Bi-weekly blog from the N.C. Retail Merchants Association
By: Ann Edmondson | May 12, 2016
Mother’s Day is over and as much as we love dear old dad, let’s be honest, folks just don’t spend the big bucks on him. So, with that in mind, what can you do to increase sales this summer and keep customers coming in the store when all the fun things seem to be going on outside? I did some research and I found some folks that had ideas that might just help:
If your store has an outdoor entrance take advantage of that space and go outside where your customers are. If your location allows it, put out signs that can’t be overlooked announcing special sales and promotions or hot new merchandise for the summer. Customers are always looking for a good deal, so again, if your location will accommodate a small table or hanging rack, put some items out to entice them in.
Also, I know of a small pet store that puts out water bowls for dogs. This would be a great idea for any retailer to implement. It provides refreshment for the dog but more importantly it allows the pet’s owner a moment to stop at your store and take in your signage and window displays.
Easy but effective.
Keep it Local
With summer comes festivals, races, outdoor concerts and other community events. Find the one or two that cater to the customers you want and find a way to plug into it. If there is an opportunity to set up a sales tent near the event, consider that. If not, market your business other ways such as by providing giveaways, even small ones. For example, water bottles or fans would be appreciated on a hot day. And don’t forget to pass out your coupons and sales fliers! If none of those will work, check out the sponsorship packages or reach out to the event organizers for other ideas. You might find the perfect fit to reach your customers.
Customers remember the community supporters.
Set the Tourist Trap
If your store is in a tourist location don’t pass up any opportunity to capitalize on that. For instance, there is a restaurant in the town we visit every summer that includes a coupon in our welcome package from the property rental company. Do we use the coupon? Every year.
Find a way to partner with another local business and cross-promote with coupon-sharing, sale brochures and even website advertising. Is there a rental company, restaurant or hotel with whom you can collaborate to increase business?
Also, be sure your local visitor’s center or chamber of commerce has you included on any map or business list they give out. If you aren’t automatically included, find out if it’s a cost-effective option to pay to be added, especially if you’re not in a prime location.
Summer is a season full of energy and fun. Find a way to bring that energy in and around your store and it, in turn, will bring your customers in too.