Grade-school sweethearts Tracy and Aaron Griffith never dreamed they would someday own a shop in their hometown of Wabash, Indiana. But as luck would have it, a simple Facebook post intended to sell unwanted furniture snowballed into a home-based business overnight. Needing more space, the Griffiths made a bold decision to buy a historic building downtown to house both their resale shop, Thriftalicious, and large family.

As one of six businesses selected in Wabash to benefit from a $500,000 Small Business Revolution—Main Street makeover, the Griffiths will get the marketing help they need from Deluxe to make their investment work.

Cash flow is often the biggest challenge

While business has grown steadily over the past four years, there have been days where cash is not as available as the Griffiths would like, resulting in lost opportunities to purchase a special item for the shop. Given how important fresh and unique merchandise is at a resale shop, the Griffiths need to increase top-line sales — no easy feat in a small town.

“There have been times where I’ve spent the last of what we had to buy more stuff,” says Aaron.

Increasing foot traffic to the store

The Griffiths are not alone when it comes to the challenge of bringing in more customers. Nearly 70 percent of all businesses say it’s their biggest priority, yet it represents the most difficult and time-consuming task. The marketing team at Deluxe put their heads together to outline a plan to not only generate more traffic online, but more importantly, convince those visitors to shop at the physical store.

Launching an online and offline marketing strategy

After an initial call with the Griffiths, the Deluxe team identified four guiding principles that would provide the roots for all marketing activity:

  • The store is like an ‘80’s and ‘90’s time machine
  • The products are cool and eclectic
  • The merchandise is deliberately curated
  • The store can be a destination in itself

Since Thriftalicious also lacked a succinct identity, Deluxe rolled the four principles into one message: “Old School Cool” — a mantra that could guide their marketing choices.

Web design to get found online

The first order of business was to get Thriftalicious online with a professional, mobile-friendly website. The Griffiths were proactive in securing their domain name when they started the business, but struggled to get past a basic placeholder website that was light on content.

Old website design

thriftalicious-old-website

New website design

Deluxe set out to build a website that provided the right balance of messaging and visuals to equip the various types of online visitors (gamers, sellers, tourists and locals) with the information they would need to make shopping decisions.

A home page describing Thriftalicious in seconds:thriftalicious-new-website-home-page

A page dedicated to gaming, featuring a fun, 8-bit version of the owners:
thriftalicious-gaming-page

A page dedicated to sellers:
thriftalicious-sell-your-stuff-page

A page serving up answers to common questions about buying, selling, returns and hours:
thriftalicious-faqs

A contact page to trigger calls and visits:
thriftalicious-contact-us

Developing a postcard marketing strategy to increase repeat business

While most business owners focus on bringing in new customers, Deluxe advised the Griffiths to implement marketing campaigns to give people an incentive to return to their store – a strategy that is up to seven times less expensive than acquiring new business. Deluxe created an in-store postcard with a 10-percent-off offer for the Griffiths to hand out to customers at the time of purchase.thriftalicious-postcard-front

thriftalicious-postcard-back

Email marketing to connect with customers

One of the most cost effective ways to reach out to customers is communicating through email. Deluxe encouraged the Griffiths to start an email marketing strategy, and asked that they starting collecting email addresses from customers at the register. In a few short weeks, their list grew large enough to fuel the first email for Thriftalicious, featuring an upcoming sale event.

thriftalicious-email-marketing

Resale shop is destination for “old school cool”

The Griffiths have worked hard to improve life for their family and their future. Today, they are better equipped to build their business, thanks to a new website and marketing strategies designed to drive repeat store visits. Thriftalicious: A destination for both locals and tourists looking to take home a bit of ‘old school cool’.

I feel like it’s a brand new beginning for us,” says Tracy.

We’re starting a revolution

Watch these small towns’ revivals in the original online series: Small Business Revolution — Main Street.

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