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Business Spotlight: RuthAnn Boutique & Expanding Their Customer Base During COVID

In our Spotlight series, we examine how the businesses we work with excel in marketing themselves in different areas. We explain what they are doing well, why it is working for them, and how you can do the same for your business!

Meet RuthAnn Boutique

Located on Main Street in Williamsville, RuthAnn Boutique sells upscale women’s apparel for all generations, but maybe more importantly, the boutique prides itself on providing a fun and personal shopping experience.

What They Do Well

RuthAnn’s brick and mortar store is a physical space that makes customers feel welcome and special. RuthAnn often promotes their business by giving away a shopping party experience with gift cards and giveaways. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has made personal experiences a bit more difficult, so they’ve pivoted to creating these warm-and-fuzzy B2C connections virtually.

Why It Matters

Personal experiences are what create lifelong customers and word of mouth promotions. By making those B2C relationships something special, it fosters strong attachments to the brand that help organically grow customer bases.

Why It Works

  • Creating spaces that people are excited to visit is what keeps them coming back again and again
  • It’s also what makes them tell friends and family about your business
  • Exclusive incentives, like Shopping Party Experiences, take B2C relationships deeper by making the customer feel special, thereby making them even more likely to purchase items and recommend the business to others
  • Other incentives, like gift cards and miscellaneous ways, are easy low-cost tactics that keep your business top of mind, foster B2C relationships, and help organically grow businesses

RuthAnn Boutique + Step Out Buffalo

When COVID came in March 2019, creating those special in person experiences was no longer possible. “We had to reel that back based on the financial impact of COVID, and social distancing and people having to wear a mask the whole time they’re in the store,” says Cheyenne Freely, the boutique’s the social media and marketing coordinator.

RuthAnn decided to team up with Step Out Buffalo to help create those powerful B2C connections with a wider audience. One of the most successful promotions was their giveaway ad campaign on Step Out Buffalo’s website and social media. “We were afraid it would limit the response that we would get from our recent giveaway campaign, but based on my observations, it definitely did not.”

What was the reason why the giveaway ad campaign was such a success? Freely said it was because the campaign was run through Step Out Buffalo. “It’s no secret that Step Out Buffalo has such an amazing following and engagement,” Freely says. “Seeing Step Out Buffalo’s online presence, we really wanted to focus on growing our online presence and figured Step Out Buffalo would be a great company to work with and do that.”

Client’s Perspective

Cheyenne Freely, the boutique’s social media and marketing coordinator, shares her perspective with us

What ultimately became a winning campaign was achieved through our Instagram package, which includes email marketing, the hosting of a promotional giveaway, community update promotions and live social media stories.

Campaign Goals

  • Provide a remote tour
  • Showcase various products
  • Grow social media following
  • Grow email list

Short & Long Term Results

Freely says in the past, the boutique has done “a little bit of everything” in terms of past ad campaigns.

“We’ve advertised with so many different people, whether it be Channel 2 commercials or Buffalo Spree, just a ton of different outlets,” she explains. “And by far, we’ve seen the most engagement, the most actual expanding of our customer base was from Step Out Buffalo.”

Freely also points out that the boutique was able to add many new people to its email list, through entries into the giveaway.

“The engagement on that was something that we’ve never seen before, even when we did our own giveaway,” she says. “So, for short-term immediate impact, that was the best, by far.

“Supporting small business – you hear it all the time – is more important than ever, and we really just couldn’t be more thankful  for all of the help that Step Out buffalo has given us and all of the new customers who have supported us throughout all of this. And we look forward to getting to know all of our new followers and introducing them to RuthAnn Boutique a little bit more.”

Contact Us

Step Out Buffalo offers advertising options for local businesses throughout WNY. If you’re looking for a creative and effective way to reach your target audience, let’s chat. Contact us for more information on our advertising packages.

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Step Out Buffalo Business

Step Out Buffalo Business is a business focused publication featuring tips and tricks for entrepreneurs and small business people in Buffalo & Western New York. We write what we know and when we don't know, we ask an expert in the field. We've gained our knowledge through experience growing businesses in various industries.

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