If you read my interview on Maiden Jane's Blog you would know that I was once a Marketing Major. Not that I am a pro, but I do have a lot of product and retail experience. And I do know what brings people to a site or store.
When I first heard that Walmart was removing all of their fabric from their stores, I thought they were, quite honestly, out of their freaking mind. Sure it might take more labor to cut the fabric, and the profit might be very low, but how many people, especially in this economy, come to Walmart JUST to buy the fabric at such great prices, and while they are there, pick up a few extra things. I know I'm not the only one.
That Marketing scheme is called Loss Leader. That link takes you to a wonderful detailed explanation, with great examples, but basically you offer one really good priced items to get people into your store or site so they stay to shop for others.
Of course if you have a jewelry shop on a seller site, or maybe a very specific item like kitchen cutting boards, buyers are not going to hang around your shop and buy lots of your merchandise, no matter how much of a discount you are giving on one item. But you never know.
Another great Marketing idea I use is a leader. Similar idea, just not down priced. The fabric at Walmart is also a leader, because people will come, even if the price is not low, just for the convenience. I always have a current trend item or two in my shop, even if it doesn't sell, just to get people into my shop through search engine. For example I have Halloween Jewelry in my jewelry shop and Halloween Aprons right now in my Apron's Etc shop. Poppy has costumes on her genre Artfire shop, and with links, she is also getting sales to her non genre shop.
Good leaders are holidays, seasonal (summer BBQ, winter skiing, etc), trends, birthstones, horoscopes, and color trends. Also, don't forget that seasons are reversed across the globe. You need to do whatever you can to get the buyer into your shop. Then offer such wonderful product, that they don't want to leave without buying a thing or two. And don't turn your nose up at Target or Walmart marketing ideas, because they make money and that's why you sell right?
As for the removal of the fabric departments in Walmart? Well I guess they should have hired me, although I'm sure they wouldn't have listened anyhow. I had a lot of bosses that didn't think I knew what I was talking about. Silly guys.
Look at this add from Walmart. They are now bringing back the fabric departments they removed. They could have saved themselves a lot of money and trouble if they just asked me