As we hurtle towards Black Friday and the festive season following a challenging year, customers are starting to spend again but they are doing it carefully. They are looking for value for money. Running promotions and special offers are great way to show them that you have their interests at heart and to help build loyalty – creating a win-win for both the business and consumer.
Create special offers
Some ideas might include:
- Flash sales: A time-limited promotion can be a great way to get a customer who is sitting on the fence to make the purchase. This type of promotion can be as good for you as for your customer if you are selling goods and services with a limited lifespan. For example,, if you want to fill rooms in your guesthouse for the last weekend of the month or to sell your organic vegetables while still fresh, you can present the promotion during the relevant timeframes.
- Buy X, get Y free: Everyone likes free things. Throwing in a bonus when people buy a particular product or spend a certain amount of money, can be an effective sales hook. And your business could win by giving away extra inventory. Or you might be able to introduce the customer to a product or service they may pay for in the future—perhaps you could offer them a free pedicure with their massage, for example.
- Coupons and gift cards: Adding a discount code or gift card for their next purchase can be a good way to get customers to come back. Another idea could be to offer free shipping on a future purchase.
Run a competition
A competition can be a great way to give something back to your customers, while creating a bit of buzz for your business. You can go big with a large prize or run a few small contests throughout the year, depending on your budget. Thanks to the reach you can get from email marketing and social media, it doesn’t need to cost you a fortune to run a competition. A well-thought-out competition can deliver a good return on investment in terms of customer goodwill.
Create what-you-see-is-what-you-get product or service bundles
You can save time and money for your customer by bundling products and services you offer, perhaps with a discount for buying them together and offering a single ‘what you see is what you get’ price. They will appreciate knowing upfront exactly how much they will be spending, rather than needing to budget for extra costs down the line.
For instance, a pet shop might bundle an aquarium heater, air pump, lighting and a supply of fish aquarium test strips and water conditioner with its fish tanks. A web designer could include design of a website, basic maintenance and Search Engine Optimisation as part of an annual website package for a client.
Partner with other companies on giveaways
Another effective strategy is to partner with another small business to do joint giveaways. For example, a pizza parlour might work with a bakery to give away a cupcake along with each family-sized pizza purchased.
Getting the word out to the market
One of a small business’s biggest challenges used to be letting the market know about its deals and promotions. That has changed with today’s digital marketing tools, which make it easier and more cost-effective to keep customers up-to-date with your specials and savings via social media, email and your website.