The major retail seasons of Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and others work a treat at bringing shoppers out, depending on the type of retail store you have.
It is not enough in today’s retail climate to expect these major seasons to lure the traffic you need in your business. You have to do more by being bold, engaged and relevant.
Local small business retailers create their own buzz through a range of activities to bring shoppers in during quiet times. They can do this locally and from far afield – reaching beyond the usual catchment area for their businesses.
Small and independent specialty retail businesses have an opportunity to play outside the major seasons as the larger retailers tend to ignore these times.
The keys to creating your own buzz for your retail business and for this to pay off financially for the business are to:
- Engage with your local community. Seriously and genuinely and in ways big businesses cannot.
- Have a relevant offer, an offer with context between the major seasons.
- Being smart beyond offering a traditional sale or some other price based offer.
- Have a marketing strategy for promoting your event and creating local buzz without the cost of a major campaign.
Here are some simple ideas for creating a buzz between major seasons.
- Engage your suppliers. Suppliers often have product they want to move. You can be the place for achieving this. They should provide stock at a huge discount. Pass this on. Consider reconfiguring your store into a warehouse for the event – bring the outlet to the town or something along those lines. Connecting with a temporary outlet idea enables you to play in the price space without calling what you are doing a SALE.
- Have a competition. Get your suppliers to throw in some prizes. Run a competition for those visiting your retail store. This could be a great traffic driver. Half the battle with retail is getting people through your front door. A good competition with great prizes can achieve this.
- Connect with the community. Find a way through the offer of raising funds for a local charity. By supporting a local charity you engage the members and supporters of the charity to support your efforts of raising funds for them.
- Change the look of your shop. From the front window and throughout, create a different look so that those walking and driving past notice the difference.
- Be different. Look for opportunities to genuinely innovate. The bigger the difference between what you do and how you do it and a usual sale or the efforts of your competitors the more you will be talked about and, hopefully, the more traffic you will generate.
- Kick off with an event. Host and event outside your usual trading hours. Make sure that the event itself has some buzz. Get local identities to attend. Connect back to the local community group you are supporting. Invite the local media outlets. Make the event a fun night.
These ideas are designed to get you thinking of different ways you can creatively promote your business outside major seasons. Too often, retailers do what is expected and then wonder why their sales performance is just average.
Go all out and create a between season buzz which you own and off of which you reap wonderful rewards.