Nowadays, we are all looking for added value and if we can’t see it, we’re walking away. More and more store owners a closing their doors early because they can’t find ways to drive more sales. Starbucks stores in Seattle (yes, Seattle…the birthplace of Starbucks!) are closing earlier each day because people just are not buying coffee. The answer is staring them in their face. Add value. You don’t even have to lower the price of something to add value to it. Here is five things I would do before resorting to shutting the doors early. 1. Rewards. Buy 5 coffees, get one free. That’s essentially taking about 35 cents off each drink but will actually drive more sales than simply lowering your prices. Why? Added value. 2. Live jazz nights. If your store has to close at a certain time because you have no customers…make that time THE time to be there. Find some local, undiscovered talent and let them play in your cafe. They get the free play time and can sell their garage-band album and you get to give your customers the awesome atmosphere. It’ll sell. Why? Added Value 3. Education and Diversification. Don’t forget your other products.Teach your customer’s how to make Starbucks-Style Caramel Macchiatos in their own home and then you can sell them the machines, beans and syrups. When they realize they can make their favorite drink at half the price, they’ll love you. Why? Added Value 4. Fun Friday, Cheap Tuesday, Mad Monday…call it what you want. If you really want to lower your prices, this is the only time a sale will add value to a product. You pick a day, give it a fancy name and create an event out of it. Put up streamers if you feel like it and get your staff to wear a funny hat. You could also do this as a ‘After 6pm’ deal, too. 5. Finally, combine them all. On Tuesday night, after 6pm, drinks are half price and you can enjoy the music of local band XYZ while we teach you how to make cappuccinos. Buy five drinks on the night and get one for free. The moral? If you’re a customer, keep looking for that added value and if you can’t see it, ask for it. If you’re a store owner, make your competition irrelevant by adding more value and giving your customers an excuse to buy from you and not the next guy.
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