When it comes to pushing your retail brand forward in 2017 and beyond, there are obstacles. We all know that. But now is the time to set yourself and your brand apart from your competitors, both brick and mortar and online. And it doesn’t take much other than a little effort plus a little networking and relationship-building.
By offering something fun, unique and exciting, you will see more people come through the door and to your cash register. With that said, let’s dive into just a few simple ideas you can start executing right now.
1. Loyalty Programs: Whether it’s punch cards or a small percentage of credit/cash back accrued per purchase, this is the tip of the iceberg. And really, it’s the first thing you should do to build customer loyalty and help increase sales.
By inviting customers to take part with every purchase, you will see more return customers coming through to achieve their rewards, especially if you offer surprise loyalty program-only sales and giveaways. And don’t forget to promote it regularly via social media and other means.
2. Happy Hours: Establish relationships and partnerships with local craft breweries, distilleries, wineries, artisan soda makers, etc. in your area. Invite their reps to pour samples for your customers at a regular time weekly, biweekly or monthly.
Then, pair each event with sales and promotions to drive sales and traffic. Take advantage of high-traffic times to boost sales even more, or maybe pick a slower time when you would like to see higher sales. It goes without saying that you should also promote these events on your social channels, in-store POS, email lists and more. And invite your beverage partners to do the same.
3. First Fridays/Final Fridays: First Friday and Final Friday events can drive an incredible amount of foot traffic, even if you aren’t located in an arts district per se. If you are, even better!
Invite local artists to display and sell their art on a monthly basis in conjunction with special promotions during each opening event. It’s a great way to introduce your existing customer base to something new that they maybe aren’t aware of and to bring in new customers who might not know who you are. With the right promotion, you can easily pack the place out with both new and loyal customers.
4. Trunk Shows/Brand Rep Appearances: Reach out to your sales reps and see if they would regularly showcase upcoming offerings in your store. With fashion or jewelry, trunk shows with the latest and greatest items on display are a great option.
By inviting your reps to speak directly to your customers, you can strengthen both relationships in one fell swoop. Offer special co-op promotions with each brand during their appearances, take pre-orders for new releases, offer cool swag and giveaways and more.
5. Charitable Activities: By partnering with your charity of choice, you can make a difference in your community – not just by yourself but with the help of your customers too.
Designate a specified timeframe every month where you donate a percentage of sales to charity, whether it’s a local organization or something wider-reaching. For example, let’s say you sell shoes. Encourage your customers to donate lightly-used pairs in-store in exchange for a few dollars off a new pair.
Promote your efforts via social media and your email list to incite participation, and be sure to share out the results of each drive.
Not sure which tactic to try first? Pick and choose a couple at first to find the ones that resonate most with your customers and move forward from there.