Staying Sales Sharp: Small and creative ways to drive sales
Faced with closing their venues, Vaughan Yates, founder of The Virgin Mary, and Christine Kuypers Senior VP of Revenue Management, Cineplex share the simple ways you can engage guests and drive sales during challenging times.
The world has changed as we know it but the need to connect, thirst for experiences and the love of delicious drinks has only increased. Looking at how to protect and increase revenues—rather than simply containing or cutting costs will define those who come out on top. From Ireland to Canada, we look at the top five ways you can continue to drive sales whether you are a local bar or a large multinational.
1. BE REACTIVE
You can easily spend too much time ensconced in the details while opportunities fly by. We were keen to avoid this by applying a single-minded focus to our sales strategy to propel a quick and effective change to our business model. Understand your business, the environment you face and make the changes needed to adapt and survive.
2. GET SOCIAL
Social media isn’t just about brand awareness, when done right, it can generate sales for your business. Facebook and Instagram in particular now make it easy for people to buy direct from social channels, be sure to take advantage of the features available.
Social media has been a key driver in transitioning our customers from offline to online. We used our social channels to reinforce our expertise in the alcohol-free arena and engage our audience with useful content when they needed it most. The result, increased brand awareness, community engagement and an uplift in sales.
3. SIMPLIFY CUSTOMER JOURNEY
Line-ups, even for everyday errands, are the new norm, but don’t let them stand in your way! Examine your guests’ journey and find fun and unexpected ways to get drinks in hands – whether that’s on your online store, or in your actual bar venue if you’ve reopened. Make that journey as smooth as possible and sales will flow.
During this time, we shifted our focus on serving our customers safely, and that meant moving our operations online. Like all bars, we had a surplus of stock that was burning a hole in our pockets, and the e-commerce solution gave us a medium to effectively drive the sales needed to support our business. Smooth customer journey is key as people are much more likely to purchase when they can find what they want in the simplest way possible.
4. FOCUS ON CUSTOMER RETENTION
Encourage repeat custom. Take stock of in-house or hard-to-find ingredients that guests can take home. Having a standout offering, one that makes you unique, enables you to charge a little more for something that will ultimately keep guests coming back.
Repeat custom is the foundation of a profitable business and we focused on strengthening existing relationships for this very reason. For every order over €25 we added a voucher for two complimentary glasses of 0.0% sparkling wine in the bar when we reopened. Our messaging at all times was targeted towards bringing people back through our doors when it was safe to do so.
5. OFFER AT HOME EXPERIENCES
Delivery and take-away are here to stay, and bars can extend their reach in a big way. Offering great value on a mixed pack can not only drive up basket size but also give guests a chance to sample something new, like a funky cherry gose or killer canned cocktail they’ve had their eye on.
Through a number of strategic drinks partnerships, we created ‘Alcohol-Free At Home Kits’ enabling us to upsell products we had a lot of stock of and move some of our slow moving items. Customers can customize the kits based on their preferences for a unique, at home experience.
- Don’t be afraid to adapt your business model to the situation and do it quickly.
- Understand the new customer journey and seek ways to streamline it. The simpler the better.
- Strengthen relationships with existing customers to retain loyalty and find ways to draw them in when you reopen.
- Double down on digital and use the power of social media to generate online sales.
- Upsell products and shift slow moving stock through customizable at home drinks packages.
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