Many small business owners focus much of their advertising efforts on raising brand awareness online. While digital advertising is certainly, small businesses should not forget about the value of in-store promotions. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, roughly 90% of sales still happen offline.
Online advertising is extremely powerful when used in conjunction with in-store promotions to drive foot traffic and revenue growth. Newspaper-backed local shopping platform Wanderful Media surveyed over 1,000 U.S. adults and found that 91% of respondents have gone into a store because of online promotions.
We wanted to share both in-store promotion ideas, and the best online channels that you can use to spread the word about these promotions.
In-Store Promotion Ideas
As we mentioned in our recent blog, Small Business Advertising Trends for 2017, it’s important for small businesses to keep their advertising creative and unique to catch the attention of today’s consumers. Here are 3 top time-tested sales promotion ideas that drive foot traffic and build loyalty.
- Flash Sale
A flash sale is a discount or promotion offered by a business for just a short period of time. It gives customers the chance to save money – but only if they act fast. This creates a sense of excitement, which causes people to spread the word about the sale, which can potentially lead to new business.
Flash sales also create a sense of urgency, which causes customers to visit your store when they would have otherwise waited. Finally, it shortens the overall sale cycle and encourages customers to buy now. This method has been used by businesses for years because of these many benefits.
- Buy One, Get One Free
While traditional discount sales are still effective, Buy One, Get One Free (BOGO) promotion has become an increasingly popular choice for small businesses over the past years. A recent behavioral economics survey showed that “shoppers overvalue the benefits of ‘free’, even when compared to a higher-quality items at a discounted price.” A report from AMG found that 66% of shoppers prefer BOGO over any other promotion.
BOGO promotions are a great way to move older, less desirable inventory while still profiting. Further, BOGO promotions have been proven to receive a better response from shoppers, which has the potential to improve their feeling towards your brand.
- Cause-Based Promotions
Many local businesses are actively involved in the betterment of their communities, and recognize the importance of “giving back”. Small business owners should make sure to incorporate these efforts in promotions. A recent Unilever Consumer Study found that 33% of consumers are now choosing to buy from brands that they believe are doing social or environmental good. Further, 72% of consumers have donated to a charity at the register, and 65% of consumers felt positively about the retailer after giving.
One effective cause-based promotion is to give a percentage of the product profit to the cause your company has committed to helping. Cause-based promotions create a win-win situation. They allow customers to feel like they’ve helped their communities, while simply using the products that they might use anyway. You will boost your sales and improve your brand while helping a great cause.
If you’d like for your business to become involved in a local charity, here is a great tool to find one that fits.
Online Channels to Promote In-Store Promotions
There are extensive benefits to advertising in-store promotions through online tactics. This allows small business owners to reach a much larger audience which will ultimately increase the foot traffic in-store. There are a variety of online channels that small business owners can use to get the word out. The top online channels include email, banner ads, and social media
One great way to communicate in-store promotions is through email. In their recent survey , Wanderful Media found that email is the most common channel to entice consumers to visit a store.
If you have a customer email list, you should consider creating an account with an easy and effective email marketing tool, such as MailChimp, and send your customers emails about a special in-store price or promotion. To reach potential customers, you could consider creating a contact form or newsletter sign up on your website, which will allow you to collect their email addresses and reach them via email as well.
- Mobile Banner Ads
Another great way to communicate in-store promotions is through mobile banner ads. A recent Mobile Audience Insights Report found that mobile ads caused an 80 percent jump in physical store visits during the first day after a related ad was viewed. And according to CMO.com by Adobe, 84 percent of in-store shoppers use their mobile devices before or during their visit. This is because mobile ads can leverage location data to drive your nearby consumers to your store. Communicating in-store promotions via mobile banner ads is a great technique that will reach the right customers, at the right time.
- Social Media
Last but not least, social media can be an incredibly effective way to communicate in-store promotions to new and current customers. As we mentioned in a previous blog post, Facebook provides extensive yet easy and low-cost advertising options. Facebook even provides a specific ad objective to Drive In-Store Traffic!
You can also communicate information about your promotions organically. Create a hashtag campaign on the social channels where your users spend the most time, and publish compelling posts that incentivize your audience to come into your store.You can also encourage your loyal customers to like and share these posts to reach an even larger audience.
Promotions are a great way to get customers into your store, and there are a variety of ways that you can integrate these promotions into your online advertising efforts. We hope that this post gave you some new and fresh ideas on how to integrate the online and in-store experience to grow your business and improve your brand reputation.