Marketing and Promotion Ideas For Your Shop Business

| Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 | No Comments »

If your shop is very new then marketing is a means of telling the world that you have arrived – or at least your local town! It gives you the opportunity to meet your customers and for them to meet you. But marketing is not just for new shops for there is a tendency, once the newness has worn away and the first flow of customers are through the door, to think that your shop will grow organically. Unfortunately this is not the case and every shop, whether they have just have started or have been a permanent fixture of a town for the past 200 years, needs a new marketing strategy every now and then. It can be tempting to presume that you know exactly what your customers want and that your customers also know all about you and the services you offer, but towns and people change and if you want to get new people through the door and perhaps tempt back old customers, the odd marketing promotion every now and then is crucial.

That very first marketing promotion is a breeze to cover, after all you have something to offer everyone; a news story for the local paper and something new in the town for local shoppers to spark their curiosity. However after that initial excitement and flood of new custom through the doors it can be a constant battle to keep customers interested and to ensure you still have something to offer everyone.

Here are a few promotional and marketing ideas to perk up interest from new and old customers alike:

  • New Customer Offer: Shops that offer a personal service such as a hair salon or dry cleaners often have promotions whereby new customers are offered a 50% discount. This can be incredibly useful in getting those new faces in and hopefully they’ll be so impressed by your services that they’ll come again and recommend you to friends.
  • Loyalty Schemes: It’s not just your large department stores that can have loyalty cards! I once visited a small local ice-cream parlour and bought 4 ice-creams for my children and their friends, I was handed a small card with 6 squares, four of the squares had been stamped and I was informed that once I filled up the card I was entitled to a free ice-cream. Little schemes like this work very nicely in encouraging your customer to return for more.
  • Fundraising: Donating a prize to a school fund or sponsoring a local charity always makes for good local news and gives you some free advertising. Helping out in the local community helps make you and your shop more approachable and personable.
  • Launches: You don’t have to limit your launch party to the opening day; think of when you get new brands in or a new range – throw a party to launch that new brand, invite the press and promote it in your window. Wine is also a good ploy; it’s amazing how easily a few bottles of plonk can encourage people off the street and into your shop!
  • Competitions: People love a bit of a flutter, especially if there’s a great prize on offer. Get them to fill out their details, including their email address in the prize draw, that way you can always email them afterwards thanking them for taking part, mentioning your website/Facebook and offering them a 10% discount if they visit again in the next few weeks.
  • Online Promotions: Ask your customers if they would be interested in receiving your online newsletter. This only needs to be a short fortnightly email listing all the new stock that has arrived, any promotions or sales and perhaps exclusive offers reserved for those who receive the newsletter. That way you can keep in touch with regular customers and encourage them back for more.

Good marketing strategies can get people talking about your shop business and as Oscar Wilde says: “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about.” Offers, promotions and competitions tend to spread virally, especially if you post it somewhere like Facebook. Have you ever used a promotional code to get a really great deal from a company and then been plagued afterwards with newsletters, catalogues and emails? Because the very point of a promotion is to draw the customer in, obtain their details and then try to maintain their interest by offering similar promotions and information on new lines. For every 5 people that may simply want to take advantage of the promotion, another 2 may come back for more and it’s those 2 that make all the effort worthwhile.

So don’t get stuck in a rut thinking that marketing is for new shops only. No business is that established that it can do without promotion altogether. Keep your ideas fresh and give your customers every incentive to come back time and time again!

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