March 11, 2024 I E-Commerce Reverberations I by Jamie Major

Harness NAMM Excitement

By now, the holidays seem like a thing of the past. Remember the lights and the pageantry that warmed up that frigid winter air? Well, the weather outside might still be frightful, but that doesn’t mean the party has to end.

As soon as you took down the decorations, it was time to start preparing for The NAMM Show. Yes, we’re back to the top-of-the-year cycle now that things are back to normal. And while not everyone travels to sunny southern California for the big show, there are plenty of practices preached over the long weekend in Anaheim that you can take to heart throughout the year.

Update Your Inventory

While NAMM might seem like the center of the musical instrument universe, not every musician on planet Earth is able to attend — but that doesn’t mean they’re not just as excited about all of the neat guitars, synths and drums they see at the show from afar via social media, YouTube or their favorite musical instrument website. Gear new and old is displayed at NAMM, and now is your time to take advantage of those interested in experimenting with a new sound. Make sure your inventory is not only up-to-date, but that you’re prepping to stay ahead of trends and order the gear your customers will be looking for throughout the year. No matter how you manage your inventory, the dead of winter is the perfect time to get your gear in order.

With your inventory updated and ready to handle an influx of orders, it’s important to keep modern attention spans in mind: When people get home from the show, they want the gear they just saw yesterday — today! Yes, we all used to sit patiently as our gear took weeks to be delivered, but today’s customers expect their gear to arrive promptly after purchase. By offering enticing options like free two-day shipping, you’ll have a leg up when it comes to buyers who are itching to get the gear they just demoed on the show floor ASAP.

Beef Up Your Marketing

Organized inventories and customer perks help get your gear out the door, but what about finding customers to walk in it? That’s where marketing comes in. At NAMM, you see marketing in action, from brand activations like Grandmaster Flash’s appearance at the Pioneer DJ booth to the multitude of after-hours shows. You might not be able to afford a private U2 concert for your customers, but not all marketing requires a fortune.

Take social media for example. From Facebook to TikTok, your customers are constantly scrolling some portion of the web, and with these free platforms you can not only make them aware of your shop, but give them insight into the gear you’ve got, the story behind your small business, and the people who make your shop so special. The holidays emphasize the human connection, but that doesn’t mean peoples’ infatuation with stories and personas goes away on Jan. 1.

For those who are less social media savvy, there’s nothing wrong with outsourcing various facets of your marketing to those trained to do the job. One benefit of selling on a marketplace like Reverb is its in-house marketing team, which shines a spotlight on the gear of Reverb sellers via the marketplace’s social media accounts, in emails to potential buyers, and through PR, where sellers’ gear is touted to magazines and websites like Music Inc. Better yet, rather than paying upfront to hire a marketing firm without any guarantee of results, on Reverb you only pay when you make a sale. Whether you choose to handle your marketing on your own or hire a third party to do it for you, reaching the millions of music makers out there through marketing is a must.

Whether you’re flying to SoCal or staying put in Omaha, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of the demand The NAMM Show creates. From sticking to the basics, like a good old-fashioned inventory update, to dipping your toes into social media, now’s the time to turn window shoppers into customers. MI

Jamie Major is Reverb’s seller engagement manager.

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