This blog post shows you 5 ways to achieve a sustainable increase in sales of sustainable interior and lifestyle products.
1. Focus on good and sustainable products
How often do you sit on your office chair? How often do you hang your jacket on the hook? How often do you use your dishes? These seemingly everyday situations make it clear again and again how important the proverbial everyday objects are. The small objects that can give us so much pleasure because they are well thought out or because they simply look good. The way they are made can also give us a good feeling. In times when everything seems to be getting faster, the good things, the moments of pause, are the real anchors in the here and now. They give us security as well as a feeling of safety and, all in all, play a large part in making us feel at home.
So it is these products that make the difference to arbitrariness. They are the ones that can give us, as customers, a feeling of sublimity and which we miss when we cannot use them as usual. As a manufacturer or as a seller of these special products you are aware of this. You know your customers. You know what they want and which aspects are becoming increasingly important to them. You don't make a science out of it and yet you are aware that the proportion of customers who specifically ask for products from sustainable production is growing.
This group, which is still small compared to the mass market, is willing and able to spend more for a better product, because the sustainability aspects mean that they are usually willing and able to spend more for a longer-lasting product. And of course you are rightly proud of your production methods, the quality and the selection. You have spared no effort to design, manufacture or stock the best possible products for your customers. You know very well that this is what makes the difference when it comes to standing out and competing with mass-market suppliers.
2. Pay attention to the environment of your shop and your products
The saying "As you make your bed, you must lie on it" says a lot about our own possibilities, according to which we have it in our own hands to determine our own fate and environment. While you are naturally tied to rents, availability and proximity to potential customer flows when choosing your shop, you already have more leeway when choosing your product range. This defines you and thus points you back to your competitors. For example, you wouldn't necessarily settle in an industrial area just because the infrastructure with large roads is so good when your business is more oriented towards walk-in customers.
Conversely, a production site in the middle of a narrow pedestrian zone would also be rather impractical for the manufacture of large products. Similar to these examples, not all environments are suitable for you. After all, you produce or sell special products with a sustainable character. They do not belong in the general merchandise department and would not get the space they deserve at Alibaba or Amazon. As a manufacturer or distributor, you then have to think about whether every retail outlet is also the right distribution channel for your product. Sometimes very large quantities sold by a single large retail partners can saturate the market for years to come. Then you won't be selling there for a long time.
So where do you feel comfortable with your products? Of course in an environment that is sustainable in itself through curation and slow but steady growth. In conclusion, it has to be said that competitors can also have a very strong appeal and attraction for visitor groups who also appreciate other products and then decide to buy them. It is not necessarily a disadvantage to be "found" by other products.
3. Show yourself and your products
Some people like it, others have their difficulties with it: Showing oneself with pride. You have great products and you want to sell them to women and men. This requires advertising. But does advertising always have to cost money? How can I measure the success of advertising and which agency will help me? Does advertising also mean social media? What is SEO or Google all about? So many questions and here you should get some answers. In a more detailed article we will also explain the individual points in more detail. At this point you will find a brief description of the most important aspects. Advertising costs money. Or at least some of your time and always a little of your attention. There are different possibilities, depending on your budget.
How does self-promotion via social media work?
This method is becoming increasingly popular and is subject to major changes. While one channel seems to be hip at the moment, the next candidate for the crown of social media platforms is already on the horizon. But which way is the right one for you and your business? That depends strongly on your orientation and your clientele. At this point we would like to introduce you to the current top dogs and highlight the advantages and disadvantages.
Is Facebook good for business?
The largest social media platform in the world with a further increasing importance, also (and especially) in the B2B sector. Although younger participants increasingly prefer other platforms such as Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok etc., Facebook is and will remain the platform for seeing and being seen for a long time to come. The possibilities of targeted advertising via the advertising manager of Facebook are especially great for local businesses.
What opportunities does Instagram offer for providers?
Facebook's pretty sibling. After all, the social media platform has been part of Mark Zuckerberg's company for years now. At Instagram, a clear focus is on the visual presentation of products. This gives Instagram a very special appeal for any presentation of product photos. Instagram also offers a very smooth integration of advertising and product links to your own shop.
What are my options with LinkedIn?
The reference when it comes to international networking on an almost exclusively professionally used social media platform. Here you represent you brand page with your published CV, even more so than on Facebook. The possibilities of your own PR are almost endless and of course you can also place very targeted advertising here.
Do I also need TikTok, Pinterest, Twitter and Snapchat?
A very interesting question. All social media channels require your patience and stamina. You have to come up with a strategy and make yourself aware of where your target group (no matter if they are business contacts or consumers) is mainly located. Keep in mind that many participants will be active on different platforms at the same time. This is called multihoming (do not confuse this with server addresses). As each platform has its own language and methodology, it is recommended that content and campaigns are always adapted to the individual participant groups.
Do I have to run advertising through an agency?
The possibility to hire an agency always exists and has been used worldwide for decades. Who does not know the great series of Mad Men, in which the mechanisms of on-demand advertising were so beautifully shown? But you have to be aware that this beautiful world of advertising has to be paid for. And that means you, the customer. So if you are not related to the owner of the agency or you are not a friend of theirs, the matter will quickly turn into huge amounts of money. Of course, that's where you'll find the greatest results, but as explained at the beginning, not every solution is the right one for every reader of this article.
Strictly speaking, everything could be arranged through an agency. It is therefore a little outside the competition. With an appropriately positioned agency, one could exploit the entire portfolio of possibilities, from social media campaigns, newsletter design and landing pages to print advertising and commercials.
What does Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) mean for my business?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) describes the process of optimising the content of a website in order to achieve a better position in the search results of a search engine such as Google or Bing. As so often in life, it is also true here that one cannot invest enough time and ideas in the implementation.
By constantly improving the search algorithms of the search engines and a further increasing use of them, SEO is a theoretically inexpensive, powerful, but also time-consuming tool to improve your own visibility. A very important role is played by BackLinks, i.e. links from other sites that point to your site. Therefore, listings and every public naming of your website represent a strong improvement of your visibility in the search engine algorithm. You could almost say that Google likes such links, because the whole algorithm is built around them.
With MTMfair.com we offer you exactly this possibility to generate backlinks. By listing with us you get a free BackLink. This is then a targeted link to your shop or your partners, if you are already in contact with them on MTMfair.com. If you are a retailer, your shop will also be mentioned as the next source of supply to the searching and finding end customers. Of course, we also feature you on our own social media channels and show you to the world with joy and pride!
If you have enjoyed the article so far, we would be especially happy if you share or forward it. Thank you very much and now enjoy reading more about the 5 ways to sustainably increase sales.
4. Network with your partners and watch your competitors
In order to increase sales and to build up business relationships, for example, connections to trading partners are an important factor. Of course you can talk to them regularly, call them on the phone and try to stay in touch, and even if this is the most natural form of contact, today the complementary possibilities are much more effective. While in a joint conversation you would have to ask specifically whether your trade partner has established new contacts or is interested in other products and brands, you can see if they regularly think outside the box by following their social media account, for example. Your competitors will also become increasingly involved in various social media channels if they are not already doing so, and the possibilities of research to observe the market are correspondingly large.
Just imagine that with MTMfair.com we have created a possibility of linking exactly for this case. We thought it would be great to link your products with a shop and this in turn with the corresponding brand. This way every single participant radiates to the others and everyone on the platform gains attention. As with SEO, the focus is ultimately on increasing traffic, i.e. more visitors to your site. We have two features that enable you to do exactly this. BrandConnect and ProductConnect. According to your role, they offer you the possibility to link to the brand or the product in question. Do you already know RetailLink on MTMfair.com? Our newest linking tool, which allows you to connect the retail trade with the manufacturer of the products offered there. A great function that offers both sides a real added value, as both gain additional traffic through the mutual connection.
Of course, all the networking possibilities also offer you further contact and trading opportunities. Ultimately, it's all about discovering new trade channels and opening up new markets. In the past, you used to go to trade fairs and try to make contacts there. A very expensive and time-consuming way, which was then limited to individual events at individual locations. At MTMfair.com we are expanding the trading possibilities more and more and soon we want to include a direct order functionality.
5. Stay true to yourself and your values
In this blog post the last point, but certainly the most important one in the question of how to sustainably maintain and increase your sales in the medium term. If you are honest with yourself and think about what aspects make up your products, you will always find that they have a story. They tell how and where they were produced. They tell who made them and they deserve to be appreciated. It doesn't matter whether you are the manufacturer, the wholesaler, the retailer or perhaps an interior designer who uses the products for an order.
In all cases you depend on your customers wanting to hear the story behind the products and that the story is credible. This trust in the story behind the products is something you have painstakingly built up and therefore you should not compromise it. It corresponds to your values to trade with valuable, authentic products. You would like to contribute to preventing this world from being flooded with an abundance of interchangeable products. And now for the truly great, convincing, aspect that advocates trade with sustainable products: The market share with interior and lifestyle products with a sustainable focus is growing. The corresponding customer group is willing to spend more! This can be observed in Europe and also in the United States of America. We will keep you informed about this development in another post.