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Xanna Wahwah

Clubs and Shops...supporting your stores to support your club?

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I was under the impression that when a club rents stores on their land, it is to subsidize each other...correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't it be beneficial to the club and stores alike, especially with a club that has decent turn-out to do some in-club advertising for the stores that rent from them?

The reason I ask this question is this...I've recently rented stores in the vicinity of a club that is well known and always full I paid premium prices for the rental.  I gave this store 3 months to turn a profit, and sadly it didn't...in fact I was in the hole and the only sales I got from this store were from a friend that was referred there.  We have good products, unique products, and work hard to make them.  Marketplace sells enough to keep our current (and cheap) store running, barely...With the fact that it's expensive to rent a store and advertise you'd think that the sim owner and club (who, in my last case consequently are owned and run by the same person), would want to keep their patrons by spreading the word about the stores to the visitors of the club!  Am I wrong in thinking this?

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Several years ago our shop tried setting up auxillary shops on sims with clubs.  We thought the extra exposure would increase our brand awarenss and breaking even was our only revenue goal...but not one of them performed well.  Our conclusion was that those coming to sim were not in the frame of mind for shopping but have no data to support that.  We did much better being located on a strong "shopping only" sims, but even at that none of the satellite shops really performed well enough to be worth the  extra effort.  We now stick with just our main shop and couple spots on friend's sims.

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Good point, and being fairly new to this (about 1 yr in creation), I'm learning the in's and outs. I was kinda gathering that, but I know for myself, I always check out the shops on a sim where I go to dance and such...maybe I'm unique?  I often buy stuff and find great deals at these places.  Now, as for shopping only sims, I've searched, I've done map views of different sims of this nature and often find most malls are barren of people.  Any tips on a good mall that has good traffic? lol...

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Make darn sure that that club doesn't have 50% bots.

That's a sure sign of having trouble. But the way Linden Lab has really been pushing the market place. Lots of malls are taking a hit .

And look at he demographic of the club. Are they all kids with no money? How long has the club been in business? What is the general type of Mall/Club etc.  If it is a rock club and you are trying to sell formal clothing then you may want to change the place depending on your product type.. You have to do a bit of research your self on weather or not your product is going to sell to the type of people. I have some people come to my mall wanting to sell wings. Well, my mall and Club is predominately formal and the type of people love formal clothing and more than likely wont buy wings. I let these vendors know this. I also tell them they are more than welcome to Try..

Just because a club has good traffic doesn't always mean they will be diving in at your product..

We try to do as much as possible for the vendors short of over spamming the guest. Thats not good for the club to always push product massively.. I have a showcase building down in my club area with all the vendors in there and categorized.  But you really have to take a lot into cinsideration. Even if you are breaking even. you are still getting your name out there. And if the product is good. then your name will flow off the lips of residents..

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The club is there to drive traffic to your stores which is the primary design, yes.  Some get it but most club owners, and trust me, there have been hundreds of thousands, don't get it which is why they come and go so fast.

Since we can automatically rule out that most club owners have a clue, then it becomes the owness of the merchant to grab traffic.

In large part this is why I have never had a store not on my own sims, be it a club or other attraction or just they store.

If I do take a presence in a mall, or club, I look at what makes that club work, how often they have shows, their traffic count and I talk to other merchants, just like you would in RL.

Then you always want to see what that club is doing to promote your store.  Signage? Teleports? Are their DJ's mentioning you and do they have sponsorship opportunities.

I hope this helps but just keep in mind, this is absolutely no different than what you would do in RL.

 

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I have to say, I'm really glad I posted this question!  Some great points and I can already see things I could do differently.  Time for some big changes I think!  Now, the fact that I do rent a quarter homestead sim and a store separately, I'm thinking my best bet would be to combine the two...the costs would be similar to join the two on a normal sim.  I'm seeing benefits in many ways by doing this.

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I rent about 50 mall spots at any one time and had various experiences.

It's all about determining the mix of visitors and the blend of product to location.  My view is that my mall spots are there to advertise and feed the main shop, if they break even that's good, if they make a profit better.

Where things go wrong are where there's a disconnect between the aims of the club owner and the renter.  Sometimes it doesn't feel like much of a partnership but that you're being offered a chance to grace a mall in order to support the lofty aims of the club.  I don't buy into that and when I ask "who visits, why do they visit, what makes your club/place different from all the others, what will you do in order to increase MY sales?", when the answer is "huh?", that provides a reasonable profile as to the goals.

"We're going to be the best club in SL, we have a sploder and competitions and will give a free week rent".  No compelling reasons to rent there.  If the club intent is purely social and everyone stays INSIDE the club and all the mall renters are plopped around the perimeter outside where nobody goes, that never works well.  I don't want to rent as a favour and be made to feel like i'm just there to bankroll the club.

With regard to the value of a mall spot, what I do is have landmark givers at the mall spots.  Those enter data into our sales system.  I then have a dashboard view of all locations that shows the location, rent amount, rent due, sales at that location then the neat bit, sales at my main shop that occur within 2 days of someone taking an LM from a mall spot.  I attribute that sale to the mall spot because that's where the value originated, then overall profit taking that into account.

This dashboard page gives a single page view of the status and profitability of each location and it's interesting to see some that don't sell much themselves but feed people to the main shop where they buy.  Without this tracking, the view of mall spots could be very easily misinterpreted.  This isn't to say that all are roaring successes but I have a powerful view from which to make judgements.

As for sponsoring events, i've never seen much return from that sort of event, to me it's rather like the competitions to see how much you can give away or lowball on price. 

Some places I have an instant feel for and am not usually wrong, some i'll just give a go for fun and others can take affiliate vendors which if the club is as good as they make out, will earn them more than rent anyway.  Always interesting to see who declines :)

 

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hm.. unless you have made an agreement, i think you are wrong assuming that anyone will go out of their ways to promote your store (or any store)..

even if, i personally find your store hard to promote since there is no theme or line or brand name as such, also i honestly don't think an event now and then (where some host c/p some sort of promotion) will increase your sales.

imo you should just keep on listing your items on the marketplace, decrease your costs by cancelling in world store spaces, it is just so hard to cover the costs AND make a profit with 10-50L items.

 

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Not really, the secondary locations really at best broke even and the effort to maintain them just did not seem worth it.  We focus all effort on working our group members which are loyal fans and our main store, which we support with advertising, major event participation and external groups.

Note:  I cannot say that what we are doing would be right for all...the products sold could likely make a big difference.  But for us Club sims were just a cash drain and shopping sims were break even

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Hi.

Yes, people rent stores close to clubs under the impression that traffic from a club is more or less traffic to the store, but this is false in my opinion since most people rarely venture outside of the club. The club build is not optimized for store integration because people build malls and stores as they would in RL. But... Avatar movement is not anything like rl (unless you're Nightcrawler from the xmen). So the problem is people dont walk outside of the club, period. This is from my experience anyway, i dont have any statistical data to support my statement...but, yeah, they stay in the club.

So, how do we get the avatar to walk outside of the club? NO, the question is how do we integrate club and mall into one entity that doesnt look like a huge box with products inside and a dj booth in the middle. People like to browse, thats why the marketplace is preferred -one click and you get a big selection. Inworld shopping should be similar: People should be able to cam inside the confines of the club and browse in such an easy manner too, with neat, organized sample products sitting on relevant, aesthetically adequate displays integrated into the club build (not in big ugly boxes).

In the club people usually stay in one place (so they wont bump into other people -a big issue in sl), so they choose to cam and do so within the realms of the club (because of graphical limitations of their PC they choose low draw distance). So, yes, imho club and store should become one, because that's where the avatar cam will gravitate -inside the 64m sphere of the club. I think most people's Avatar Cam Gravitation Sphere (ACGS, lol) is within 64m.

So, yup, a club should promote the stores, but not by being in people's face about it. The club could, and should, very well offer stores the possibility to display animated ads on the walls of the club. The dj and hostesses could wear outfits from the stores, and casually suggest where they got them from. The Club contests could include prizes from the shops. More clubs should be doing this already. The club could host weekly release parties/events that feature whatever the stores are launching that week. Discount events, Fashion shows with a dj playing quick snippets of songs to coincide with models walking into the club wearing new products.

Stores should supply DJs with custom mp3 ads that the dj can play between songs... i havent seen anybody doing that in clubs!! Why not have the dj and hostess wear a box with an ad over their head... i mean people are so fond of floating text, why not have ads on that too? Has anyone tried this?

I think it's pretty safe to say clubs and stores live in a kind of symbiosis, regardless if club owners do or do not realize it. Stores should put ads for the club inside the boxes too. I think it's called cross promotion? Specially now that people barely have a reason to go shopping inworlds anymore, such a thing is imperative -stores should put ads, for current events in the clubs, in the boxes they sell in the marketplace. 

That brings me to another issue: If the marketplace gave the merchant the option to update and attach things like notecards and LMs to her/his products in an easy manner (one or 2 clicks for all a merchants boxes, ideally), people would be more open to promote inworld locations such as clubs, because, let's face it, nobody wants to update the LM in a 100 different product boxes twice a week. It's insanely time consuming and not a viable marketing tool for the ever changing and moving SL world.

The marketplace is here to stay, and i don't think it's smart to look at it in a inworld vs marketplace way. I think both can coexist and actually help inworld economy greatly, because anyone even without an SL account can browse the marketplace to some extent. Maybe LL should look into promoting SL in a different manner in facebook... bring people in not by promoting the chance to be an elephant avatar or an orc, but by promoting the shiny, cool things the avatar can get on the marketplace (and show off in a social environment inworld). People like buying nice things, and if LL can market the idea of buying nice stuff for your avatar as an accomplishment, instead of focusing the marketing on the avatar itself, well I think that would bring more people to SL (by such people i mean those that like to play those myriad facebook games where they earn points).  LL, promote that instead, let the inworld brands, and people's natural desire for status, boost the SL brand. But i digress...

Currently LL needs to implement an easier way to update box content in the marketplace, because inworld economy would benefit greatly and avatar logetivity too. Imagine a noob comes to sl, buys some stuff on the marketplace and gets an invitation to a current event or party in the box. This solves 2 problems, the noob gets his products easily, say a vampire outfit, and also 1) gets the option to visit a perhaps similarly themed vampire club, or roleplay environment motivating that person to stay in sl, and 2) boosts club/store awareness putting a smile on everybody. The merchant and club owner would be playing a key role in the integration of all newbies into the SL world, taking some of that role from LLs hands -and perhaps this is the way it should be, because the noob would meet likeminded people faster in a club/roleplay environment that caters to the noob's interests.

Sure, these ideas may seem idiotic to some extent (they don't seem so to me), but there really needs to be more emphasis on creating a viable, beneficial club/stores/marketplace relationship. In a sea of many dumb ideas theres probably a good one that can be implemented by the right person? So i'd welcome more people to give ideas :)

Sorry for wall of text, but this topic interests me a lot.

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As I tend to agree with you to a cetain point the blame for stores the way they are is LL, I belive they pushed the market place as it give them a cut, before many people would shop from stores but have you ever tried using the search engine

to find a product, remember when the re-vamped the search last time, you typed jacket and all you got was sexy products

I think you get my drift,

plus the demised of people  in LL, those who had bought large sims and large plots would have that subsided via rentals

but as you can see due to LL's market place no one want to rent shops due to no sales and direct comp with marketplace

hence the demise in land owners, I use own many shops too, and I agaist my will ended using marketplace. so really it's

not the land owners but I belive not a fair playing field when it comes to shops vs marketplace, this being the search engine and advertising the shops is crap.

 

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There's more to a satellite store than sales, it's a big advert too, tracking whether that advertising is working is part of deciding whether it's worthwhile or not.

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greek Wingtips wrote:

As I tend to agree with you to a cetain point the blame for stores the way they are is LL, I belive they pushed the market place as it give them a cut, before many people would shop from stores but have you ever tried using the search engine

to find a product, remember when the re-vamped the search last time, you typed jacket and all you got was sexy products

I think you get my drift,

 

Bingo. I would never dream of using inworld search to find a product. On the MP, as bizarrre as search is, as crippled as it is, it at least brings up pictures and descriptions of products.  I only use inworld search if I know the name of a place I want to go.

 

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I have experimented a lot with satelite stores in the past for my fashion brand. I have had shops near clubs, in clubs, in places with a fixed landing point and where avis have to walk along the stores before they reach the club, in places that had several spread landingpoints, in place where you could set a landingpoint in your own shop. I have paid rent prices from 1 linden per prim to 20 linden per prim per week. I have been in places that where themed and not themed.

The places where I have rented for a long time, were places where the club owner or mall owner could bring enough traffic to the place to make my shop profitable. It was mainly a matter of try and error to find good places that work for you. I think all with all I have rent about 150 stores, and most of them I left again within two months. But in the end I had about 30 really profitable satelite shops.

Satelite shops that don't sell, don't work very well as advertising either is my experiences. I have a traffic tool that could track if visitors in my mainshop came from a landmark taken in one of the satelite stores. Not even 1% of the traffic in my mainshop came from satelite shops.
But you cannot say that the best selling satelite shops also were the best referals to the main shop. For example I had one small shop that didn't make a large profit, but the sim was in a network with other sims, and there was travelled a lot between those sims. That shop was my best referal to my main shop of all shops. While some satelite shops that sold pretty well, but were for example on a entrance route to a ballroom never brought traffic to my mainshop. (Those might eventually have brought some traffic from landmarks taken from the boxes of sold products, that could my traffic tool not analyse, it can only 'read' landmarks taken directly from the satelite shops.)

But once the marketplace arrived I have seen one satelite shop after the other die. Club owners with a real busy event calender that programmed a lot of live events were the ones that have the longest sustained, once the marketplace took over. Within half a year later I had only one satelite shop left. Within half a year, 30 shops that had been profitable for two years, became worthless. Or the club owner gave up and sold the land, or I gave up after taking the loose for a few months in the hope for a revival. 

Nowadays it's main shops and marketplace. A club owner must have a real good concept and be willing to work very hard and advertise a lot to make the stores|club-formula work. I think it still might work in some themed (RP) sims, where the brand perfectly fits the sim theme... but in general I think it's over that shops can profit from clubs and clubs can profit from shops (with kisses from Linden Lab).

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Madeliefste Oh wrote:

I have experimented a lot with satelite stores in the past for my fashion brand. I have had shops near clubs, in clubs, in places with a fixed landing point and where avis have to walk along the stores before they reach the club, in places that had several spread landingpoints, in place where you could set a landingpoint in your own shop. I have paid rent prices from 1 linden per prim to 20 linden per prim per week. I have been in places that where themed and not themed.

There was a search update quite a few months ago that ruined the idea of having lots of landing points and different parcels, I watched this happen, it was a very abrupt decline in business and the only way to start making some recovery was to merge the parcels, which made them less useful as they now had to have more generic descriptions and also made them less competitive, but the old style of being able to be found on a smallish parcel was pretty dramatically damaged with that update.

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