The next step in growing into retail and e-commerce together is tackling the power of cross promotions. This means promotions, advertising, and sharing not just with local companies – but companies with a national reach.
For Toasted Pixie, getting foot traffic into the store, and ultimately finding a better location with access to even more foot traffic was only half the battle. Getting customers to purchase more – and to connect with other stores in their area was the key to finding the next step of success, especially in a smaller market area like Grand Junction, Colorado.
What else can you buy on Main Street?
This was the most important question after Toasted Pixie made its big move to Grand Junction’s actual Main Street shopping district. The strip is given a 4.5/5 stars by TripAdvisor and listed as one of the best “main street” destinations in the United States. Filled with outdoor artwork including beautiful murals and statues the area makes for an amazing place to walk with over 300 days a year of sunshine.
Filled with a number of great local restaurants, galleries, theaters, and yes – plenty of shopping. For DEVUPP Studio this meant taking another walking tour of the shopping options to get some answers. One thing Toasted Pixie was really trying to do is STAY UNIQUE. It made absolutely no sense to carry products and compete directly with stores a block or so away.
While working with Toasted Pixie the idea was to create unique cross-promotions that would allow someone who purchased something from another shop; like a tea shop, or the aforementioned coffee shop; to find something in Toasted Pixie that just “went with” something they had purchased from another store.
For instance, on the subject of teas; if you purchased some tea from the local tea shop show the cashier your purchase and you will get 10% off your tea accessories purchases from Toasted Pixie. This simple promotional drive can be executed without needing to get the cooperation from the local tea store, though a direct partnership can be more beneficial. This does mean though that they had to begin carrying specific products like funny tea towels, tea pots, decorative tea strainers, and other accessories to compliment what the tea store itself offered.
Not your every day cross promotion!
How about this gem? A local bakery owner who also happens to side-gig as a jewelry maker? This is an AMAZING and deep cross-promotion. First, Toasted Pixie loves supporting small, local, woman-owned businesses. Second, Toasted Pixie loves unique, beautiful, hand-crafted creations. This particular cross-promotion affords quite a few benefits for both companies.
It allows Rise & Grind Design, by Jennifer Ludeman a place to sell on main street with no fixed overhead. Second, it allows people who visit the store to connect directly with Jennifer and her businesses, including Sweet Kiwi Bakery in Orchard Mesa, a part of Grand Junction about 3 miles away from the Main Street area. Next, the connection allows Jennifer to send people to Toasted Pixie to see and purchase her wares, which of course brings additional foot traffic into the main street area, and right into the Toasted Pixie store!
By complimenting what Rise & Grind Design has to offer, Toasted Pixie can benefit directly from foot traffic looking for products from Jennifer. These are things like cards, bags, boxes, and products that help compliment the giving of this jewelry as a gift.
Entering into the Art Scene
Grand Junction is will known for its mature art scene. This is evidenced by galleries, murals, window paintings, sculptures, and unique art all across town. By cross-promoting with working artists, Toasted Pixie can add itself to the art scene in the area, help support local artists by giving them no-direct-cost space on main, and attract those people looking for art while walking the downtown district.
This art display in the store allows two artists (both who happen to be employees of Toasted Pixie) a chance to sell their work. In the case of the nature and black and white photography, Toasted Pixie was also able to help convert 3×4 prints into post cards at no cost to the artist. As these are works by local artists they tend to sell well when people visit the store looking for local products and artwork.
By including artists in their available products, and rotating the products they have available it helps both Toasted Pixie attract regular visitors, brings the artists into the loop as promoters of the store, and opens the opportunity for great local press, online content development, and highly visual and successful social media sharing.
Hey Mister DJ.
One of Toasted Pixie‘s best sellers, and one that brings in quite a bit of additional foot traffic, and works great to increase ticket sizes on purchases is actually the side hustle of a local Grand Junction radio DJ – Chenoa Bottinelli. Her hand assembled stationary kits fit perfectly in the Toasted Pixie vibe, are great for gifts, and suggest the right activity of bundling purchases – leading to the magical higher average per person purchase size.
This cross-promotion serves quite a few purposes for Toasted Pixie. Of course it is always great to have a very socially active and well known personality to keep their products in your store. This allows them to assist in driving foot traffic to the store by word of mouth that is typically far more powerful than most people.
For Toasted Pixie this also means great opportunities to cross-sell products that fit in that market niche. This includes candles, additional bags, desk signs, more paper options, and other pens. The partnership makes for a great display in the store and though it does not take up a lot of floor space, it does provide an eye catching opportunity to display products directly from this vendor, and from other vendors with similar products.
The great part about this relationship is that she is a very active seller in other local events, which allows Toasted Pixie to benefit from the word of mouth discussions about where to buy these products, even when Toasted Pixie is not able to be present at the event. This effectively works as free advertising and marketing for the store and benefits both Chenoa and Toasted Pixie.
A Mixed Bag of Traded Products
In some cases it helps to give exposure to other stores simply on trade. You carry some of our products, we will carry some of yours. This is especially true for stores that are not in the Main Street area. Recently, Toasted Pixie has connected with Mesa Lavender Farms and plans on carrying some of their products directly in store. As this organization can also provide white-label products the eventual relationship will be as a provider of branded products for Toasted Pixie‘s new imprint Furious Gnome, a line of products oriented for men.
In other cases this may include simply carrying a few products from various vendors, and asking that they carry some of ours. These simple trades allow us to create exposure for both stores in both locations. This type of cross-promotion is fairly simple to conduct, but does require a more communicative relationship between the two stores. Even if the products themselves do not move quickly, that is okay. The idea is to provide free advertising for the other partner, and to receive advertising yourself. Simple displays like this that mix products from multiple relationships allow the staff of the store to promote the other stores, makers, and other types of businesses in the area.
The flipside is that it allows those stores to promote Toasted Pixie as well. In an area with distinct shopping areas like Grand Junction this means there are multiple opportunities for sharing product. Main Street shops can promote stores in the shopping mall, and vice versa. North Avenue shops can promote Main Street shops, and on it goes. This helps to move visitors, shoppers, and regulars to other parts of town and inform those who did not know, and remind those who did to visit other parts of town, even if not today.
Space and Cross-Promoting Makers
One of the great things Toasted Pixie has been able to accomplish is to share its space with local makers. Toasted Pixie allowed smaller companies, mostly crafters, artisans, and makers to have pop-up shops within the Toasted Pixie store, and out front of the store during the 2022 season of the Market on Main, the Grand Junction farmer’s market.
By providing both paid space (inside event space) and free space (outside event space) Toasted Pixie was able to work with a number of startup organizations and present them with growth opportunities that were much more cost effective and relationship building that typical “booth rental” spaces during events.
For instance, Toasted Pixie held a book signing event for the book “Mommy Didn’t Say That…” with author Allison McGill. During that event 3 pop-up shops setup inside Toasted Pixie where wine tasting was provided, and a live signing for the book was taking place. Not only did this result in a very inexpensive opportunity for main street event access for the three pop-up shops, but it also:
- Gave them access to the author’s audience who came for the signing
- Gave them access to Toasted Pixie’s regular foot traffic
- Allowed them to bring in their own audience from social media
- Created a newsworthy event that got local coverage and brought in more traffic
- Engaged a local vineyard and allowed access to some of their audience
The end result? For Toasted Pixie a sale’s day that was 300% of normal foot traffic, and 400% of normal purchasing volume. Everyone one wins. The pop-up shops sell more, the author sells more, the wine vendor sells more, and the store sells more.
In another case a free table and signage was placed during the Market on Main, allow a local maker to test the event and sell enough that it likely would have justified having a booth at the event itself, instead of just a table in front of the Toasted Pixie store.
This simple activity allowed the vendor in front of the store to suggest passersby during the event to visit the store, obviously increasing in-store traffic and of course increasing sales for the event. During the event sales were naturally elevated because of the additional people in the area, but having an outside presence without the added cost of booth space during the event allowed for additional exposure and acted much like an online lead magnet does.
On top of all of this Toasted Pixie was able to help a local maker sell more product at NO ADDITIONAL COST to them. This helps give back the community, helps to support local businesses and makers, and helps to build great relationships with new people – the truest and most rock solid way of building business.
So what’s the story morning glory?
The bottom line of this story is that there are a ton of components that go into increasing profitability of your retail and e-commerce store. They happen in the store, with your products, with your vendors, with your neighbors, and with the space you have. DEVUPP Studio specializes in helping companies learn about and take advantage of these unique relationships, creative marketing and sales efforts, and both online and offline activities to promote your local business.
If you are in one of the areas we define as “Main Street America” then we can help you. We have worked for years honing our experience, not just as a marketing company, but as a sister company to this Main Street Retail and E-Commerce operation. Our goal is to build amazing brands that people fall in love with, and must share. We would love to talk to you and help you find the success you truly desire!
Get in touch with us today and our expert staff can help you take your retail operation to the next level – Contact Us.