With respect to the unofficial motto of the U.S. Postal Service, if snow and rain and gloom of night are keeping your customers away, here’s some ideas to get them back in the door….
Actually, before listing some innovative ways for getting more customers to patronize your place of business, first put yourself in their shoes.
It’s the dead of winter. The frenetic holiday shopping season may seem far removed. But it ended barely just a month ago. Throw in a polar vortex and the usual hibernation-inducing weather and you can easily see why foot traffic is down.
In light of this, give your customers good reasons to come for a visit:
Let’s say you have a clothing boutique. It’s the heart of winter. Nearly everybody already has their cold-weather wardrobe picked out. Or do they? Perhaps some of your customers are getting tired of wearing the same practical clothing. Maybe some potential customers desire chic, functional clothes that doesn’t make them look like the Michelin Man or Sasquatch.
If you have inventory left, offer potential customers a deal they can’t refuse. Of course, you’ll have to decide what percentage discount you can offer. However, keep in mind that if you combine a steep promotion with a way to capture email addresses, first-time customers that you may not make much profit off of could become repeat loyal customers.
One good way to capture email addresses is to offer a promotion that advertises, say, “Up to 50% off.” When a customer purchases that chic winter coat that’s 40% off, entice them to enter their email address on your point of sale tablet. Offer the customer an extra 10% off for doing so.
Look Two Seasons Ahead & Throw A Party
And if you still have inventory from the previous summer, host a Beach Blanket Bingo-themed party. What better way for your customers to escape the bitter cold, even if it’s just for a day (and completely psychological) then by hosting a catered affair and selling summer sartorial goods at a steep price? You can never go wrong with offering wine, cheese and other tasty apps.
Network with a fitness trainer who is looking to increase clientele and have the trainer lead exercise classes on Saturday mornings right when your store is open. In promoting this fun fitness class, emphasize that now, in the heart of winter, is the time to start getting your body ready for bikini season. Use the inducement of bottomless post-workout mimosas to increase participation.
Deliver, Even If You Don’t
The notion of supporting local businesses is a noble one. However, when the mercury dips down into the sub-freezing zone, it’s just way easier to order something online (read: from Amazon). But what if you can personally deliver goods from your brick-and-mortar shop directly to your customers (even if you don’t normally do so)?
Can you swing home delivery, even if it’s just for, say, a month or two during winter? Your bottom line may be tight to begin with, so perhaps the thought of hiring delivery drivers seems unappealing or even untenable. But maybe you can open your store one hour later during the heart of winter and use the extra hour in the morning to make deliveries. Perhaps you have driving-age kids you can pay (for less than what you’d have to pay for other professional drivers).
If you’re able to figure out how to implement free delivery, even if it’s just seasonally, you may find luck increasing sales this time of year.
Are you using your point of sale (POS) system to effortlessly analyze sales trends, track inventory and send your customers tailored, segmented email campaigns? Contact us for a demonstration today to see how easy it is….