Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cross Promotion: Partnering With Other Business to Better Serve Your Customers, Part I

           With consumers desiring outdoor living spaces, complete with lighting and kitchen components, and baskets filled with wine, assorted cheese, and other food and non-edible items always proving to be popular gift items, how can ag. retailers provide such items when they do not stock and sell all the components?  One idea is to partner with business owners who sell complementary goods and services, thus the two businesses work together to help customers obtain a complete “package.”  

           Promoting goods and services offered by business owners you have an existing and trusted relationship with takes the guess work out of where to direct customers and your recommendation also helps reduce the risk for your customers.  Such a situation, known as cross promotion, is based on two (or more) businesses working together towards a common goal.  

        In this blog posting I’ve presented ideas for cross promoting in the retail space, but over the next couple of posts I’ll provide examples of how retailers can cross promote in other ways.  When cross promoting works, efforts coordinated with a complementary business provides certain benefits:
· expanding your customer base,
· greater reach with promotions and advertising,
· reduced marketing costs, and
· increased profits

Putting Items on Display

        Displaying items produced or sold by complementary businesses is one cross promotion strategy.  You may already have relationships with business owners who produce or sell items that would complement what you offer, but what if you do not?   What goods and services could appeal to your customer based on their demographics, behaviors, and interests?  If you do not already sell items like bath and body products, jewelry, specialty foods, place settings, or the like, search for businesses that do.  Once you have assembled a list, learn about clientele they serve, search for reviews customers post online about their shopping experiences, and investigate as much as you can about their business practices before requesting to meet.  Just as you put thought into developing a relationship with a new vendor the same amount of consideration is required when selecting a business to cross promote products.  

        Signage placed next to items should include a description of the product as well as information about the complementary business (e.g. business history, other available products, contact information) and an explanation as to why the product is so unique that you decided to display it in your store.  Don’t forget to ask the other business to reciprocate by incorporating select products you offer into their displays.

        The possibilities of what type of businesses to cross promote with are endless.  Displaying complementary items together is just one step, in the next few postings I’ll provide examples of how to cross promoting when communicating with customers and when hosting events, as well as the “costs” to consider before committing to this partnership.

No comments: