In store marketing or promotions are simply methods of increasing sales that rely on your actual store to do some of the work. In this article we will discuss putting together a promotional or marketing plan to create a promotional campaign that will aim at achieving a goal.
Your goals might include recruiting a new target audience, increasing foot traffic to your location, competing better against rival local businesses, increasing your number of loyal customers etc.
As the leading convenience store distributors in the Midwest, Four Seasons Distributors are uniquely positioned to provide you with the most profitable c-store wholesale items and back them up with marketing know how and great customer service.
What is a Promotional Plan?
If you’ve decided that it’s time to think about how your store and your employees sell in a strategic way, the first step is to put together a promotional plan.
There’s an old saying that gets measured gets managed. And it simply means that by making a good analysis, creating goals, keeping good records and then re-analyzing your progress you’ve taken the first step toward selling with a purpose.
Don’t be put off by the formality of putting together a promotional plan. Whether you’re doing digital marketing on the web, personal selling door to door, email marketing with a list of customer addresses, or instituting loyalty programs, putting together a plan consisting of measurable goals is an important first step.
Another old, but true, saying is: Plan your work and work your plan.
It makes sense to begin by assessing which of your most profitable products are also your lowest hanging fruit. In other words, what makes you money and is already incorporated into your sales mix but could just use a little boost through promotion.
Where You’re At
Record in a notebook or on a spreadsheet the items that you would like to increase sale of in your retail store through your sales promotions. The tactics you use to move more of these items is called your promotion mix. It’s best to record the amount of sales for these items back over at least one year to account for seasonal dips and increases in sales that are independent of your promotion.
Where You’re Going
Goals are always important. If you don’t set goals, how will you know if your efforts are successful? You should set bold and meaningful goals, and we would recommend setting more ambitious goals for your first month, going all out, and then dialing back if you need to. The reason? You never know if you don’t try! So aim for the stars and adjust accordingly.
Get Everyone On Board
Before you begin your in-store marketing promotional campaign, it’s best to rally the troops. It’s best to bring everyone on board early on and let them know that you would like them to be a part of your sales campaign. Incentives should be considered and applied as needed. It’s always good to not think of this initial campaign as a make it or break it attempt. You’re embarking on a sales experiment with your crew. Share with them that you would like to try something new and get their input on all elements of the campaign. After all, much of the success of your campaign will rest on their shoulders.
Record Your Progress
It’s always a good practice to put the leaders among your crew in charge of recording the sales numbers. This incentivizes them to buy in and to get them excited about the promotion. You should come up with a uniform way of marking your progress that is visible to your sales crew throughout the month. This will allow them to see if they are on-track to achieve the goals of your promotion.
Evaluate Your Progress
At the end of your month or promotional period, evaluate your progress by comparing last month’s numbers to this month’s. This is a great time to go over promotion results with your crew and get their input as to how your plan might be improved or better managed. Remember, don’t get discouraged. If these types of promotions are new to you, you’ve simply begun a marathon – not a sprint.
In Store Promotion Ideas
Below are some great in-store promotions that we’ve seen other small retail businesses achieve their goals with. Feel free to incorporate them into your marketing mix for your convenience store, gas station or grocer.
- Social Media – have customers sign up to follow your social media channels. Facebook and Instagram are great ways to build a community within your community and to go beyond being a store that’s on their minds just when they need something. You should be suggesting what they might need, what hot new products you just received, and celebrating community online!
- Email Marketing – have an email signup sheet on your counter or, better yet, use the email signup integrations that most point of sale machines now incorporate. Then send out email blasts no more than once a week. Shout out new products, special in store deals and other fun news!
- In Store Merchandising – Signs are great ways to call attention to special deals. Don’t forget about instructing your sales clerks to utilize suggestive selling. People like to have items suggested to them in a friendly way with no pressure. The best sales people suggestively sell by making customers feel engaged with and cared for. When they feel noticed they are more likely to buy.
- Window Displays – Make sure your windows are not overly crowded but that they are clearly calling out special in store deals waiting for your target market once they enter. Sometimes these little reminders will raise customer awareness and make them seek out the sales you are promoting.
- Roadside Displays – Special deals should be visible to those who might have otherwise passed your store by. If someone is making a pitch for something we need, we’re more likely to stop and immediately think of a few more items on our list while we’re inside.
- In Store Events – Everybody loves a special even. Customer appreciation events can allow you to offer something for a discount or even for free with every purchase of a promotional item. There are lots of great ways to give something extra and win more loyalty for your small business.
- Referral Programs – Customer referrals are a great way to spread the word. If your promotion is too good to keep a secret, customers will feel incentivized to spread the word. If you reward them for doing so the sky’s the limit.
- Loyalty Programs – Customers love to feel rewarded for their loyalty. Hook ’em up for being your best customers. There are a million great way to say thank you and we value you.
To learn more about how Four Seasons Distributors can increase your profits, just call us at: 618-234-1726