future customers.
3. Make it a memorable event
Have something interactive on your stand so that you are always doing something whilst you are there. I have a badge making machine where people can make their own Goodordering pin badge. Creating talking points makes your stall not just about sales but about brand building and its more likely to be memorable to customers if there is something interactive that they did whilst at your stall.
4. Location, Location, Location
Choose your market stall location well. People go to different markets for different things - some food, some craft, some vintage. The best way is gauge whether a market is suitable for you is to go and visit it yourself as a customer. You can also talk to the stall holders and ask about their experiences there.
5. Use it as a research opportunity
Network with your neighbours, fellow market stall holders, there is so much you can learn from them. Details like busy days, busy times, customer profiles. For example, Broadway Market now has a lot of tourists and visitors from other countries. This means that they might not be familiar with the brand and that they are more likely to buy smaller items that they can fit in their suitcases. Networking with fellow stall-holders can also lead to creative collaborations and new friends. My next door neighbour at a show a few years ago was Hackney GT, we are now good friends and share lots of business ideas and motivation with each other.
6. Actively man (or woman) your stall
When you are at your shop, be active. Tidy up, re-arrange, make or label your products. Nothing scares away customers more than someone sitting there staring out into space or being on your phone. It sounds corny, but smile! (and try not to be hung over!)
7. Market your event
Let your fans, community and customers know about your stall, include it in newsletters make a facebook event and invite friends and family.
8. Have hand-outs
Have business cards or fliers on your stand for customers to take away with them. Include an online discount code which links back to your market stall with a recognisable code, so you can track future sales that came from your market stall. You can also hand out stickers or other promotional items such as water bottles or postcards.
9. Have clear pricing
Make your pricing clear and easy to see. I have been told that our bags look or seem way more expensive than they actually are. Without clear pricing, people may assume that the bags are out of their price range when they actually are not. Remove all obstacles for people not to buy and assume that people do want your product.
10. Be instagrammable
Make your stand look awesome. If possible, make it interactive, interesting, original and memorable. Have your hashtag clearly marked to make it easier for people to share content about your brand. I use the hashtag #happycycling and #goodordering. I also share content on instagram stories regularly throughout the event.