Own a smoke shop and looking for some pointers? Check out our 8 tips and tricks on how to grow your smoke shop and increase sales!
1) Get Noticed
When focusing on growth and customer acquisition one of the first steps to take is increasing your stores visibility. Whenever I’m traveling and come across a smoke shop nine times out of ten there’s only a small sign immediately above the store and THAT’S IT. There’s a few things you can do to attract customers that other stores don’t and that’s fly banners, flags, put up signs or other visuals for hot selling items. I find the most attractive storefronts have huge lettering such as “Vapes, CBD’s, Kratom” and other commonly sought after products in easily visible places.
2) Make it Easy to Shop
Once you get customers into your store you need to draft an experience that will bring them back. While more info on this will be covered later, I commonly walk into today’s modern smoke shops and feel like I walked back into the 70’s. There’s nic-nacs everywhere and nothing seems logical about product placement. Most shoppers are trending away from the old era of hobby shop type stores and more towards a clean well lit store with overhead music that sets a mood or plays into the shops theme. My favorite store experiences have started with the smell of incense at the door and a song that’s easy to vibe to playing in the background. You should also research product positioning (eye level is buy level!) to get the most sales out of some of your better products and easy add ons.
3) Host Events
So you have an attractive storefront, and your shop is on point… but there’s still a lack of people coming into your store? Well, a very common tactic in today’s marketing age is hosting events. Vape competitions, live bands, glass blowing competitions, cook outs, and just about any reason you can think to throw a party for your desired and current customers are gold. Understandably your storefront may not be ideal for these “get togethers” which can be a disadvantage. If that’s the case I recommend finding a club, radio station, or anyone else that hosts similar events and see what you can do to partner up and get your name out there. Not every store will be able to take advantage of this route, but this only means you should REALLY hone in on the other tips below.
4) Grow a Customer Database
A great way to turn interest in your company into sales is to create an email database. Offer discounts for signups or simply just ask customers if they'd like to be notified of new stuff via email. Be careful though! All too often companies try to implement this and fall head over heels. The biggest thing in email marketing is creating well designed, visually appealing content... which most do not. People don’t want to feel marketed too, and all too often you’ll turn that hard earned list of emails into a long line of people requesting to unsubscribe. Email marketing isn’t something you can simply learn overnight without an adequate background so if you need any help we of course offer assistance to our customers! We’ll set you up with some graphics, content, and show you how to do some pretty cool stuff yourselves!
5) Get Online and Get Social
A big thing to think about is what people find when they’re searching for a store in your area. If you aren’t already on Google places that’s step number one, and getting customers to give good reviews is a plus. Number two is having good web presence such as a website or social media page that gives customers an idea of what you’re about when they find you on the web. If you can’t manage a full blown website I suggest having a one page or very simple site that directs people to your social media account. Posting pictures, videos and stories daily to social media is key so you can give potential customers insight to what products you have to offer.
6) Build the Right Team
If your store is up and running, I’m assuming you found some talented help that’s all about this lifestyle. Undoubtedly your shop hands are not going to be sales gurus or marketing genius’s for the most part so hire people that are willing to learn, grow, and are ready to immerse themselves into the industry. Encourage your new and seasoned employees to build life skills they can take with them anywhere. Your biggest asset is your staff, and the more your staff can assist your growth the more opportunities they have to grow with the company. Fortunately we know that our success depends on your growth so we’ll be there to help provide your employees with some cool tips and tricks!
7) Train for Success
Your employees need to be much more knowledgeable than the average smoker in order to provide a sense of expertise. Unless your staff is using a plethora of different products on the daily you’ll need to give them some useful information your customers will NEED in order to complete their purchase. Have you ever had a sales person that has no clue how to answer what seems like the most basic question about their product or services? I’m assuming you most likely didn’t purchase from them. Make sure your employees know the ins and outs of as many things as possible which will make sales and service much easier.
8) Buy the Right Stuff
Your product range has to be diverse enough to satisfy a variety of customers, yet focused enough to capitalize on your bestsellers and new trends.
Distinguish what items your customers are buying frequently and keep a close eye for fluctuations. Keep plenty of options available in your top selling categories and always ask your customers if they weren’t able to find an item they were after. We typically know what’s trending in most areas and what items you should keep on hand 24/7. Feel free to reach out!
The best way to keep growing and increase sales is to keep learning. Keep up with what's new, what's hot and what your competition is doing. Always be on the lookout for cool content like this and ask other successful companies for advice.