Community connection is vital in local small business retail, authentic community connection at a level that is loved by folks in the community.
Back in the day, sponsoring a local sports club, donating prizes for a raffle or helping the local Rotary or Lions were the go to ideas for retailers. And while those ideas continue today, there are another local small business retailers can engage in providing community support that is funded buy the community itself.
Through our loyalty tools and, in particular the discount voucher tech we offer, local small business retailers can reward shoppers and they can offer in store a way for these shoppers to pay it forward, to support a local charity or community group organisation.
The Grill’d burger chain was an early adopter of something similar with their bottle caps and giving customers the caps to vote for one of three local charities the store would donate cash to.
Our suggestion is to invite shoppers to donate their discount voucher to one of several local charities in your business, which you could have every month or so, accruing the value of the vouchers for a gift card donation to the charity, or you making a cash donation of a portion of the voucher value to the charity.
It pitched well this could see people who support the local charity shopping with you so that funds are raised for the charity.
We know form years of data that around 20% of all vouchers handed out to shoppers are used by those shoppers within 28 days. This means there are other vouchers that expire unused. A nuanced campaign in-store connected with loved local charities and community groups could drive engagement, do good in the community and show the business as community connected in a fresh and loved way. That is the goal here.
Of course, the execution will be different in each location. Our job as a tech company is to provide opportunity. Our job as retailers ourselves is to share what we have seen work well, and what we have learned.
Your job as a local small business retailer is to make decisions that are right for you and your situation.
Using the discount vouchers generated by the software in this way, to support loved local community groups and charities, could be the reset you want, the engagement driver the business needs. The beauty of it is that it is low cost, self funding and truly community focussed.
We are grateful to the feedback from our customers and this has guided our own activity in this space of local community group connection.