Positive Yarn

January 30, 2009

Another year, another $400 less in spending

Filed under: Business marketing — heathergooch @ 11:08 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I recently came across a post that puts “the economy sucks” into better perspective. Aaron Patzer, CEO and founder of Mint.com, an online personal finance service that claims to have about 900,000 users, throws out some interesting figures based on data from his company:

“If you run a consumer business … your customers are spending $400 less each month than they were a year ago, have burned through half of their savings, and on average have taken on an additional $5k in debt.”

Yikes. So do you resign yourself to the fact that your goods and services might be relegated to the “recession concession” pile, in which customers toss their want for non-essential purchases these days, or are you the port in the storm — the stress outlet, the cheaper-than-buying-it-at-a-store gift inspiration, the “I better start selling my handiwork on the side” supplier and cheerleader?

By the time it’s all said and done, you’ll probably be all of the above. While the info is not exactly energizing, fight back with sales and promotions geared toward the customers who are shorter on cash, but long on the desire to be creative. Showcase patterns that can be done up just as nicely with second-tier products as with top-of-the-line supplies (a sale is still a sale these days, right?). Emphasize that a night spent crafting with the kids or grandkids can be cheaper and more rewarding than at the movies or the mall. Let students bring in their stash to work alongside some newly purchased materials. Dust off some older inventory and see if a “bargain bin” gets customers going.

Invest in a decent cappuccino machine and let them invest the “bucks” they might be spending across the street at their favorite coffee place back into your shop. Even if you ask for a $1 donation per cup to offset costs, it’s still a deal to them when they’ve resisted for so long not having any flavored java at all.

And good luck!

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