As a small business, you have limited resources but a lot of heart and lots of plans for your company. You’re eager to introduce yourself to new customers, and to cement your relationship with your regulars. One good way to make an impression on the wider public is by having what is popularly referred to as a Sale. Sales as a marketing and PR tool are otherwise known as promotional pricing events.
There are different types of promotional pricing, all of them having one thing in common: bargain prices that further your consumer appeal. As a small business, your profit margins aren’t as large as those of bigger competitors, so you have to be extremely disciplined when it comes to conducting a discount event.
Here is a list of things to consider as you plan your first ever discount Sale:
Why are you having the Sale? Since it’s your first Sale, it’s probably your way of saying ‘hello’ to the local community. Are there any other special occasions like festivals or holidays that you can align the sales event with, such as Mother’s Day or Diwali?
Who are you targeting? Because you’re trying to marshal your resources, you should be very clear about who your target audience is. Are you planning to sell all your stock at discounted prices or is it specific products that you’re looking to promote. If you’re clear that you want to link the Sale to an occasion like Diwali, then your target audience would be the entire family and you could plan discount offers accordingly, whereas if it’s something like Mother’s Day, your intended audience would be husbands and children looking to buy something for their wives/mothers.
Create a buzz: Just as a performance needs an audience, a Sale needs customers or ‘footfall’. You’ll have to get the word out, if you want people to attend. Luckily, with social media being as prevalent as it is, you can launch a Twitter campaign and rope in friends, family, and your employees’ social circles to ambush the Twitterverse with news of the Sale. Don’t underestimate word of mouth as a means of drumming up interest.
Decide on type of promotional pricing: There are a couple of different promotional pricing plans that you could choose to go with.
- Markdowns: This is where you lower prices across the board for all your products.
- Bundle pricing: ‘Buy one get one free’ offers fall into this bracket. Customers feel like they’re getting value for their money—or more for less. However, this may not be the route to take given that your inventory is still so fresh.
- Loss leaders: Cheap products are sold at even lower prices. This draws people to the store, and their interest in the more expensive items is piqued.
Plan the store layout: Set your store up in such a way that customers are constantly confronted with products. You could set up point of sale (POS) displays, for example.
Lay the groundwork and reap your just rewards! Sale away!