Aug 17, 2020 — WPN Premium

6 Steps You Can Take Toward Premium Right Now

If pursuing Premium is the right move for your store, here are some boxes you can check, even if you're a long way from business as usual.

Aug 17, 2020 — WPN Premium

6 Steps You Can Take Toward Premium Right Now

If pursuing Premium is the right move for your store, here are some boxes you can check, even if you're a long way from business as usual.

Last month, we announced that WPN Premium is evolving to face current challenges from COVID-19 and to keep finding new ways to surpass customer expectations of a Premium experience during the pandemic and beyond.

Some WPN members have decided that they're ready to evolve, too—by pursing WPN Premium. If the pandemic put your Premium ambitions on hold, we hope that these changes put Premium back on the table for you.

If they have, here are six ways you can get started, even if your day-to-day operations are far from business as usual.

1. Set Up Your Online Store

A high-quality online sales experience is now a permanent requirement for WPN Premium, and it's a box you can check even if your brick-and-mortar location is operating under constraints.

An online store is clearly useful while your brick-and-mortar store isn't operating as usual, but it's a valuable asset post-pandemic, too. Today's fans expect to be able to shop whenever, wherever, and however they like—and if they can't get what they want from your store, they may very well find it somewhere else.

Gary Ray of Black Diamond Games has a great breakdown of the "hows" and "whys" of setting up an online storefront here.

2. Start Your Online Community

Offering an online community through Discord, Facebook Groups, WhatsApp, or a similar platform is another new requirement for Premium that you can work towards even if your community can't gather in the way they're used to.

During the pandemic, online communities serve as a place for players to gather and feel at home, just like your store. And even in the future, an online community is a great place for players to get info on events, sales, or just to keep chatting about their favorite games.

Getting started on Discord is easy. Check out this walkthrough for the basics, then get some advanced techniques in this breakdown from Jordan Bird.

3. Improve Your Branding

Branding encompasses many different parts of your store—logo, color choices, overall style, and more—and it's an important step towards Premium.

If you already have a strong idea of your store's brand, find new ways to incorporate it, like using your logo's colors in your paint choices or adding the logo in an otherwise blank area of the shop.

If you're not sure where to start, think about the feeling you want your store to convey. Are you creating a sleek, cool gamer's den or a cozy, living-room-away-from-home? Do you want to draw the eye with bright pops of color or keep a minimalistic feeling?

None of these decisions are better than the other—just make sure everything in your store works together to create a unified feeling.

4. Personalize Your Code of Conduct

A strong code of conduct enforces the idea that player comfort, safety, and fun are priorities in your store—and that's a key pillar of the Premium experience.

Knowing exactly what to expect when in your store helps players feel at ease and at home. If you don't have one, it's a simple step you can take toward Premium, even if you don't have many players in your store right now.

The code of conduct is another great place to add your store's branding. Your store is unique after all, so your code of conduct should embrace that specific feeling that can only be found at your store.

5. Remove Old Marketing Materials

This is a quick and easy box to check, especially if you're already moving decorations off your walls to paint!

If you're decorating your store with set-specific marketing materials (and we recommend you do!), only display the marketing materials for sets and products from Standard or the last 12 months.

Displaying only these specific marketing materials shows players and shoppers that you're up-to-date and that they'll be able to get the most current products from your store.

6. Organize!

Limited foot traffic could make a simpler task of sorting products, organizing displays, or knocking out other organizational requirements on the Premium Quality Checklist.

Some specific checklist items to keep in mind include: storing cleaning supplies (with the exception of hand sanitizer and other items used for COVID-19 safety) and shipping boxes out of customer view, storing cards in matching storage units, and managing any electronic cables.

These six steps are a great place to start your journey towards Premium, regardless of how your business is operating right now. And remember, you don't have to check off every box on the Premium Quality Checklist when you first apply—in fact, no Premium members have so far.

If you're ready to start working towards Premium, apply today!

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