Getting to know customers online and in store

When first starting work at Barnardo’s over a year ago the aim was to raise the profile and get the word out about the store.  I used Instagram personally to look for vintage inspiration and to connect to independent brands and large companies visually. Instagram is a great way to spread the word about the amazing items we have in store; it’s so easy to upload your pictures and tag the relevant people in your images.

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I started by photographing all the quirky items that came in on the deliveries as well as the development of transforming the shop into how it looks today. I’ve also been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of independent businesses and brands donating such fabulous prizes to help raise money for Barnardo’s.

We have grown considerably since the launch and lots of people within the vintage industry frequently pop in and ask for items that have been featured in daily posts. Mel , a Visual Merchandiser @popboutiquemanchester @womanimel popped in after seeing a post and planned a family trip to pick up these 1960’s Japanese robots to add to her collection. She also gave us a treat by bringing the absolutely gorgeous @minimoogthepug (All well behaved doggies are welcome in store).

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Emily @emilyhasglasses who runs @judysvintagefair spotted these vintage sunglasses to add to her collection of frames which I believe she has made into specs. They’re going to look stunning! 

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When I’m on my day off I do love to see people visiting the store and documenting and visualising their shopping experience.@ladykitschener and @sara_smells took some fantastic images of their hauls and the store when mooching around. It almost gives people a virtual tour of Barnardo’s stores. 

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It’s also a great way to answer any questions about the stock I’ve photographed and featured. This has really enabled a connection with the customers and to get to know their personal style and taste. When posting three vintage outfits recently, I had one particular customer in mind. As a result, @missthriftstore came in and purchased one of the featured outfits.

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We’ve also gained customers from telling them about the Instagram account when they’re in store, which just shows the power of this medium!

I also look forward to seeing the lovely posts from @tamsinsworld a regular customer who now volunteers!

 Be sure to pop into your local Barnardo’s store and check out @barnardosretail on social media; tag us in items you find in store!

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