As a business owner, you realize that without your customers, you wouldn’t have much of a business. So you want to keep them happy. Happy customers, after all, become loyal customers. One way to keep your customers coming back is to offer them helpful promotions and benefits. This shows that you care about their needs and desires. So try a couple of the following to give your customers some encouragement.
Shipping Cost Deals
First, think in terms of shipping costs. These seem to be going up all the time, and if you offer your goods for sale online or through a catalog, your customers are going to feel the pinch. So give them some help. You might be able to offer discounted shipping rates or even free shipping when your customers purchase a certain amount. You’ll have to adjust your budget to do this, but you’ll probably come out ahead in the long run as customers buy more often and in larger quantities so they can get a deal on shipping.
Coupons and Discounts
Coupons and discounts are tried and true promotions that your customers will appreciate. If you send out an email newsletter, always include valuable incentives to nudge buyers into ordering. You might give a 10% discount on a full purchase or even greater coupons on select items or categories of items.
Offer printed coupons to in-store customers, too, or send them through the mail on postcards. Post them online, or provide them asincentives for customer surveys. Get creative, and tuck coupons in bags, or have your employees hand them out to browsers from time to time.
Buy One, Get One
You can pair coupons and discounts with traditional “buy one, get one” promotions. Choose a couple products that aren’t selling especially well, and run one of these specials to bring down your inventory. You can offer the second product for free or for half off. In any case, your customers will appreciate the deal. You can expand your offerings at various times during the year.
Social Media Specials
Social media is an important marketing tool for your business. If you aren’t using it to its best effect, then fix that starting now. Use your social media sites to announce sales and promotions, to offer coupons and specials and to interact with your customers. You can occasionally run “social media only” promotions to encourage orders.
Customer Loyalty Programs
If you have customers who return to your business again and again, then start a special customer loyalty program just for them. Set the rules before you announce the program, and then make sure all your customers understand them. You might set a certain number or purchases or a dollar amount for entry into the program. Think, too, about how often you want your customers to renew membership. Annual renewal is typical, but that’s flexible according to your preferences.
When the program is in place, you can use it to offer all kinds of promotions. Your customers might earn discounts or prizes based on the amount they spend during a particular period. You can hand out exclusive coupons and specials, too. You might even develop a class of products just for your loyal customers. There are plenty of possibilities.
Finally, don’t neglect old-fashioned, in-store events. These can draw in old customers and attract new ones. Hold an anniversary celebration for a week or so around the date when your business first opened. You can provide refreshments, entertainment and discounts. Holiday and seasonal events are also popular options. Include games and treats for kids if appropriate and specials for their parents. Your customers will have fun and, hopefully, leave your business with plenty of shopping bags.
You can make promotions work in your favor if you do it right. Start with one or two of these ideas, and see what happens. If they don’t work well, try something else. You’ll eventually hit on the perfect promotions to keep your customers coming back and your business flourishing.