Thursday, November 5, 2015

5 Creative Holiday Promotion Ideas for Retailers

Written by Square, Inc. for Retail Minded.

By now, Black Friday has become a holiday of sorts (you know, the kind of holiday where people get up crazy-early and spend a lot of money), but your seasonal promotions shouldn’t begin and end with the day after Thanksgiving. (Besides, you should be focusing on eating leftovers that day.)

Get creative with your holiday sales! That doesn’t mean you should overthink it. After all, it’s just a fact that people are going to be shopping this time of year. But you should try to set yourself apart in a way that feels true to your business and your customers. Here are some ways to attract customers with sweet holiday deals.
  1. Friendsgiving

Get a jump on the “official” holiday shopping season by hosting a promotion the weekend before Thanksgiving. Email your customers an invite (Square’s email marketing software has a template for events) to blow off some pre-Thanksgiving steam and avoid the Black Friday madness with cocktails and stellar deals to share with friends. For example, when a customer makes a purchase, she gets a card to share an additional discount with a friend. Make sure to offer discounts across the board (after all, you don’t want to alienate loyal, if solo, shoppers). Read more tips on how to market your event.
  1. Ugly Sweater Day

Tacky holiday sweaters aren’t just for parties anymore: Bring a fun, festive element into what can be a stressful time by inviting customers to wear their loudest, trippiest, most sartorially unfortunate sweaters into your store. When they do, offer them a storewide discount. And, if you’re a clothing store, think about offering a special deal on sweaters that don’t look like costumes. You can also add a charitable element by asking customers to donate gently used (and not ugly) sweaters for a store discount.
  1. Retail Therapy

The most wonderful time of the year can also be the most stressful, so invite customers to indulge in a little “me” time by offering mini spa treatments. Pick a weekend day in the thick of the shopping season for their choice of a chair massage, nail polish change, or makeup touch-up when they make a minimum purchase. Try to partner with a local salon and spa to set up a mutually beneficial relationship.
  1. Procrastinators’ Party

Turn last-minute shopping into an event with saved-the-best-for-last deals and offers. Turn the last weekend before Christmas into a party with cookies, hot chocolate (or bubbly), and complimentary gift wrapping on items purchased in the store that day.
  1. New Year’s Shopping

The boom of holiday shopping is always followed by the inevitable bust of a sales slump. To avoid a complete New Year’s sales meltdown, buy yourself an insurance policy in the form of store-issued gift cards that customers can’t use until January. When customers spend a certain amount through the end of December, thank them for their purchases and loyalty with a Square gift card in the amount of your choosing. Then, once January rolls around (and your new merchandise rolls in), customers can cash in their store credit — and then some.

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