The world of retail offers a highly competitive selling environment in the best of times and can be especially difficult during a struggling economy. One way to keep ahead of the competition is to provide consumers with an incentive to come to your store. By implementing creative promotional ideas, you can differentiate yourself from other retailers and keep the traffic flowing into your store.
Make Use of Freebies
The word "free" can be magic to a consumer's ears. Giving away a product or service will attract customers and can lead to additional sales. If you operate a business like a coffee shop, for example, give a free cup of coffee to customers who come in at a certain time of day. Another option is to give a free cup of coffee with the purchase of a pastry.
Align with Other Retailers
Develop a program with non-competing business to develop a reciprocal promotion. If you operate a dry cleaning business, give a coupon toward a purchase at a nearby men's clothing store. In turn, the clothing store can provide its customers with a coupon for services at your store.
Hold a Workshop
Choose a Saturday to hold a free workshop at your store where vendors and manufacturers can demonstrate their products and services. If you own a hardware store, for example, have the vendors conduct do-it-yourself seminars to learn home repairs. There will be little or no cost to you, and the seminars will draw traffic and increase sales.
Develop a Newsletter
Keep your customers informed about upcoming sales and promotions through the use of an e-mail newsletter. Obtain their e-mail addresses by politely asking for it when they make a purchase, then build a list. You can offer your customers special offers to keep them coming back and position yourself as an expert in your field by providing them with useful industry information.
Sponsor an Event
Align with a charity to sponsor an event to raise money for a worthy cause, and give away a gift card to your store to all participants. Not only will you increase your store's traffic, but you'll also build goodwill in the community.
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