mug and work in process

During the summertime when thoughts turn to outdoor activities with the family might not be the ideal time to market winter hygge moments by the fire in the company of friends and family, however, now’s your chance to build that relationship your customers and potential customers crave. 

Big box stores have a lot of advantages on price, your secret weapon is customer service.  Being there for your customers when they have questions, helping them pick a project, and listening to their stories will build your trust with them over time.  According to the CEO of Joann Fabric on their last investor call, the average purchase at Joann Fabric is $30, it’s a transaction, not a relationship. One which relies heavily upon discounts and the cost of crude oil. 

In light of escalating costs and the ongoing threat of delays in shipments across the Pacific, where do you go to find a reliable source of goods to sell to your customers? Across the States and across the Atlantic of course. The US Dollar is at a relative high against other currencies so rather than hope there isn’t yet another delay in your delivery from across the Pacific, look to suppliers in Europe  and in the US to bring new products into your stores.  

Order minimums are trending lower and the dollar is strong, now’s your chance to build your line.  Give that delightfully cheeryful Spring blend from King Cole a chance, or indulge in an order of Rowan Kid Silk Haze or be the first in your area to carry Pascuali Yarn.  You don’t have to offer a coupon to your customers like the big box stores, be honest with them, you got a good deal due to the exchange rate which you are passing along to them, this builds their trust in you more than a 50% off coupon in the mail. No one wants to hear about the price of shipping, cost of crude oil or inflation at the local yarn store, they want to find something to provide an escape from it. 

Once the new yarn arrives, host an unboxing party and offer a free pattern with purchase, perhaps even a knit-along or crochet-along to entice them to join your community of makers, create a service for them so the transaction is part of the service, not the only relationship opportunity.

Pro tip: If you are going to carry a new line, even just one item from that line, get at least one skein in a popular colorway to keep on your counter to start a dialog with your customers about the “soon to arrive, new yarn” and at least one project on the hook or needles.  If the supplier cannot get you a skein at wholesale, swallow your pride and buy it retail from another shop. 

Local yarn stores which sell a service create trust with their customers and solicit a loyal following.  I cannot tell you how many times students have shared their project yarns as “something cheap I got at Hobby Lobby” or “just picked it up at Michaels”. These purchases do not create the level of joy as those made at a fiber festival or yarn shop discovered on vacation. Create joy with your customers, provide to them a break from the news, a service upon which they can rely,  and you will create a loyal customer base. 

Need a hand? I’m here to help you find new lines of yarn, design store patterns, create kits and host make-alongs.  Lets work together to create the type of shopping experience your customers crave through innovative new products and superior customer service. 



Comments are closed