Here at Calypso we are wondering what we can do to support our retailers during this unimaginable situation.

We are impressed with the creative ways you are supporting your customers, your vendors and yourselves – because we are all in this together – and we thought it might be helpful to share what some other retailers are doing. We will keep this blog updated as we hear of more ideas. Please feel free to send any you hear of, or any that you think of yourselves to [email protected] and we will add them. We are also happy to name the store if you would like us to.

Here are some of the creative ideas we have seen

  • Post images of cards and gifts on social media. We are mainly seeing Facebook and Instagram. Facetime and Instagram Live allow you to interact directly with your customers through live video streaming.
    The Thistle, Cody WY is sharing live videos on Facebook and having a ton of fun! Recently they had a jewelry event where every time someone bought a piece her son had to remove an article of clothing – and ended up in his underwear! They sold over $1,000 and the post has had over 1.5K views! Have a look for inspiration! Another fun post was called Goat Yoga and other Jackassery on April 1st. Shout out to Sarah at the Thistle for these really creative and effective ideas!
  • Add greeting cards to your website offering – they are an easy add-on sale, will not significantly increase the cost of mailing or shipping, and can provide a service to the community in these times of social distancing.
  • Offer free local drop off, or curbside pick-up. Some stores are offering free shipping.
  • Is there a store nearby that would be willing to take a basket of cards to sell for you? A hardware or small grocer/liquor store? Especially with Mother’s Day coming!
  • Hold a “Virtual Shopping Tour” one evening. Stream it on Instagram Live. Make it a Happy Hour!
  • Offer “Care Packages” or gift baskets with a variety of products and cards. It could be an assortment of hand cream (and don’t we all need that right now!), chocolates and a tea towel, or soap, a plush toy and a candle – whatever you have in stock. Remember the cards! A good example would be a thank you for a health care worker, or a Mother’s Day package. One store we heard of sold 400 Easter boxes through their Facebook page! They are also offering 3 tiers of Mother’s Day mystery boxes, priced at $35, $55 and $80. And Teacher Appreciation boxes, in connection with their local PTA.
  • Show Vignettes in your store window and number them, so customers who see them in the window can call and place an order for “Vignette number 1”. Each Vignette would be a group of items.
  • Bundle greeting cards and show the bundle in your store window or on your website, or social media. Number or name each bundle – the bundle could include say 2 Birthday, 2 Thank You, 2 Thinking of You cards, or offer a “Thinking of You” bundle or a “Humor bundle” of 6 assorted cards. We all need a good laugh!
  • If you are offering free shipping above a certain dollar value, adding a card can be an easy way for your customers to reach that minimum.
  • We heard of one store offering a “Cheer Box”, including several small gift items such as a pouch, a pen and a puzzle, that fit in a USPS flat rate box to keep shipping costs down.
  • Make your posts personal – post a photo of your employee (a selfie of you?) driving to the Post Office with the packages you are mailing out. People love the personal contact. Or post a video of you just to check in with your customers. Introduce yourself and your staff to your customers.
  • Bookstores could post a photo of each staff member and ask them to post about their book recommendations.
  • In your bio write that you offer delivery, curbside pickup – be specific, and include your contact info.
  • Sell gift cards that can be mailed or that you can keep on hold in the store.
  • If you have a website promote it on social media. That is where everyone is these days! All day!
  • Promote ahead! If you are planning an event for Saturday at 3 pm, start posting about it earlier in the week.
  • Create your own YouTube channel to show videos of your product.

Please tell us about your success so we can share! One customer is having enough success that if she continues to sell at the current rate she will cover her rent for 2 stores.

For those of you that have our cards in stock already, we can send you images to put on your website. Request the images you need at [email protected], or we can look up your recent orders and send those images. We are also open and able to ship orders.

If you are not already using Social Media, here are some resources for setting up a Facebook business page and setting up an Instagram account. We have also created a Youtube playlist with helpful tips for how to use Facebook and Instagram to connect with your customers. The Facebook Business Resource Hub is another good resource offering free online courses and suggestions for both Facebook and Instagram.

Retailers to follow on Instagram/Facebook to see what they are doing: ( we will add to this list as we get permission)
Catching Fireflies , Ann Arbor, Rochester, Berkley, MI @catchingfirefliescom We’ve had a website that is synced with all our brick & mortar store inventory for a number of years and it is totally saving us during these trying times. In addition to shipping, we’re offering curbside pick-up M-F 12-3 and free local front porch drop off to surrounding cities. This in addition to social media posts & weekly enews featuring relevant products. Our mission statement is ‘making days brighter’ and everyone needs that right now.
Chocolate Paper, Roanoke, VA@chocolatepaperroanokeva 
Copperfields, Calistoga, CA @copperfieldscalistoga 
Mongrel Richmond, VA @mongrelrva
Paper Jazz, Bend Oregon @paperjazzbend
Rock Paper Scissors, Ann Arbor MI. @rockpapermi
Sticks and Steel , Sioux Falls, SD @sticksandsteel It isn't too late! Click here to watch Terri and M share the ease and beauty of magnetic frames and tour the fun selection of state pride, local pride, collegiate, and high school product offerings.
SW7 Kensington, MD @sw7kensington
Sweet Ruckus Boulder, CO @sweetruckusgifts have created their own YouTube channel where they show videos of their product https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sweet+ruckus
The Thistle, Cody WY @thistle_cody is sharing live videos on Facebook and having a ton of fun! Recently they had a jewelry event where every time someone bought a piece her son had to remove an article of clothing – and ended up in his underwear! They sold over $1,000 and the post has had over 1.5K views! Have a look for inspiration! Another fun post was called Goat Yoga and other Jackassery on April 1st. Shout out to Sarah at the Thistle for these really creative and effective ideas!
Town Duck, Warrenton VA @townduck