Retail promotions are one of the most important marketing functions any hardware store and/or retailer can initiate and track.  You need to find promotional ideas that work well for your store without resorting to discounting.  Get together with your sales people, administration department or other employees in your business and brainstorm to come up with promotional ideas – you’d be surprised how many of the people who work for you have great ideas that you’ve probably never tapped into.  Here are 3 other  innovative ideas to improve your retail promotions:

 Generate a Buzz – Whenever anything noteworthy happens within your business, send a press release to the media. The idea is to grab any free coverage possible. Get involved with community events. Consider hosting classes, meetings or other networking events in your hardware/retail store. Use a unique event to generate a buzz about your business.

Advertise More – Just when you may think it’s time to cut back the marketing dollars, you should probably be advertising more. It is wise to increase marketing efforts during slower sales periods because there is more competition and fewer consumer dollars.     Penn State’s Smeal College of

Business conducted a study and found that aggressive recession advertisers increased market share 2 ½ times the average for all businesses in the post-recession!  Consider specialty publications and, most importantly, look into social media for “free” advertising.

 Cross Promote – To stand out from their competition in a crowded advertising marketplace, businesses of all types and sizes are joining forces to reach their mutual market of “customers” more efficiently. Their cross-promotions include “bundled” offerings, co-branding, coop marketing, and shared space.

Cross-promotion has the potential for a big marketing payoff because partners can successfully expand through one another’s customer base. A hardware store might cross-promote with a rennovation contractor, plumber, sports team, restaurant, dry cleaning business – the types of stores are really endless.   Do some brainstorming on how your products can be used with their products and services and then, try these cross-promotional methods:

·         Print joint promotional messages on your receipts.

·         Offer a reduced price, special service, or convenience if customers buy products from you and your partner.

·         Drop one another’s flyers in shopping bags.

·         Pool mailing lists and send out a joint promotional postcard.

·         Use door hangers, posters, flyers, or postcards to promote special offers for one another’s products.

·         Co-produce an in-store or office event – a demonstration, celebrity appearance, free service, or lecture.

·        Exchange marketing literature with a non-competing store.  If your customers visit sporting goods stores, for example, finding your information in those stores may boost your sales.  Find a partner who is willing to exchange postcards, business cards, brochures, etc. to distribute to their customers and both of you will thrive.

If you like this information, you’ll really like this SPECIAL REPORT “Top 5 Strategies for Retail Store Growth in Difficult Economic Times”.

About the author; Elias Amash is the President of Grip on Tools.   Located just south of Grand Rapids, Michigan, GRIP features a 200,000 sq. ft. state of the art warehouse facility including a 2,000 sq. ft. product showroom. GRIP carries a product line of over 1,500 specialty hand tools, household items, automotive, air tools, wood working, and general merchandise. With its proven track record of excellence in supplying retail hardware clients with innovative products, timely fulfillment, and world class customer support, the ideal solution to your tool needs in Grip-On-Tools.

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