You started a business selling discount sunglasses at a local retail center. Things have been going okay, but your store isn't generating the kind of traffic you were hoping for. What can you do? It sounds like you need a little bit of promotion. You need to give people a reason to come in and check out your discount sunglasses.
Retail is a form of business that requires constant promotion. Because it is so competitive, every other store selling sunglasses in your area is vying for the same customers you want to visit your store. You have to engage in promotion to get their attention.
So how does one promote a retail eyewear operation? The number of ways is virtually endless, limited only by your creativity. Below are five suggestions to get you started:
1. Offer a BOGO Deal
Successful retailers know that customers love freebies. In fact, few other promotions are as effective at generating traffic as a 'buy one, get one free' (BOGO) promotion. If you've never done any promotions before, this is a great place to start. You can establish a defined promotional period – say one week, for example – and then get the word out through social media, leaflets, Pennysaver-like publications, and even signs in your store windows.
2. A Reduced-Price Deal
If you are not quite ready for a BOGO promo, consider running a reduced-price promo. Instead of getting a free pair of discount sunglasses when you buy one at full price, offer a 50% reduction. Buy one pair at the regular price and get half off a second pair. You can market a reduced price offer the same way you would a BOGO promo.
3. Back-to-School or Summer Fun Promo
If you buy kids sunglasses in bulk, think of ways to get the attention of their parents. Two good suggestions are back-to-school and summer fun promotions. A back-to-school promo is a great idea in southern states were kids start school in early-to-mid-August – kids are still going to need sunglasses during recess and on the weekends. In the spring, do the same kind of thing with a promotion that anticipates kids spending more time outdoors during the summer.
4. Refer a Friend (Social Media)
We assume you are taking advantage of social media as a marketing tool for your retail business. That being the case, attracting new followers is key to reaping maximum benefits from social media marketing. We suggest considering a 'refer a friend' promotion. Every time one of your current followers refers someone who also becomes a follower, you make a record of that. For every five followers a customer recommends, he or she is eligible for a discount on the next purchase.
5. Crazy Selfie Promotion
Selfies are all the rage these days, so why not take advantage of them to promote your retail operation? You could run a 'crazy selfie' campaign in which you encourage customers to take selfies while wearing their favorite pair of sunglasses. The crazier, the better. You can then present all the images to a group of judges who will choose the craziest selfie of the group. The winner gets a free pair of discount sunglasses or some other prize that you think is appropriate.
The five ideas listed here do not even scratch the surface of promotional possibilities. Remember that the idea of promotion is to get your name out there and give people a reason to visit your retail location. Promotion is something you have to do on a continual basis, though. It is not a one-time thing and that’s it.