5 Ways to Maximize Memorial Day Sales

Memorial Day is traditionally observed on the last Monday of May, as a day to honor and remember those who died in active military service. It’s also the unofficial beginning of the summer season, a three-day weekend filled with barbeques, get-togethers with family and friends, and great deals at favorite retailers. This Memorial Day, plan ahead so your business or brand can strike a balance between respectful remembrance and celebratory fun. Need some tips to get started? You’re in luck! Make sure employees are aware of sales and promotions. Your team is your greatest asset, so make sure they’re prepared for whatever form your sales and specials take. Online sales, promotions via social media, coupons in the local paper, a secret password—whatever it is, make sure they know all about it! Email marketing is key—especially if you start early! According to a recent study, the week leading up to Memorial Day is when most businesses send out emails announcing their sales. Beat the crowd and send an additional email ten days to two weeks before the big weekend, so it’s not lost in the shuffle. Remember that the biggest shopping day is that Friday, so time your sales accordingly. Run a social media contest to drum up buzz. Social media contests are ideal for engagement and short term goals, such as a special sale. Keep it simple by asking a question on Facebook or Twitter that is relevant to your products or the holiday. “Where’s your favorite place to skateboard?” or “What’s your go-to barbeque dish?” Reward one random winner with a free gift or a great discount, and... read more

How to Curate a Great Instagram Account

When it comes to the action sports industry, Instagram is a great social network. With over 400 million active users, this visual platform is vibrant, engaged, and a perfect opportunity to advertise your brand or business. Because Instagram is so popular, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. While focused hashtags and witty captions can help, photos are the site’s bread and butter. A great photograph is the best way to get attention, increase likes, and promote your business. Even if you’re not a professional photographer, it’s still possible to take great photos and curate an awesome account. These tips will help. 1. Remember the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is a photography term that will help you create interesting and balanced shots. To understand this rule, imagine an image broken into thirds so it’s made up of nine boxes. Rather than put the focus of your image directly in the center of the image, place it in one of the intersections. This is where a viewer’s eye will naturally land, which makes the photo more interesting. 2. Keep it simple. When you’re posting images of products, you want to avoid the “catalog look”—that is, an image on a plain white background. It’s better to show the product in use or out in the world. That said, you don’t want the background to overwhelm the photo. Anyone looking at your image should be able to tell what you’re advertising. Put the product in the foreground and keep the background unfocused. The viewer will understand the context, while getting excited about the product. 3. Post... read more

The Annual State of Skate Survey is Here!

The annual State Of Skate industry surveys have launched and are already working to gather important, helpful data. In case you’re new to the industry or it’s been a while since you’ve taken the survey, a quick refresher: each year, TransWorld Business takes a comprehensive look at the state of skateboarding through their annual survey. By working closely with IASC and Strategic Market Intelligence their goal is to help gather and provide information on the overall health of the industry. In addition to their retailer survey, they’ll also be aggregating information from skateboard manufacturers, as well as core skaters, to provide insight that retailers can use in their day-to-day business and marketing strategy. This year, they’ve even teamed up with a third-party research agency, which will elevate the data to a whole new level and provide the industry with deeper analytics. As we all know, running a business doesn’t offer a whole lot of spare time. That’s why the State of Skate survey is designed to take only 10-15 minutes of your time. The information you provide and the resulting research findings will assist in building an insightful overview that will help develop your short and long term business plan. The more participants, the greater the insights and resulting value will be to your business. To sweeten the deal, anyone who submits a completed survey will be entered into a drawing to win a free VIP Package to this year’s IASC Summit, May 12-13th, 2016, which includes 3 nights hotel accommodation and one VIP ticket to the Skateboard Hall of Fame. Not bad for 15 minutes that could help your industry and... read more

3 Ways to Market to Millennials

Everyone, it seems, is talking about millennials. What they think, what they do, what they buy, and how they are either saving the world or destroying it. The truth is that every generation changes the world in its own way, and if businesses and brands want to survive, they need to stop lamenting millennials and start embracing them instead. The term “millennial” can include anyone born after 1980 and up to 2004—definitions vary, and will depend on the individual’s experiences. This block of time, however, is a safe bet. Most millennials are tech-savvy, constantly connected, and great at multitasking. They’re passionate individuals who value transparency, collaboration, and their personal time. So what does this mean if you’re a business or brand? Simply put: you need to adapt your message and marketing for this increasingly powerful demographic. Below we’re rounded up three ways to market to millennials effectively. Start incorporating them now and get ready to reap the rewards. Establish meaningful connections on social media. Millennials live at least half their lives online, which means you need to be there too. The tricky part is blending in. You don’t want to sound like a robot that’s just trying to convince people to buy your products. Instead, you need to develop a voice that is consistent with your brand, fits the platform, and engages with the community in a natural and fun way. It may be helpful to look at social media as a way to get to know your customers better, rather than as a place to sell them more stuff. This will gain their trust and encourage them to... read more

The Snapchat Primer You’ve Been Searching For

Social media moves quickly. Just because you’ve mastered Facebook or Twitter doesn’t mean you can stop learning or experimenting. Case in point: Snapchat. It’s the latest social media craze for users between the ages of 13 and 23, and if you’re a business or brand, it’s worth checking out. Today we’re going to explain what it is, how it works, and why it matters. By the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll have all the information you need to dip your toes into the Snapchat pool. What Is Snapchat? Snapchat is a messaging app that allows users to take photos or record videos and add text and drawings before sending them to other users. These messages are called “Snaps.” Users choose who can see their Snaps, and also set a time limit for how long their Snaps can be viewed, which can last anywhere between one and ten seconds. After that time is up the Snap disappears, never to be seen again. Snapchat is a strictly mobile app, which means it’s limited to smartphone use, and it’s an easy, simple, and fun way to share messages and communicate with friends. And people actually enjoy this? Do they ever! In May, the mobile app boasted 100 million daily users, 65% of whom uploaded photos. Researchers have even found that people are happier after using Snapchat than they are after using other social media apps, such as Facebook and Twitter. This is because Snapchat feels more like good, old-fashioned, face-to-face communication. Because you share your Snaps with a select group of friends, it’s more personal than broadcasting your life to... read more

Trade Show Takeaways from Surf Expo

Last week, members of the Board Retailers Association attended the bi-annual Surf Expo in Orlando, Florida. This trade show is one of the oldest, biggest, and best in the board sports business, boasting 2,600 booths of apparel and hard goods, as well as a full line-up of special events, including fashion shows, awards ceremonies, and demonstrations. At BRA, we’ve attended our fair share of trade shows. Not only do we know how to survive what can be a grueling few days, but we also know what makes a trade show truly great. Surf Expo was, as usual, a well run and smoothly organized affair, which is one of the reasons we keep going back. If you’re wondering what qualities to look for in a trade show, here are some of the ways that Surf Expo stands out. The layout of the floor was very fluid and easy to navigate. With over 2,600 booths, 7,500 storefronts, and 26,000 attendees, making sure people can get around easily, quickly, and comfortably is essential. Surf Expo is the longest running board sports and beach/resort lifestyle trade show in the world, and their experience was apparent by how well their floor was laid out. The signs were clearly positioned and easy to read. It doesn’t matter if you’re a trade show veteran or if you’re attending your first show. Clear and direct signage keeps things moving and helps everyone have a better time, and Surf Expo knocked it out of the park in this regard. There was a great buzz and good traffic throughout the day. The energy at Surf Expo was great—the floor... read more

Make the Most of SIA Snow Show

As you probably know, the board sports industry is currently in the middle of trade show season. Between all the great opportunities to travel, network, and build our businesses and brands in person, these next few weeks offer an embarrassment of riches. One of those riches? None other than the SIA Snow Show. This year’s show takes place January 28—31 in beautiful Denver, Colorado, which means it’s fast approaching. For the uninitiated, the SIA Snow Show is an annual event you can’t afford to miss. Known as the “see-and-be-seen, pulse-checking event” for the snow sports industry, it’s the one place where you can check in with your favorite brands, meet with your industry peers, and try out next season’s gear, all in one convenient location. If you’re an exhibitor at the SIA Snow Show, you’re in luck! You have a unique opportunity to do more than just show off your products. You also have a chance to connect with a concentrated block of buyers, gain tons of exposure, and demo your latest and greatest offerings. The SIA Snow Show also offers the lowest trade show space rates around, so you get serious bang for your buck. The SIA Snow Show is a big event, and sooner or later (probably sooner) you’re going to feel overwhelmed and exhausted as you try to fit everything in. Our advice is to choose your battles and prioritize your time. There’s no way you’ll be able to see and do everything. Instead of trying to achieve the impossible, it’s best to figure out what’s most important to you and your business, and go from there.... read more

Countdown to Surf Expo 2016!

Some people are counting down to Christmas. While we’re excited for the holidays, we’re also counting down to something just as thrilling—Surf Expo! This year’s winter event will occur January 14 through 16, in beautiful Orlando, Florida. Surf Expo, which takes place twice a year, is the longest running and largest board sports and beach/resort lifestyle tradeshow in the world. It boasts over 2,600 booths, over 7,500 storefronts, and over 26,000 attendees—you can see why we’re looking forward to it! We’ve even created a list of trade show survival tips, which will help you make the most of your time at this awesome event – check it out! One of the most useful parts of Surf Expo (besides the booths, the swag, and the latest and greatest gear) are the seminars. These seminars are a chance for our colleagues to share their hard won knowledge and expertise with one another, building community and making us all stronger. Whether it’s your first time attending Surf Expo or your 20th, there’s always something new to learn. Here are three seminars that BRA will be hosting throughout Surf Expo. If you attend one of them, be sure to say hello! Multi-Channel Ecommerce and Shipping Thursday, January 14th, 12:30PM It’s no longer enough to build a beautiful website and wait for sales to roll in. In order to succeed, your business needs to take advantage of multiple channels, such as mobile, social, and PPC, in order to attract the traffic you need to succeed. In this session, we’ll discuss effective strategies, creative tactics, and shipping solutions to help your business stand out across... read more

5 Ways to Survive Your Next Trade Show

Tis the season—for trade shows! We’ve got a number of them coming up on our calendar (Agenda Long Beach, Surf Expo, and SIA Snow Show, anyone?) and we bet you do, too. Whether it’s your first trade show or your tenth, most of us can use some tips and tricks for making it to the end of the event in once piece. Here’s the official BRA guide for how to survive a trade show. Dress to impress. Agenda is in Long Beach, Surf Expo is in Florida, and Snow Show is in Denver. In case you haven’t noticed, those are very different cities with very different climates. Make sure you check the weather before you go and pack the right types of clothes. It doesn’t matter if you’re working a booth or meeting with vendors—the chances are good that you’ll be moving around, making connections, and on your feet for the majority of the day. Look professional, but make sure you’re comfortable, too. Have a plan but be flexible. Trade shows are big events where you’ll have access to the movers and shakers of your industry. Between visiting booths, listening to speakers, and attending meetings, you’ll quickly find yourself stretched thin. Before the show begins, look through the program, study the booth floor plan, and decide which events are most important to you. Make sure to leave a little wiggle room, though. Sometimes, the best connections and experiences happen when you least expect them. Leave your laptop home but bring your smartphone. Let’s face it—if you’re doing a trade show right, you’re not sitting at a desk or in... read more

Merchandising & Cross-Selling to Maximize Holiday Sales

As specialty retailers gear up for the holiday selling season, there are a number of areas to prepare and fine-tune with your salespeople before the rush in order to maximize sales opportunities. A well-merchandised store combined with pro-active, helpful salespeople can help increase the average sale per transaction while strengthening the relationship between your shop and your customers. • Use product displays and creative packaging to help sell related products If you’re selling a surfboard or SUP, make sure that there’s a display with a board along with all of the related items nearby (leash, fins, traction, etc.). Don’t assume that your customer knows all of the needed add-ons—make it EASY for them to see what to buy in addition to the initial/core purchase. How about putting together a gift box of related items for a beginning surfer or paddler or filling a stocking with impulse/low-cost items such as holiday cards, books, videos, CD’s and boxed items? • Maximize exposure and sales of store private label products Private label goods are the most profitable/highest margin items in the store. Ensure that these goods are prominently displayed and merchandised throughout the store. Use these items as incentives to boost sales of high-end items—i.e. buy a new surfboard between now & Christmas Eve, and receive a FREE shop sweatshirt! • Promote the use of gift certificates/cards Display these prominently near the cash register, as an add-on/impulse item. Ensure that the salesperson asks each customer if they need gift certificates while ringing up a purchase. Make the process smooth and quick. • Fine-tune the cross-selling techniques of your salespeople Don’t let your customers... read more
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