5 Tips on How to Get Your Small Business Online Quickly

Set your small business up for success online with little to no time!

Most retailers are now very aware of how much influence the online realm has on their business, but for those who have not yet entered that channel, it can be daunting to get started. Here at Evergreen Enterprises, we want to empower our small business retailers towards greater success and hope that the experiences we share will inspire our partners' online growth.

When most businesses start their online journey, they usually begin with launching a company website. While that step is highly recommended, the process of designing, developing, and launching it can last for several weeks. There are a few other things that can be accomplished in the meantime that can take just a few minutes to complete, yet can still have a significant impact on your business.

5 Ways to Create a Cozy Store Environment

Just because the weather turns cold and snowflakes appear doesn't mean that your store environment shouldn't be warm and comfortable throughout the winter. In recent years, the Danish custom of hygge has grown into a popular home decor trend, thanks in part to the power of social media. The concept is simple: take pleasure in the simple things by creating a warm, cozy place that is designed to connect people, as well as provide comfort.

Retailers can use this concept in their stores to invite customers in and create an atmosphere that will make them want to stay—and return! The techniques can be used across a variety of stores: from coffee shops to bookstores, from hospital gift shops to hardware stores.

1. Set up seating near doors or dressing rooms
A simple chair or an outdoor bench welcomes customers to relax and take a short break from their shopping excursions. As the weather gets cold, it would be a kindness to move the furniture indoors so that they can keep warm. An added extra touch could be including a pillow and throw or blanket to set the scene.

Pro tip: Setup our wood and metal folding ladder or a few baskets near the seating to feature throws and pillows to sell. 

2. Immerse the senses
The more senses that you invite your customers to use, the more connected they feel to not only the items they purchase, but your store. (Tru Vue)

Red Glitter LED Candle with Remote
Lighting is an essential part of a cozy environment. The natural, soft glow of sunlight offers a more relaxing place; think about vacation spots, most do offer an abundance of sunlight. Take away the posters on the windows and let in the light. As the sun goes down, turn on LED candles (for safety reasons) and allow the glow to soothe the soul.

Make sure your products are easy to see and that there aren't any dark areas in your store.

While most stores will pipe in the non-stop Christmas and Holiday music, studies show that if you select pieces of music with a slow tempo it influences customers to walk slowly through stores and thus, they end up buying more. (ThinkGrowth.org)

Allow your customers to hold and touch items they are interested in. We've found that in certain products, such as our flags, door decor, apparel, and fashion accessories, if a retailer takes the item out of the package - sales will increase. Therefore, we've designed our new packaging with touch in mind.

Keep the store temperature warm during cold weather, as research shows that customers who feel warm are prepared to pay more for goods than customers exposed to the cold. (Weatherads.io)

Pro Tip: Place a basket of plush toys near registers for children to touch. 

There can be regional differences in which scents are comforting, but for the holiday season - the smell of freshly baked cookies or spices like cinnamon are the most common for in-store use. You can combine the senses of smell and taste by selling food goods during the holiday season.

You can help elevate one of the main reasons why customers leave the shopping experience by offering food to satiate hunger. This has the added bonus of allowing your customers to indulge in "comfort foods". You can choose to go about this in several different ways: offer freshly baked goods in a sample dish, supply a simple cup of coffee, sell chocolate by the registers, setup a water fountain or water cooler, or even work with a popular food truck service to bring in new customers.

Pro Tip: Setup a display of giftable drinkware by water fountains and coffee pots.

3. Go Natural
Bring the outdoors inside! Greenery is connects to nature and the outdoors, all while you and your customers remain warm inside. Decorate with wreaths, florals, or even planters filled with low maintenance succulents.

4. Comfortable Clothing
Encourage your teams to dress warmly, yet professionally. Cozy up with capes and shawls. Dress-up a simple sweater with a scarf. Need ideas: Shop our selection of winter apparel and accessories.

5. Savor the Moments
As the stores fill up with customers and workload increases, take the time to unplug from the digital world to embrace all of the successes throughout the year. Thank your employees, teams, and coworkers for their loyalty.

Simply taking a few moments conversing with your customers will not only put a smile on their faces, but it will also put a smile on yours.

At Evergreen Enterprises, the concept of family includes our retailers, customers, and teams. We take the opportunity to thank you for your support throughout our 25 years.

'Tis the Season for Engagements & Wedding Planning

Mr & Mrs Tabletop Decor
Engagement season is here! Likely you're hearing announcements from happy couples just as often as Salvation Army Santas ringing their bells for donations. Those in the wedding industry know it's true: a third of all engagements happen between Thanksgiving and New Year (Wedding Wire). Wedding-related businesses from jewelers to bridal shops to florists will soon be entering into the busiest time of the year.

The Top 5 Sales Opportunities with Evergreen On-Demand

Independent retailers face many challenges, such as fitting a maximum amount of product into a minimum amount of space, as well as making sure they stock the items that customers are looking for. Our Evergreen On-Demand program addresses these challenges by offering a way for retailers to offer an “endless aisle” of products. If you're a retailer, our ordering tool allows you to sell thousands of Evergreen products that might not be physically available in your store and have them shipped directly to your customer's home. Evergreen On-Demand can also help you avoid inventory risks but still offer something your customers might be looking for.

If you're new to Evergreen On-Demand or are looking for ways to grow your store's sales, here's a list of the top 5 categories that have proven themselves as key opportunities in this omni-channel approach.

5. Furniture

We know that many retailers simply don’t have the space to offer furniture on a large scale, but we also know that many of our multi-function furniture pieces make awesome merchandisers. With Evergreen On-Demand, you can use one of our shelving pieces to merchandise any number of our products and show off the furniture in the process. Using the signage we have available, it’s easy to demonstrate that the piece is for sale and can be shipped directly to your customer’s home. This is a great way to minimize inventory risk while maximizing your sales opportunities! For our shelving, benches, cabinets and more, shipping directly to your customers is also an added convenience, especially for customers with small cars or no car.

4. Wall Décor

One of our coastal gallery walls
We offer a wide range of wall décor: from our stretched canvas, wood and metal pieces to unique shaped “alternative” wall décor, clocks and more. Our gallery wall approach provides you with curated assortments of gallery walls that coordinate and combine multiple pieces of wall art together to create one big statement. These mix in a variety of wall decor products and fit into 4' by 6' sections of wall. With Evergreen On-Demand, customers can choose the piece they want from the coordinated display and you can ship that item directly to them. The display stays on the wall, so you don’t have to worry about replacing the piece and you’ll never be out of inventory! Like with furniture, you’ll want to use our signage to help educate customers and demonstrate that the items will ship to their home.

3. Garden Stakes

We offer garden stakes in all sorts of shapes and sizes that make charming additions to lawns and gardens. Many of these are our kinetic wind spinners that stand tall in lawns and gardens and capture attention with their size and unique motion patterns. Some of our larger kinetics can be up to 100” tall, so we know it can be hard to budget the space for many of them. That’s where Evergreen On-Demand comes in, offering your customers a wider selection, including pieces that may be too big to keep many in your store.

2. Sports Items

We understand that many retailers are hesitant to stock sports items, at least beyond their local team. The reality, however, is that there are several teams that sell well all over the country in the NFL, MLB and NHL. We always recommend retailers carry these teams. A good place to start with our sports offering is our Top 10 Sports Items blog. Stocking these items in top teams will ensure that customers buy the product, while you can capture additional customers who are looking for other teams with Evergreen On-Demand. You also never know which college graduates might be in your store. Evergreen On-Demand offers the potential to help a customer find gear from their alma mater that they might not have expected to find. Alumni aren’t just alumni during the NCAA season, so you’ll be able to sell collegiate items year-round. Evergreen On-Demand also ensures that you can provide customers with whatever sports item they’re looking for. We carry tons of fun sports décor, flags, and more in tons of NFL, NHL, MLB and NCAA teams and are able to ship directly to your customers’ homes.

A chart of the teams that sell outside their territory

1. Flags

It’s no secret that we have more flags than anyone can fit into a single store. We have designs for holidays and every season in a variety of outdoor-safe materials in house, garden and estate sizes. We highly recommend stocking as strong of a selection of flags as possible to spark customers’ imagination. We offer a flag shop presentation that easily accomplishes this, where customers can experience the variety of unique materials and embellishments featured in our flag selection first hand. If customers can’t find what they’re looking for in your store, there’s no need to lose a sale. It’s easy to help the customer order the flag they want to their home right then and there with Evergreen On-Demand! This can also especially helpful with region-specific designs as well as monogram flags, where customers are looking for something special.

To learn more about the Evergreen On-Demand program, including how to get your business started, visit our website, read our blog or contact your local Evergreen territory manager. You'll find their contact info when you login to our Online Resource Center at www.MyEvergreenOnline.com.

The 10 Most Popular Items from Team Sports America

Our Team Sports America line consists of a wide range of gift items and décor for sports fans, with fun and functional items that help fans everywhere show off their team pride. Based on feedback from our retailers, we've compiled a list of the top ten sports items that have elicited a huge response from fans and can't seem to stay on store shelves!

Sell Any Style, Any Team, Anytime with Evergreen On-Demand

If you're a retailer, you know that consumer expectations are constantly changing. Today's online-oriented world gives them more shopping options than ever before. And we understand how these can continue to make it tougher to compete in the market. Yet we believe that consumers still value the retail store experience on multiple levels. In order to compete with online marketplaces, many brick-and-mortar stores (especially national chains) have started to offer price matching with online retailers as well as free shipping from a distribution center if they don't have a specific item in their store. This tactic of offering a seamless, equivalent experience for people in store that they would enjoy while shopping online is often called the "omnichannel" approach.

Cottage Displays: Give Garden Items a Great Home In Your Store

As a leader in decorative garden products, we value the feedback we get from our retail partners. Our retailers have frequently shared two specific needs with us. First is the need to show key garden product categories in a way that's easy for their shoppers to see, whether bird houses, bird feeders, habitats, solar product, kinetic spinners—you name it. The second need they have is more signage and visual content to make themselves relevant to how consumers shop today.

Our new Cottage displays provide solutions for both of those needs!