Why Markets Matter
Daisy and her twin sister Liv have run A South London Makers Market since 2019, making it their mission to change the face of retail and encourage more people to shop with small businesses.
With the current economic crisis creating sales dips for most businesses, it’s more important than ever to work on raising our businesses’ visibility, standing out from the crowd, and encouraging market visitors to stop by our stall.
Pedddle Founder Nicki had a chat with Daisy about why markets matter, how you can get your market applications to stand out to an organiser, and how to create a stand-out stall to draw those customers in.
In these times of economic downturn, visibility is key to ensure that potential customers recognise, remember and buy from you in future.
We’ve included a few top tips from the IG Live chat below, or scroll down to watch the full chat!
What makes a market application stand out?
Like many market organisers, we often get long applications and although we love the time and passion people put in, we simply don’t have time to read them through! We can have around a thousand applications for a market, so keep it short and sweet.
Our top tips are:
- Be succinct. Drill straight down into what’s amazing about your business and special about you.
- Bullet point. Give a sentence or two showing your personality and enthusiasm, then add 5 or 6 bullet points with topline info about what you do. For example, ’this is my best seller’, ‘I’ve been nominated for this award’, or ’I’ve only had my business for 3 months and already have 5k insta followers’. Give those impressive key stats!
- Show your personality. People work with people! We want to connect with people who love what they do, show their passions and share their enthusiasm. We’re not in the corporate world – let your personality shine!
- Ensure all your links are correct for your social media and website etc.
- Get your Instagram in shape and use quality images! Like many market organisers, we look at brand’s Instagram pages before we start, which gives us an instant snapshot of you, your business, your aesthetic and what you’re selling. Although we look at websites and so on, Instagram is where the bulk of our audience is and we want to share everyone on our market page if they’re selling with us, so make sure your Insta is as good as it can be. Make your images clear (not pixelated) and make it clear exactly what you sell. Instagram is your shop front! This came up in Nicki’s IG Live with Elizabeth Stiles too – click here to watch it.
What makes a stand-out market stall?
Check out our recent blog on creating a stand-out stall, some of which we touched up on in this IG Live.
Visual merchandising is key – that’s why big brands spend so much money on it! As important as it is to make your stall look beautiful and on-brand to take good photos of it, visual merchandising can actually help you sell more.
Top tips for setting up your stall:
- Consider colour stories – A ‘colour story’ is a palette of colours used together to make a cohesive statement and collection. For example, if you’re selling dinner ware, you may want to group napkins with complimentary coloured napkin rings and plates, so that market visitors feel they should buy the full set from you. This is a great way of encouraging those add-on sales!
- Height is key – Customers can see your stall from across the room and people can feel awkward about approaching you if they can’t tell what you sell or what your price points are. Signage and stall height draws them in, and lets them judge from a safe distance whether they want to approach your stall. Height also allows you to display your products clearly and evenly.
- Group your products – Think about how you can group things in sets i.e. put a necklace with matching rings and earrings, so you can encourage add-on sales.
- Consider your branding. Get a table cloth to suit your brand. Ensure your decorations match your brand colour palette. Branding is key to make you recognisable!
- Have correct signage. This includes your business name and clear price signs. Customers can feel awkward asking for prices, make sure they can see at a glance.
At A South London Makers Market, we don’t necessarily look for visual merchandising to already be in place, but we do spend a lot of time working with stallholders before our markets to deep-dive into helping them create great-looking stalls. Once you book on and are accepted for one of our markets, we have lots of resources to help you with things like this.
We stand at the entrance to greet market visitors at our events, which instantly brings feedback on the most popular and stand-out stalls.
Businesses that stand out most are always:
- People who take the time to make their aesthetic cohesive; consider every element of your aesthetic, from your Instagram grid to your website to your stall to what you wear to a market! Letitia Organics wears her apron to markets because she formulates her own beauty products, so this enables her to visually communicate to the customer that she is knowledgable and creates the products herself.
- We get the most comments on brand owners who have confidence. This doesn’t mean being someone that you’re not – it’s not all about being extroverted, but being confident in your business and brand, being friendly, and showing customers that you care and want to help them.
- Being memorable. What draws customers in? Some people like to create a memorable experience to draw customers in – click here for some inspiration.
- Unique stall set-ups. Some stallholders like to create their own customised set-up, to get rid of their table altogether. Think about what makes your business unique but fits with our branding. Here are some more ideas to make your stall look great.
Why markets are ideal for growth
Getting out to markets can also be the ideal source of inspiration for a small business owner. Surrounding yourself with different people and experiences can give you new ideas and fresh inspiration.
Are you feeling stagnant? Ask yourself what motivates you to run your business right now. What is driving your business today – inspiration or desperation? What are your goals? Do you want to try something new? Do you need to pay your salary by next week?
If desperation is driving you right now, that’s not a bad thing. It can give you a fresh perspective. The current economic crisis creating sales dips for most businesses, so think about what you can do to be less stagnant. If you don’t do something differently then you won’t make any change. As a business owner, your personal experiences effect your professional life. Get a train to somewhere new, speak to a new person – think of small changes you can make that creates a different experience. This could even be something as small as taking your morning coffee outside instead of in your kitchen.
Watch the full IG Live chat
What’s coming up next for A South London Makers Market?
We’re taking over Gipsy Hill Brewery’s taproom for a makers market on Sunday 31st July! It’ll be a full day of small business shopping, with drinks, street food, music and more, and of course a great selection of stallholders. Click here to grab your FREE tickets.