Ever wonder why your competition or your retail neighbour seems to be raking in the money? “What is that they are doing that I am not?”
I can tell you now from working with hundreds of independent retailers just like you that the best retailers have a promotion calendar to drive footfall to their retail store and increase their cashflow.
Are you one of these? or are you more ad hoc and always reacting to how your store is trading?
Why do promotions?
Promotions are important as they are a way to increase your sales fast. They help to create a buzz about your business. And promotions are a great way to tell your customers what is going on in you business. You can tell them via Social Media, SMS, Emails and when they are shopping in your store.
“Running promos all the time will affect my margin” MYTH
You don’t have to run promos on all items in your business. You can target certain areas depending of what you want to achieve. So what is your return of investment from that promo? Be very clear on what your ROI is. Sometimes you may run a promo to increase brand awareness, collect data, free up space and clear out dead stock etc. If you can measure it you can manage it.
Here are 4 types of promotions that you can run in your retail business.
The first is the traditional Sale. This is generally a store wide discount. You have your Christmas Sale, Summer Sale or an Overstock/Clearance Sale. All of these will help you move stock, free up cashflow and space. These will allow you the money and the space to bring in new lines.
The second is Value Added promotion. As more and more people continue to shop online these types of promotion are a great way for you to show your customer some love. You might decide to throw a customer appreciation event or buy this and you get a free gift. Maybe depending on what you sell you could hold an event to come in store and get your pet photo taken with the Easter Bunny or even Santa Claus. Again it’s increasing your brand awareness and driving people into your store. You might offer a free fashion make over. Just get creative.
The third promotion is called a Special. One of the most popular in recent years is the 12 days of Christmas. You might do a BOGOF to clear through on certain colours, styles etc. The purpose of the special is to drive traffic to your business. There is usually a deep discount to draw people into your business and then it is you and your team’s opportunity to make them raving fans by the wonderful service you deliver, how good your store looks, the mix of colours and products and the fantastic displays.
And the last one is holding events or classes. If you are a ladies boutique you might host an evening event with a make-up artist that you sell tickets for. Maybe you are a book store and you have a local authors come a do a reading and book signing. You can have a competition for a prize, however to win you must be present. Speak to suppliers or other business to see if they will sponsor the prize,
Start to plan out what events you can hold in your store for the next 6 months. Brainstorm a list of promotions. Mix them up. You don’t want to do too many sales as you will get a reputation and people will wait for the sales. Margins are hard enough to maintain. Think about all the promotions you have done in your retail business and make notes of
- What went well
- 2) What didn’t and
- 3) What would I do different?
Apply all that great learning to your list of promotions that you would like to do and put them in your calendar. Hey presto, you have just created your event calendar.
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