With the rise of behemoth online retailers, many have been bemoaning the decline of brick and mortar stores. Retail experts insist that retail is not dead, merely evolving. One thing is certain, staying relevant requires savvy, cost-effective strategies that engage clients in a meaningful way on the platforms that they use every day. Given the opportunity to cultivate deep relationships with your clients, you can significantly grow your framing business. In our modern world, so many people find their retail therapy online, neatly integrated into their social feeds and favorite websites. This gives frame retailers and galleries two choices: beat ‘em or join ‘em! The fact that roughly 35,000 picture frame stores were in business in 2008 compared to just 5,500 in 2018 leads many store owners to feel discouraged. Fortunately, with a positive perspective and a marketing plan that serves your stores’ goals, it is easier than ever to stand out both in your store and online!

The Best Ways to Set Your Framing Store Apart:

Thanking Clients for their Business

  • Handwritten thank you notes make your customers feel special.  Often times, customers save visual references; notes, business cards, etc. so lucky for you, your store will stay on the top of their minds. Offering post-purchase discounts is another way to show you value your customers’ patronage and almost always guarantees their return to your frame store.

Using your Creativity

  • Take full advantage of how inventory is displayed in your store.  Rather than having blank frames on the wall, empty display cases, etc. make use of the items with interesting photos or memorabilia that create stories. For example, we change the photos and display pieces in our showroom to help our customers visualize the many uses of the products we offer.

Engaging on Social Media

  • These days, it’s not just about the photos you share on your shop’s social media pages. It’s important to interact with other accounts that could be prospective customers; painters, sculptors, photographers, decorators, etc. Following them, liking and commenting on their photos is a great way to get recognition.  Additionally, establishing a voice and an aesthetic on your page will attract people to follow you and will entice them to visit your store. Post photos of unique displays or angles of the products you offer on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. In an Instagram world, showing how picturesque your picture frames are is key.  

Engaging with Net Promoters as your Free Sales Team

  • The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is an index intended to measure the extent to which customers will recommend an organization.  Be sure to have a program in place to measure the customers’ satisfaction and loyalty – offer it at the time of their first visit or purchase.  Engaging with your Net Promoters essentially creates a sales team for free.

Online Bounce Back Promotion

  • Let your customers know you’ll help them fix a problem someone else created.  So often when people order online, they are missing hardware in the package, backer boards fall off, the glass or acrylic in the frame is cracked, etc. This is a huge opportunity for you to gain new customers when you can help them fix their issues.  Customers will remember when they can trust your staff and customer services and will seek out your store above the competition.

Collaborating with other Businesses

  • Co-market with other businesses that don’t typically go with custom framing.  Get acquainted with local businesses in your area and see if you can offer to frame the paintings in their lobbies, etc. Remember, no job is too big — if your networking efforts pay off better than expected, but you’re worried about taking on too much work (which could negatively impact your every-day customers), outsourcing large-scale projects to Gemini is a great way to keep your customers happy and exceed the commercial expectations of a new, larger client.

Using your Space to Entertain

  • Engage with your current and prospective clients to potentially offset costs by hosting wine parties, lunch & learns and team sports celebrations, just to name a few. You can even rent out your space on days when you’re typically closed.  

Finding Inspiration by Traveling

  • 86% of all creative thoughts happen in nature, not when you’re working on your to-do list.  Consider a break from the store the reset you need from time to time to bring inspiration and positivity back to your home away from home.  Alternatively, if you can’t seem to get away, work with a local flower shop to display flowers and greenery in your store — using display cases as a way to highlight flower arrangements is a great option to brighten the showroom, and simultaneously show off your products.

Marketing to Millennials

  • Millennials are one of the most important demographics to market to no matter what kind of business you own.  Not only do they now have their own money to spend, but they also influence the trends. Market to them by considering the way you display your inventory.  For example, you can create a gallery wall that mimics the look of an Instagram account. Remember point number 3 — in an Instagram world, make sure your picture frames and cases are picturesque.

Partnering with your Suppliers

  • There are numerous perks to partnering with your suppliers including lead time, speed to market, offering solutions for printing capabilities, restoration, storage and more.  When you and your partners are working together, you both benefit and your customers will feel the exceptional service.

Keeping up with the strategies that sell can be overwhelming but setting goals and realizing that it’s really quite simple to make your frame store stand out by using the above list as a guide can help you tremendously.