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The trends, the issues, and productive business strategies.

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A Scrapbook Shop Hop: An Innovative Marketing Strategy for 2008

The nuts and bolts, and why they produce results.

by Scrapbooking Roads (January 7, 2008)

Tired of expending marketing dollars only to find poor results? When considering your 2008 marketing strategies, think "outside the box" and host a Scrapbook Store Shop Hop with other area stores.

A Scrapbook Store Shop Hop is a novel type of event that enables scrapbook storeowners to see results for their marketing expenditures. Last fall, 97 scrapbook stores participated in a Scrapbook Store Shop Hop coordinated by Shop Hop Productions, a new event planning service offered by Scrapbooking Roads. The result? New customers, increased revenue, and many repeat customers after the event.

Although not new to the craft industry, shop hops are fairly new to the scrapbook industry.

What is a Shop Hop?

A "Shop Hop" is when scrapbook stores from a local geography work together to host a shopping event. Typically lasting for 7-14 days, customers purchase a ticket, called a "passport" to the event at their local store; then they can visit or "hop" to each store to have their passport stamped for a chance to win prizes. "Customers love the thrill of the hunt," states Joan, owner of Stamp Your Heart Out, who participated in the September 2007 29-store shop hop in Southern California and is planning to be part of the second annual So Cal Shop Hop in August 2008.

Who would have thought that hosting an event with your competition would increase revenues and add new customers to your customer base? And yet as each store contributes customers, the combined result is increased exposure and increased revenue as new customers discover your store. A shop hop also gives customers a reason to shop, which scrapbook enthusiasts love.

How to plan a Shop Hop?

Planning a shop hop requires coordinating with other area stores on the event dates and the necessary incentives to encourage customers to participate in the event, including discounts and prizes. Shop Hop Productions, a shop hop, event-planning service offered by Scrapbooking Roads, recommends starting early at least three months in advance. Planning a shop hop begins with creating a name and theme for the event and selecting dates. From there, stores work together to create the discounts and prizes that customers can enjoy when they shop hop.

The goal of a shop hop is to maximize the number of customers that participate, and it is important that each participating store makes an effort to not only promote the event to their customer base but offer an enticing discount and set of prizes to draw in customers as well.

Feedback from shop hoppers who participated in one of the 2007 shop hops coordinated by Shop Hop Productions indicated participants love to discover new stores and learn new ideas and techniques, and it is recommended that store owners provide a make-it/take-it during the event.

A shop hop is also a great venue for store owners and manufacturers to work together. As manufacturers seek new ways to promote their products to both storeowners and scrapbook enthusiasts, a shop hop creates a unique opportunity for manufacturers to become involved. From sharing ideas with storeowners for make-it/take-its and demos to sponsoring the shop hop through product discounts and prizes, manufacturers can help to provide incentives for customers to shop and learn new ideas and techniques. For the 2007 So Cal Shop Hop Fiskars sponsored gift baskets for stores that ordered product prior to the shop hop. Tinkering Ink provides storeowners with discounts and sponsors prizes along with the Shop Hopper Tour contest where shop hoppers are encouraged to take photos in front of participating stores with their passport and post them to the event website's online gallery.

For store owners interested in hosting a shop hop, Shop Hop Productions provides Shop Hop Planning Tips on its website: www.shophopproductions.com, or request a Shop Hop Consult in your area and Scrapbooking Roads will work with you to determine if your geography has enough stores that are interested in participating. For a nominal fee, Shop Hop Productions will coordinate the planning with area stores and provide marketing support in the form of an event website, passport creation, and recommendations for selecting incentives and prizes a service many busy Store Owners find invaluable.

(Note: To read previous "Memory" entries, click on the titles in the right-hand column.)



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