Experts' CornerNews and Events

How to Plan Events and Promotions that Achieve Your Goals

So, are you preparing your store for an in-store event? These types of promotions are ideal for bringing in new customers and strengthening your relationship with existing customers. Events enhance the in-store shopping experience and can create a buzz in the community about your establishment. When done correctly, they can lift both short-term and long-term sales. The promotion should have a central theme and focus on products, seasons, months dedicated to causes, holidays, or whatever you feel will appeal to customers. Events must also have a purpose beyond having fun. Start with a goal and follow up with a detailed plan to achieve the desired results.

What is the Goal?
Have a clear understanding of the specific goal you would like to achieve. Some events are designed to improve sales or acquire new customers for the business. After certain holidays, excess inventory may need to move quickly to prepare for the upcoming season. You can promote an assortment of products. For example, October is fire safety month. That is a broad theme that is relatable to homeowners and apartment dwellers.

Who are the customers you want to Reach?
There may be times when you want to target a specific group of customers to attend the event. This is where customer data can be helpful. Inviting people who have purchased lawn products would be ideal candidates to participate in a lawn care class conducted by the manufacturer’s rep. Holding a Ladies’ night event can generate sales for everything from housewares to tools. Whether your customers are Millennials, Boomers, Gen Z, or Pros, you can tailor a promotion to attract specific demographics.

Establish the Right Timing
What works for one store will only sometimes work for another business regarding when-to-time sales and events. Independent retailers operate establishments in various parts of the country where climates differ, and many products are geared to specific regions. What is “too early” for one store may be “too late” for another business. It’s critical to get the timing of your seasonal promotions right.

Consider the Product’s Affordability
Although most products in hardware stores are relatively affordable, items such as grills, power tools, and multicookerscan be expensive. Shoppers may want to spread their spending to enable purchases to fit into their budget. Whereas impulse items are typically inexpensive, buying oversized tickets requires additional thought before deciding. Store owners can overcome this hurdle by offering various payment options that do not require financing by the business.

Accommodate Your Customers
Do you plan to open early or close the store later during the promotion to accommodate your customers? People appreciate retailers willing to go the extra mile to be helpful. Inviting female customers to do holiday shopping during a festive ladies’ night can start an annual tradition. Offering customers free assembly on high-end grills is a bonus most people would appreciate. Promoting these sales and offers is an incentive to shop your business. Rather than planning several short promotions, extend the timing of each sale to build momentum and enable more customers to benefit from them.

Leverage Your Resources
Think about what resources you need to put in place to coordinate sales, events, and special offers to prevent any glitches when the promotions are launched. The plan you develop should take an omnichannel approach that integrates your online business or website and what happens in the physical store.

Planning is a team effort. Create a checklist of everything that needs to happen. Include a planning calendar and budget. And each employee’s roles and responsibilities. The earlier you start planning, the better. The calendar should include dates of every promotion, tasks that need to be completed, holiday vacations, and work schedules. Share the information with the team. Now is the time to Identify the promotions and steps your business needs to take to capture sales in the months ahead.

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