So you've made it through the craft show application process, got your booth design sorted out, organised your inventory and have now got a couple of shows under your belt (if you are new to craft shows, see our post How to prepare for your first craft show).
The next step is to start looking at ways to improve your booth and your sales techniques to maximise those sales. Here are 10 great tips on how to boost your craft fair sales:
1. Consistent Branding
Your entire booth to have exactly the same feel as your brand - you want your customers to feel like they are walking into your world. Where possible, utilise the same color schemes and styles as your logo, online shop and product labelling.
Pay attention to the way you dress and present as well to ensure it is consistent with the messages you want to send about your brand - if you have a clean sharp modern brand, you'll want to dress the part with pressed, professional clothes. If your brand is more of an organic feel then a more casual, natural look may work best.
2. Use all your space
It's quite usual to see setups with products arranged carefully across a table or two. This is great for customers that have already walked up to your booth as they can then easily peruse your range, however there are two major issues with this layout. Firstly, if you have a group of people already around your table, this blocks the view of other potential customers walking past. Secondly, if the stream of traffic is a little way from your table and your items cannot be seen from that distance you'll be missing out on random passerby custom.
To really maximise the amount of people viewing your items you'll want to think of utilising both horizontal and vertical space within the booth. People are more likely to walk over to a booth if something has already captured their attention so give them the opportunity to see a range of your products before they do so.
Hangers, pallet walls, shelves and stackable containers allow you to lift up your products right into eye range and thus capture the attention of more passerby traffic - and thus increase your chances of sales.
3. Decorate, but don't overcomplicate
Ensure that you make your booth interesting by decorating with rugs, lights and plants, however ensure that you don't get too carried away with your interior decoration as too many items that are not for sale will detract from your products. You want to get the balance right between having a stark stall and one in which it's not quite clear what you actually sell.
4. Display products as they should be used
Try to represent your products as closely as possible to how they would be used by the customer: either when worn or displayed in the home. For some examples, take candles out of packaging and position on a ledge with some trinkets, and always hang coats to show drape and length rather than displaying as a folded item.
If you sell items that are worn (including earrings and jewelry), ensure also that you have a mirror available so that the customer can hold the items up to see how they work with skin tone and hair color.
5. Hands On Displays
One of the biggest drawcards in a world where online shopping is the norm is to provide an opportunity for your customers to really engage with the product. This means create ways for customers to pick up, feel and smell your items as much as possible: once the customer has formed an emotional connection to your product, it's very easy to close the deal!
Providing testers and samples are a great way of achieving this without damaging your product stock. Verbally encouraging customers to come and feel your products can be a great strategy - i.e. "Feel this jacket, it's pure alpaca wool!" or "Would you like to smell these fragrances?".
6. Be Descriptive
Ensure that all of your products are described in a way that highlights their qualities. Displaying little signs that include unique key ingredients or how they are made can be a great way of encouraging interest in your products.
7.Display Clear Pricing
Ensure that all of your products have their price clearly displayed: many customers will not ask for pricing as they dislike doing so. You can either mark individually or group products together in the same display under the one price banner: using a combination of both approaches can also be effective.
8. Be Friendly and Available
Your job is both to be shopkeeper and maker-in-residence: you'll want to be friendly and approachable and ready to sell your products. It's a great idea to encourage conversation about your craft: either by talking about how the items are made, the materials used or even where you make them. Explaining the detail and time required to make your products can be a great sales tool as it allows people to understand your pricing.
9. Encourage repeat purchases
Ensure that you have business cards or packaging that clearly displays your online store (if you have one) to increase the potential of making sales from the same customer between fairs.
You'll want to try and point this out to them as part of the transaction - this detail can be easily missed and thrown away in the packaging when they get home. A good opportunity for this is when you are putting the card in the bag (i.e. "I'll just pop in a card with our contact details - we have our complete range available online if you need to reorder."), or alternatively you could point out your contact details on the product labelling as you package it up for them.
10. Capture contact details
Ensure also that you have a way of capturing customer email addresses so that you can contact them in the future. An important note is that this should not be a requirement of sale and should feel entirely optional.
To do this, you can either offer a prize draw on a monthly basis for new subscribers to your list, or you could just indicate that you will use the list to keep subscribers up to date with new products and specials.