We are always truly inspired by the creative ways our customers rise to every occasion. Read about three businesses who are meeting the challenges of these difficult times with ingenuity and the desire to serve their communities. Hopefully you’ll get some ideas for your own business!
Cookie Corner – Phoenix, Arizona
Jackie of The Cookie Corner in Phoenix says, “I’m a home-based business in Arizona. I’m offering decorating kits as well as predesigned cookie sets. My customers are picking up via porch pick up [shown in the photo above].
“I’m trying to use bags to keep things simple. They buy from my online store. They come to my home on the designated pick up day, grab their goodies, and that’s it. I ask each customer to kindly wait in their vehicle if they see someone on my porch before them. It has worked out great. I was worried on Saturday for Easter pickups and there being 35 plus bags on my porch, but my customers did a fabulous job!
“I’ve been doing porch pick ups for years, so in a way, I’ve been ‘practicing’ for a long time now.”
On a Whim – Omaha, Nebraska
Denise of On a Whim in Omaha says, “We have been using [Nashville Wraps] bags for 15+ years now. These black bags have become our signature – very recognizable, we hear, at many ornament exchange parties over the holiday season. During this time we decided to make our bags a little happier and added the hello tag and ribbon to put a little smile on our customers faces.
“At our first curbside pick up we even included custom made packs of little inspirational cards! This week we have a customer who had been making masks and we decided to offer them to our customers to help them stay safe and feel better when they need to leave their homes.
We have offered a candle day and suggested some of our newest fragrances – our customers love candles! We really are relying on our customers reaching out when they need a gift or pick me up. Many of them trust us to pick it out for them which is a huge compliment. We also set our store windows for window shopping – we faced much of the merchandise in the front tables to be viewed from outside. We have gotten a few calls from passersby wanting some home decor item they saw in the window.
“We are doing our best to weather these difficult times so we reach out as much as we can on social media. Our customers are the best and we know they are here to support us. We look forward to a time when we can all get back to the shop and we can once again hug our customers and visit with them face to face.”
Learning Express Toys – Chattanooga, Tennessee
Patrick & Joanna of Learning Express Toys in Chattanooga created colorful Easter “Bunny Boxes” (shown above) using basket boxes and other gift basket supplies from Nashville Wraps. They filled these Bunny Boxes with toys and candy for curbside pickup. The response was tremendous, bringing in 200 orders in just a few days. Patrick says, “Given how close we are to Nashville, we were able to order three times in five days as our box supply sold down.
“We created a Google Form and created some compelling social media graphics and posts, gave customers the choice of different colored boxes on the form that we could personalize with the child’s first name on front, or an Easter themed box (while supplies lasted). We offered price ranges for customers and asked for their child’s age and interests. Then our sales team took it from there.”
Patrick says that offering a “let our toy experts build a Bunny Box your kids will love” program caused sales to explode. “It took the onus off the parent (or grandparent) of having to choose everything, and saved us time …. And having the large basket boxes from Nashville Wraps presented the customer with color choices (so they still had a choice in presentation).” They also ordered cello bags from Nashville Wraps to place the Bunny Boxes in, and green and pink basket shred.
Patrick and Joanna were lucky enough to have a few basket boxes left over, because on Easter Sunday evening, Chattanooga suffered a blow as a tornado damaged over 150 buildings, destroyed businesses and homes, displaced families, and led to a few fatalities. “We immediately hit social media to offer to create Care Boxes. We are giving a 40% discount to any items going toward children affected by the severe weather, and accepting donations to be put toward such boxes for families. Affected parents can reach out to us for boxes for their own kids, and we pull from those cash donations from the public that, along with our discount, will finance such requests.
“This all came about in under 12 hours of the tornado hitting, and thanks to having just gone through a new way of doing business in the two weeks leading up to Easter – creating gift boxes from online and social media order requests, together with curbside pickup and delivery offered to our customers – its’ been a smooth on-ramping of a new program that we hope will help make this crisis a little easier for some area children whose lives have been turned upside down this week.
With Mother’s Day coming up in just a few short weeks, how many of these ideas can you put into action for your business? We’d love to hear about the innovative ways you’re finding opportunities to serve your customers and communities during this challenging time. Let us know in the comments below.