Heat Up Your Sales this Summer with Creative In-Store Promotions

Revised 4/8/2014
As the weather gets warmer, it can be challenging to attract customers into the store. However, by marketing a compelling in-store promotion, you will encourage your customers to stop by and spend money during a specific timeframe.
Here are five store promotions that you can use to drive more traffic this month:


1.   Free gift with purchase–Whether it’s a clever inexpensively priced gift such as a plastic beach ball that ties into a summer-themed event, a votive candle, or a complimentary rose, free gifts with purchase will entice your customers to come into the store.


2.   Offer a free service, no purchase necessary–One retailer told me that she offers a free mini manicure to every customers on Monday.  She calls the in-store promotion, “Manicure Monday”.  She partners with a local nail school which sends over students who are need of training time.  She does not have to pay the students, but tips are encouraged.  In addition to leaving a tip, most customers spend at least $10 in the store before or after they receive their mini manicure.


3.   Buy One, Get One (a.k.a. “BOGO”)–A BOGO promotion can be a very effective tool to pull people into the store, particularly when you’re marketing a brand that has a loyal following in your store.  In addition to marketing this offer to your entire list, also consider marketing this offer to customers who have purchased the brand in the last six months.


4.  Customers buy now, receive discount later–A new trend that has been spreading in chain stores is a promotion that offers the customer a discount on future purchases in exchange for making a purchase today.  For example, if they spend more than $25 in the store during the promotion, they receive a 25% off coupon to redeem at a later date (2-3 weeks later).


5.  Free samples–Everyone loves something for free.  Marketing a free sample gives a reason for your customers to come into the store, and it enables them to test out the product.  While in the store, many will spend money on additional items to reciprocate the thoughtfulness of you giving them a free gift.


Get creative this month and test out a new store promotion that you have never tried, or bring one back from a previous year that was very successful.
Patricia Norins is the founder and publisher of two national trade magazines and two trade shows. Specialty Retail Report, the voice of the specialty retail industry (carts, kiosks and temporary in-line stores) has a readership of more than 75,000 and GIFT SHOP, the magazine for independent gift shop owners, has a readership of more than 80,000. She also serves as spokesperson for Small Business Saturday, a national iniative to encourage consumers to shop locally, and is an internationally renowed speaker who focuses on delivering savvy business strategies to help retailers grow their businesses effectively and inexpensively.