How can shops keep sales coming in during an economic downturn?

Shops across the world are reporting that sales have come to a halt, and customers have canceled jobs. You will almost certainly have a dip in traditional retail sales for events over the coming months. There is no way around that. However, you can get smart with marketing. Here are some ideas:

Cancelation gift packs

  • “Your event is off, but we’re still on. Delight them with our Cancellation Package.”
  • Offer free shipping for your goods to them and their participants

Gift cards to preserve cash

  • Buy now, and shop later

Online stores are still viable!

  • “A touch-free experience…just like you want right now.”
  • If you’re not using online stores, you should start
  • There are options out there specifically for shops
  • Email your customers and offer to fundraise for them
  • Partner with a local food bank, church, or health organization to raise funds

Email campaigns

  • No-sales campaign: “We know it may not be time to order shirts, but we wanted to share something else cool with you!”
    • Stay in contact—it’s crucial
  • Sanitary campaign: “All shirts sanitized by heated dryer! Shipped totally touchless! All employees wear PPE!”
    • The items coming out of your shop are safe
  • Checking in: “How’s business? We can’t get a drink, but I’d love to chat with another small business owner.”
    • Now is the time to strengthen good relationships

Handwritten notes

  • Humanize your staff and convey your gratitude
  • Try something like this: “Thank you for your patronage throughout the years. It may not be the right time to order shirts, but I’m thankful for the connection we’ve made. Best wishes from the entire print family.”

Free ground shipping on all orders

  • Offer free shipping for a limited time on all orders

Sell social distancing signage

  • If you print signs, now is the time to pitch social distancing signage
  • This could include sticky floor mats to indicate where people stand, posters to help people understand new protocols, and other signage to reassure customers at essential businesses

Bruce Ackerman


Bruce Ackerman is the founder and CEO of Printavo, a business he started in 2012 after growing a print shop in college.  Since that time, Printavo has grown to help shops all over the world get organized and streamlined. He previously held a position as the head of design for Avant. Ackerman also produces content for Printavo's blog, which covers topics of shop management and efficiency.

View all articles by Bruce Ackerman  

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