From coffeemakers to cutlery, Oprah’s Favorite Things 2017 list held more than a dozen housewares products sold by the independent gourmet channel.
Gourmet storeowners often find success highlighting these products through both digital marketing and in-store signage. For some gourmet housewares retailers, social media and digital marketing are the first step in getting their customers in the door to shop for one of Oprah’s Favorite Things.
“We promote it on social media,” said Sarah Nicholas, owner of Ladles and Linens, which has locations in Roanoke, Richmond and Lexington, VA. The gourmet store promoted the products it carries from this year’s list on both its Facebook and Instagram pages.
Karen West, co-owner of Brandon, FL-based The Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium, said in addition to social media the company also promoted it through its digital marketing initiatives.
“We send out an email once or twice a week, and it includes a featured section. For something like Oprah’s Favorite Things, we’ll add it to our featured section and get the word out that way,” she said.
Once in-store, gourmet storeowners look to different signage techniques to persuade shoppers. For example, Nicholas noted that the store features “quality alert” signage.
“We’ll put it on top of a display with an exclamation point. It will have a picture of the product next to it, and say ‘Listed as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things’. It really gets people’s attention and gets them interested in the product,” she said.
She added that the store keeps the same format for all of its signs so customers can easily recognize when something is being highlighted. She also noted that the store places digital picture frames throughout the store. The frames rotate images and information of whatever the store chooses to promote, including something like products from this year’s list.
At The Rolling Pin, West said the store uses Oprah’s Favorite Things stickers that are applied right to the product. “HTI Buying Group sends us a template and I print it out and put it right on the products. That really helps a lot,” she said. In addition to signage found throughout the store, she said she promotes the products during the store’s cooking classes, which “is a great way to stir up interest,” she said.
However, Gourmet insiders agreed customers who inevitably take home one of Oprah’s Favorite Things are equal parts premeditated purchasers and those prompted by the signage.
“It’s definitely a mix. The die-hard foodies will usually come in and ask for it, but I have a lot of moms that also come in and see the signage and say, ‘One of Oprah’s Favorite Things? Sold!’,” said Nicholas.