Times have never been harder for the highstreet. Even before the COVID crisis, shops were closing down left, right and centre. One way to fight back is coming up with great promotion ideas for retail stores.
Consumers are rational actors. This means that, if they want to buy something, they’ll seek out the cheapest and most convenient option. These days, many people determine that this means online shopping.
So what can brick and mortar retailers do to swing the balance in their favour?
The key is to think about what physical sellers can offer that their online counterparts cannot. This includes service, accessibility, customer relationships and staff knowledge. Let’s look at the role these play in the best promotion ideas for retail stores.
What Makes a Great Promotion?
Like any other kind of marketing strategy, in-store promotions are all about putting the right message to the right customers. When it comes to doing this in-store, this boils down to four factors:
- Product – The actual product’s features, brand, specifications and USP.
- Price – How much the product costs relative to your competitors or alternative products.
- Place – What online and in-store channels do you use to communicate your promotion?
- Promotion – What is the nature of the promotion itself? Will there be conditions, for example multi-buy deals?
When thinking up promotion ideas for your shop, it’s crucial to take account of all of these factors. Let’s take a look at eight ways that this works in practice.
5 Core Promotion Ideas for Retail Stores
When it comes to promoting your products in stores, there’s a massive scope to get creative. Here are five of the core strategies you can use to suit your products and specific promotions.
1. In-Store Merchandising
The way you arrange and display your products is at the core of any promotion. At a very basic level, this can mean placing your promotional items in prominent locations around the store, so that customers can find them.
There are a number of ways to do this, depending on the price of the product. For instance:
- Placing low value everyday items near the checkouts,
- Placing low value accessories near higher value related products,
- Placing promotional items close to the front of the store.
Of course, there are plenty of in-store marketing techniques you can use to draw attention to your offers and techniques. For example, POS materials such as shelf talkers, display units and other signage.
When it comes to outdoing your online competitors, your staff are your secret weapon. Customers often find it difficult to figure out which product is right for their needs. A well-informed staff member can overcome this.
When your staff have a strong knowledge of current offers and promotions, they can identify and seize upselling and cross-selling opportunities while dealing with customers. That way:
- The customer feels like they’ve got a great deal,
- You boost the awareness of your promotions, gaining new sales.
Additionally, it’s best if your staff know your promotional products inside out.
For one thing, if your customers are attracted by your promotional merchandising, they might still be unready to make a purchase. For example, they might have concerns about the durability, quality or features of the specific product.
As such, when you run an in-store promotion, it’s vital to send out key information to colleagues ahead of time, so that they can answer these queries. Luckily, with a strong product information management system, this entire process can be automated.
3. Window Displays
Of course, the above strategies only work if your customers are already in your store. But how do you use your promotions to get people through the door? Window displays are one of the levers you can pull.
This can take a number of different forms.
For certain products, simply displaying pricing information in a prominent location in the window will be enough to attract customers. However, this generally only applies to lower value items.
For higher value items, you’ll likely need more sophisticated window displays, using colour, lighting and positioning to showcase your products.
These days, many retailers choose to use digital displays in their windows. On the one hand, this projects a sleek and professional brand image to potential customers.
Digital displays also allow you to maximise the use of window space, while cutting out the expense of printing new window stickers and signs. This makes it cheaper and easier to implement new promotion ideas for retail stores.
4. Curbside Displays
Curbside displays are another effective strategy for bringing new customers into your shop. This is a particularly effective strategy if you don’t have a lot of window space, or if you’re located off a main street.
As with any other promotional material, the key to curbside signage is offering a strong and consistent brand image.
Along with this, you need to communicate your offer in a compelling and visually appealing way, as well as selling the product itself. To achieve this, you’ll need strong imagery relating to the product.
An effective digital asset management system makes this much easier.
With the right DAM solution, you can give your in-store teams the ability to quickly and easily create brand-compliant signage, using approved templates, media assets and branded visuals.
That way, each local team can create the exact right curbside displays to suit their particular offers and local environment.
5. In-Store Events
In-store events are some of the strongest retail promotions, but they also require a lot of work. You might choose to hold an event to celebrate:
- A new product launch,
- A store opening,
- A seasonal holiday,
- A clearance sale,
- Other major selling opportunities.
This is a great strategy, because you’re effectively convincing large volumes of people to visit your shop in order to take advantage of a particular promotion. However, this takes a lot of preparation.
Specifically, there are two key challenges to running a successful in-store event:
- Creating awareness ahead of time,
- Planning and executing the event itself.
For both activities, you’ll need a wide range of marketing materials, such as leaflets, shelving, displays, social ads, email marketing, and other online and in-store promotional materials.
As ever, it’s crucial that you maintain the same standards of quality, branding and consistency across all of these materials, in order to effectively promote and run your in-store event.
At Visual ID, we are experts at running in-store promotions. If you’re unsure of how to execute your promotion ideas for retail stores, speak to our team today to find out more about our retail marketing toolkit and services.