Netflix, Hulu and other on-demand streaming websites have effectively ended the conventional video rental store like BlockBuster. No longer do families venture inside a video store and rent the latest hits of today or the classics of yesterday. Instead, consumers are streaming the latest pictures, renting it on YouTube or buying a digital download.
Although the ubiquity of video rental stores has seriously diminished in the past decade, there are still plenty around that cater to the market that prefers to have a physical copy, likes to browse around in a store and purchases those rare copies of film noir motion pictures or foreign movies coming out of Eastern Europe.
The future of video rental stores remains in question. Once Millennials, and their successors, take over the consumption market, will video stores cease to exist? Millennials are tech-savvy and are quite loyal to the idea of Internet-streaming and viewing content on their mobile devices. Perhaps in the next few decades, someone in their 20s will ask: what’s a DVD?
Of course, there is a wide variety of ways for a video rental store to flourish in today’s market. Here are six ways to rejuvenate your establishment in 2015:
1. Loyalty Rewards
Indeed, this is possibly the simplest way to retain customers and generate a new clientele. The loyalty rewards program encourages individuals to return to the store and rent or acquire the newest Hollywood hits. You can either maintain a physical card or launch a mobile application.
2. Hard-to-Find Goodies
Amazon doesn’t have it, Netflix doesn’t stream it, and HMV won’t carry it. This is where you come in. Offering a selection of hard-to-find films, whether they’re old-time silents or foreign movies, can be an advantage that you have over your competitors. Of course, the prices have to be competitive, too.
3. Movie Talk
Holding a movie talk inside of your store or at another building can be something that can make you the talk of the community. By inviting film experts, industry professionals and diehard fans to speak to a group of filmgoers, you promote your store’s brand, you gain some exposure and you potentially garner a steady stream of customers.
4. Social Media
Akin to loyalty rewards, maintaining a presence on social media is now one of the simplest marketing techniques there is. You should utilise Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to showcase your store, the films it has on display and profiles of your staff members. Furthermore, you should use social media to engage with customers, such as by asking what their favourite films are, offering a one-day sale on pictures from the 1950s, and sharing the latest Hollywood news.
5. IMDB Top 250 Promotions
IMDB’s Top 250 list is very popular among the general public. A lot of people wish to watch every single film that has appeared on the list, while others want to learn about the older films that show up on the list. Why not exploit this and offer promotions based on the IMDB Top 250 list?
For instance, your business can offer a deal whereby you offer one free movie rental from this list when the customer rents three films. Or, you can have a weekend special where customers can rent a Top 250 movie for free. It’s the little things like this that produce continual customers.
6. Interior Décor
Finally, interior décor can also improve the customers’ visits. If the interior is stoic and disorganised, then they likely won’t be returning. However, if the store’s inside is comfortable, cozy, organised and friendly with a picture playing in the background or a soundtrack playing on the speakers, then they’ll be loyal customers moving forward.
There’s something nostalgic, fun and exciting when visiting a video rental store. They may seem archaic in today’s neoteric world, but they always provide for a brief time of excitement: searching out for films to watch tonight, looking at posters, hearing the sounds of cinema and engaging with a staff member who also shares your passion for the silver screen.
Invoking the term "lights, camera and action" can give your bottom line a boost in 2015.
Image source: NBCUniversal Media