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To-Go Kits: A Natural Extension of the Studio Experience

With the challenges of the pandemic still interrupting business as usual, many creative retailers have flipped the script: rather than customers creating in their business, they’re sending the art home!


These to-go kits can be more loosely structured (here are brushes and paint, a turtle figurine - go to town!), or customers can follow a pattern to recreate a design of their choice - all the way to live classes online. Don’t forget birthday party packs, ladies night and team building opportunities, too!


So how do you decide what projects to package? How do you package? And how do you hit The Sweet Spot - aligning your branding, marketing and merchandising - with this new sales opportunity?


When planning to-go projects and packaging, one size does not fit all. Consider these for each to-go kit or class:

- Age

- Set-up/the experience

- Instructions and process

- Clean up

- Then what?


The effort put into creating a customer-friendly experience - mimicking an in-store experience - means the time and care you put into the details are what will keep those customers coming back for more. I encourage you to create an experience more than putting supplies in a box.


Some points to keep in mind:

- Business contact info and hours should be included in every to-go kit

- Instructions (even a child’s turtle figurine should have an instructional card)

- Encourage posting and tagging your studio on social media while they create

- Include a flier for other to-go kits (in the child’s turtle kit: Ideas for your next birthday party!)

- A QR code that opens a page on your website with additional tips and info - even a video! - specifically for that project

- Supplies: do not sell brushes, tools, etc. a la carte and then not inform the customer. Be very clear with what’s included

- After the sale: send a thank you email. Highlight another to-go kit and any new classes and events (include a link/QR code to your sales page)



Branding:

- The box or bag or kit or container: consider the environmental factor. If you can reuse containers, great! If you have recycled bags, great!

- Unpackaging and unveiling the project: make it part of the experience! What do you want them to say or feel when they are taking out the supplies and getting ready to create? What can you include to make it a more unique (in-store) experience?

- Be consistent: your to-go kits should complement your brand, bags and packaging

- Create displays with your to-go kits and include clear, simple signage. Create signs and displays targeting the different kits/demographic(s)

- With the holidays on the way, a display featuring holiday to-go kits and gifts is a great idea! How wonderful for a grandparent to give ornament kits to their grandkids? Be sure to highlight the benefits of creating at home (traditions, family time, etc.)


If you are just starting to plan to-go kits, start with a manageable number and make them AMAZING before adding a lot of options, online classes, etc. etc.


The success many creative retailers have had with to-go kits means that even when we return to some “normalcy” to-go kits can be a lucrative addition to your business. Educate your customers and keep them informed so they are primed to buy every time you unveil a new kit or class.


PS: If you haven't done a FB live or taught online, give it a go! Start by just recording yourself on your phone. Create several minute-long videos of you just talking - then ease into a little sales pitch. What is your favorite event to promote at your store? Talk about that! I GUARANTEE that after you go live the first time, every single one after that gets easier. I promise.


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