When did you last purchase something purely on impulse? My guess is not that long ago. Have you ever noticed how packed full of merchandise the check out aisle is at grocery store? All of that gum, chap stick, and candy entices me every time...although those items are no where on my shopping list.
When it comes to flea markets, being ready for the impulse shopper is even more important than ever. Think about it. Why do people go to flea markets in the first place? To browse of course! Most people don't come with a shopping list that they intend to stick to, and they have no idea what they're buying until they see it.
So how do you make sure YOUR booth is the one that makes spontaneous sales? Here are four vendor tips you can start putting into practice now.
1. Encourage "Touch"
According to an article on Harvard Business Review, "physically holding products can create a sense of psychological ownership, driving must-have purchase decisions."
This isn't a new concept. Have you been into an Apple store recently? Their entire store is set up in a way that encourages consumers to touch the products. Shoppers use their hands to form bonds between themselves, the product and the seller.
Here are some ways you can encourage your shoppers to touch your products at your booth:
- Use small signs next to your products that say "pick me up!" or "Feel how soft I am" or "Smell me." This works especially well if you offer items like blankets or soaps.
- If you sell clothes or accessories, provide plenty of mirrors or a dressing room to encourage people to try things on.
- Offer free samples. Most people won't pass up free stuff. Personally, I love shopping farmer's markets, but usually never intend to purchase anything besides produce. However, if a vendor offers me a sample of for example, salsa, you can bet I'll be impulsively buying several jars!
- Give a demonstration. We have a vendor who sells nail stamping art at our flea market here in Shipshewana that does this especially well. They paint your nails for you and stamp on a design for free! They do the entire demonstration for you to show how easy the nail art is. Definitely makes me want to buy!
2. Clean Up Your Display
Nothing turns a shopper off more than not knowing how much something costs...especially if the vendor isn't around or is too busy to talk to. Make sure your items are priced clearly.
Also, be sure to use your display to your advantage when it comes to encouraging impulse buys. For example, place some low-priced knick knacks for sale right next to your register. Just go to the mall and you'll notice the other stores that do this like Bath & Body Works or H&M.
If you're marking items down, or you have low priced items, make sure they stand out. Consider having a one dollar table near check out or even at the entrance to draw in people who normally wouldn't have stopped by youor booth.
3. Start a Conversation
I don't know about you, but I am much more likely to spend money at a booth when the vendor is friendly and excited about their products. If you see a customer pick up one of your items, maybe try starting a conversation with them about that particular piece (i.e. the history behind it, how hard you worked on it, where you got it, or why you choose to sell the product).
If you don't want to talk about the product, try something we all love to make small talk about...the weather! Of course, don't bombard the customer...use your judgement on when to shut up and when to keep talking. And remember, questions are always winners. You could start a conversation by asking questions like:
- Have you been to [insert market name] before?
- Have you heard about [insert product name]?
- What do you think of this weather?
- Would you like to smell my soaps?
- Would you like to try my dips?
- Have you ever seen a hand-painted T-shirt?
4. Use Psychology
There's an article in Psychology Today that explains five subconscious reasons why we impulse buy. The article states,"The feel-good buzz that comes from spontaneously buying something that turns out to be a great buy leaves a much greater impression in our memories than the product that was bought in the same way but never used."
So how can you use this to your advantage when it comes to selling flea market products?
- Create Urgency - "Today Only," or "For a Limited Time"
- Use the "Goes With" Strategy - Are there items that "go with" your other offered items? For example, a makeup brush to go with the foundation powder the customer is buying. If yes, then let your customer know at the point of sale. Customers are more likely to make an additional purchase if they're already at the check out counter.
- Use F.O.M.O - FOMO is the "Fear Of Missing Out," and it's a real thing. You can use this to your advantage by offering just a limited quantity, similar to creating a sense of urgency.
Do you have any strategies for making more spontaneous sales? Let us know in the comments.
And please, download our free E-book on how to get more shoppers to your booth. It's full of great ideas for any flea market vendor.