We know it’s rough right now to sell cigars during a pandemic and curbside/to-go ain’t cutting it for many of you.
And yes, we know too that many of you don’t have e-commerce websites, so you can’t show off your inventory as easily. We know that you are sitting on tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars of inventory that you wanna move, but not sure how and few know about you outside of your regulars.
We’ve spent the last two weeks working with retailers like yourself, in the cigar industry and outside, on ways they can increase sales during this “down” time.
Here are a few tips on what’s working that you can apply today:
1️. Create daily deals on Instagram and your business page
Example: The Cigar Warehouse
These deals should cover a widespread of categories and be hard to pass up. Jump over to Instagram and check out how The Cigar Warehouse is doing it:
Padron, Fuente, Warped, Roma Craft…
They aren’t doing deals on the brands people can find on cBid. They are putting up great stuff and keeping it affordable.
KEY: don’t make people ask you what you have in stock. They won’t ask.
They’ll just move on to the shop that shows them.
Instagram is a perfect platform for that as it’s all visual and it’s one of the only platforms people actually use hashtags to search for stuff.
If you’ve not created an Instagram account for your shop, you got some work to do today.
2️. Build your own community
Example: Nickel City Cigars
The Toms’ have done a marvelous job creating a community around their shop.
Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/495723821189340/
You will see that they have their own group to highlight events, like the virtual Tatuaje event they hosted a week ago.
They have a membership club for their most loyal and active customers, whom most are not local.
They are involved daily in the lives of their customers far beyond the initial purchase.
With all the time you have right now, there is no better time to be creating your own Facebook group.
Now hear me out, stay active and involved in big communities you’re already connected to on Facebook or other forums, but don’t neglect creating your own.
Those big groups could shut down tomorrow and you’d have no way to stay connected to the relationships you built here.
Creating your own group means you own everything inside.
3️. Collect those email addresses
Example: Small Batch Cigars
Even if you don’t have a website, build your email list.
Email is still one of the MOST effective methods of advertising and one of the few ways to advertise tobacco.
Create a free account at Mailchimp. Export your customer’s data from your POS and ask your customers if they’d like to be added to your new newsletter you’ll be sending out.
Then use it.
Newsletters of specials, raffles, giveaways, blog posts, virtual herfs, etc.
Keep the content relevant and worthy of your audience’s time and attention, but be consistent in sending something out…even if it’s a couple times a month.
Just do it.
You may not have been prepared for this pandemic.
Maybe, you may not have built an online presence yet.
You may not have a following.
Don’t let that stop you.
No time like the present.
Shoot us a message here and we’ll be happy to give more advice.