8 Expert Tips for Setting Up and Being Successful at Your Local Outdoor Market
Driving around just about any part of Australia on a Sunday morning makes one thing very clear. Australians still love spending time at outdoor markets. Even in a digital world where you can buy everything online, people enjoy the allure of a farmer’s, outdoor, or even craft market.
That’s good news for local farmers and small business owners who want to increase their scope by selling directly to consumers. These days, you can buy everything from gluten free beer to your week’s fresh produce at your local outdoor market.
So, do you want to create a new revenue stream this way?
Why Having an Outdoor Market Stall Is a Good Idea
If you have a small business, an outdoor market is an ideal place to set up a stall and engage with potential customers. Aside from being a chance to do direct selling, it’s also a great opportunity to talk to customers about your products and get some feedback. Getting your target market’s firsthand opinion can help you tweak your product lines.
An open-air market is also a terrific way to do some market research for new products. If you’re just starting out, market stall trading is often the first step to determining whether or not there’s a genuine market for your product.
Easy to Follow Steps to Draw Attention to Your Stall
While market stall trading might look easy, it’s important to have your ducks in a row before you venture out. Let’s have a look at the steps you should follow to set up a successful market stall.
1.Establish the Terms & Conditions
Not all market stall terms are the same. You don’t just show up and start selling. Check with the organizers of the market you’re interested in about their terms & conditions. This involves establishing rules, regulations, and expectations. Depending on the products you’re selling, you might need permits or licenses. Ensure you have these in place.
2.Decide Before Hand on Your Target Market
Know up front what type of customer you want to attract. This will give you an idea of the type of décor you want to use around your stall, making sure it resonates with a specific niche.
3.Know Your Competition
Before you set up at the market, spend a day walking around the stalls of potential competitors. That way you’ll get an idea of what you need to do to make your stall more attractive.
4.Set up a Customer-centric Stall
The term ‘customer-centric’ refers to creating the overall experience with the customer in mind. Here are some ideas for a professional stall experience.
- Pack your items in a manner that allows customers easy access
- Ensure there is enough lighting if you’re using a marque or trading at night
- If you’re selling jewellery, clothing or any item that can be worn, have a mirror on hand
- Ensure you have sufficient packaging available
- Have a sign for customers to easily find your stall
- Ensure items are clearly and competitively priced
In marketing, the term ‘reciprocity’ refers to offering free samples. It’s a simple, yet effective tactic to lure customers away from your competitors to your stall. This is especially effective when you’re selling food, baked goods, or even juices.
Always have an attractive tray with free samples on hand. If a potential customer sees five cupcake stalls, you need to convince them why yours is the one to choose!
6.Multiple Payment Options
Years ago, market stalls were cash-only transactions. However, global trends are moving toward going cashless. This means you need to keep up with changing trends if you want to be successful.
Ensure you’re equipped with tap-and-go card readers and EFT card machines. Since the occasional customer will still pay cash, ensure you have change on hand.
7.Ensure You Have Back-up Stock
Ensure your stall is fully stocked. It’s also crucial to have some backup stock close by (in a container under your stall table is a good idea). If you’re selling vegetables, crafts, or homemade goodies, ensure you have a variety to keep customers interested.
Keep in mind that perishable items need to be kept in a small icebox to prevent spoiling.
Be sure to advertise your stall before the big day. Use your social media platforms to tell people where you’ll be and what you’ll be selling. Ask your family and friends to spread the word and provide directions to the market, so your loyal supporters can get there easily.
Use your various platforms to promote products. Many traders post pictures of the stall set-up as well as a few snaps of customers enjoying the products. Be sure to ask followers for their thoughts and ideas.
Being a market stall trader can be a wonderful experience. For one thing, interacting with customers in a real setting can be very exhilarating, especially if you’ve made or grown the actual products.
The good news is, people, enjoy a day out, so if you set your stall up correctly, you’ll always have traffic. Be engaging, offer excellent customer service, and make those sales!