Starting a new airsoft store can be both exciting and challenging. As a Marketing Manager for one of the largest global airsoft manufacturers, I've seen the ups and downs of airsoft stores. While there are many strategies that can contribute to success, there are also common pitfalls that new stores should avoid. In this article, we'll explore three strategies that can negatively impact your business.
1. Chasing Your Competition
It's natural to want to emulate the success of your competitors, but it's important to remember that each airsoft store is unique. Instead of trying to mimic what others are doing, focus on understanding your local community. Who are the players in your area, and what are their needs? Knowing the level of experience within your community can inform the types of products you stock.
For example, if you're the only store or field within a 30-mile radius, chances are your customers will be new to airsoft. Consider stocking entry-level AEGs that are easy to maintain and user-friendly for beginners. If you don't have a gun technician on hand to repair any defects, opt for reliable and sturdy entry-level AEGs like the Combat Machines.
2. Neglecting Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool for reaching potential customers and building a community. Unfortunately, many airsoft dealers don't fully understand the benefits of social media and how to use it effectively. Understanding your demographics and audience is crucial for your business's success.
For example, Facebook is a great platform for connecting with airsoft players and nurturing a community. You can find or create new airsoft groups and answer questions about loadouts, gun upgrades, and the nearest airsoft field. This is a great opportunity to create a voice and add value without pitching a sale.
Instagram is a visual platform that's perfect for showcasing custom builds and different loadouts. Inspire your customers' imagination by sharing creative photos and videos. You don't need professional equipment, as most modern smartphones have excellent cameras for Instagram.
Tik-Tok is a rapidly growing platform that can be leveraged for airsoft marketing. Following viral trends on Tik-Tok can be a fun way to showcase your brand and reach a new audience.
3. Lack of Strategic Sale & Discount Periods
Discounts can be a great way to drive sales and revenue, but it's important to be strategic about when and how you use them. Offering too many discounts, such as a "friend discount," can impact your bottom line in the long run. Instead, consider running sales during holidays or offering discounts to customers who refer friends. This way, you can drive sales while also building customer loyalty.
In conclusion, starting a new airsoft store is a big undertaking, but by avoiding these common pitfalls, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to focus on understanding your local community, leveraging the power of social media, and being strategic about discounts. With these tips in mind, you can build a thriving airsoft store and make a positive impact on the airsoft community.