• How to Use In-Store Promotions to Promote Your Business

Internet marketing’s popularity, effectiveness, and traceability have caused many small service-based business owners to drift away from traditional marketing mediums like print ads, mailers, coupons, and in-store promotions. Many business owners today are instead focusing their advertising budgets on search engine optimization, social media marketing, and other forms of web promotion.

While online promotions will help your business expand, using them in conjunction with in-store promotions will have an even greater impact. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of sales promotions and how to use them to build your brand and expand your client base.


how to use in store promotions to promote your business

What Are In-Store Promotions?

In-store promotions are any marketing or sales promotion that is done in a brick and mortar business location. In-store promotions are a highly effective marketing tactic designed to bring customers to your brick and mortar store and build brand or product awareness.

In-store promotions can be advertised through many different channels, but every distribution method will usually fall into one of two categories: Print and Online Advertising or Point Of Sale (POS) Advertising. Each type of advertising can be used to draw traffic and build brand awareness to your business. Using both methods together will help you capture a larger audience.

Related: How to Master Facebook Advertising

Print and Online Advertising

Though it may seem misleading that “in-store” promotions make use of print and online advertising, this is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your business location. Have you ever received an email from your favorite retailer promoting a sale that was happening “in-store only”?

Is your mailbox stuffed with mailers from your local car dealership promoting discounted tire and maintenance services for a limited time? Discount deal sites like Groupon flood inboxes with daily in-store promotional offers.

These are examples of typical in-store promotion materials used by both retail and service-based companies to drive traffic into the store by promoting a certain item. Below, we’ll talk about some in-store promotions examples you can use to boost your service-based business.

Point of Sale (POS) Advertisingin store promotions examples

There are several methods of advertising that can be used to target existing customers once they are already in your store. Let’s say you run a paid online advertisement for your flower shop, promoting 25% off of flower arrangements. That ad will only reach people who are searching the web, perhaps for nearby floral shops.

With POS advertising, the promotion is advertised in store, where customers or clients pay you for your business. In the example above, any customer who walks into your flower shop on their way home from work may see your in-store signage, or POS Advertising, about the promotion and purchase a larger quantity of flowers than he/she originally intended. This is an effective way to use POS Advertising to encourage impulse purchase behavior.

Impulse Buying

Many studies have shown that the majority of purchases made by a consumer are impulse purchases, or unplanned purchases. Almost 61% of purchasers purchase one to three additional impulse items due to in-store promotions. The senior vice president of Integer, Craig Elston, said, “This shows that if you reach a particular shopper at the right moment with the right message — for example, using in-store signage to play into their desire to pamper themselves— it can end with that item being added to their basket.”

in store promotions impulse purchaseRetailers have this method down to a science. The end caps of grocery store aisles are strategically designed to grab your attention with seasonal or specialty items. Buy-one-get-one-free sales on merchandise are especially useful at creating impulsive purchasing behavior.

Fitness centers, yoga studios, spas, and massage studios often bundle their services into discounted packages to take advantage of impulse buyers after they have completed their first session. The feel-good feelings customers feel after these experiences encourage them to impulse buy in bulk. So how can you use in store promotions to boost your service-based business?

Case Study: Massage Envy

First let’s analyze an in-store promotion strategy that Massage Envy, the leading massage therapy franchise in the United States, uses. The promotion: Get $10 off your monthly massage subscription when you subscribe to a monthly service package within three days of receiving your first massage. They do not promote this discount on their website, but offer the discount in-stores only. What makes this strategy effective?

The Right Frame of Mind

After receiving an introductory massage (offered at a $10 discount from the regular price), the receptionist tells you about their monthly subscription programs while you are in a state of peaceful comfort and relaxation. They time their message perfectly to reach you when you are in a positive and accepting frame of mind, rather than inundating you with product information upon your arrival.

Creating Urgency

The offer to receive $10 off your monthly massage subscription is a limited time offer. You are only eligible to receive the discounted monthly rate for three days following the date of your introductory massage.

Customer Loyalty Programs

Customer retention is a huge part of building a successful service-based business. Loyalty programs and rewards cards keep customers coming back and bringing in new business through word of mouth. Read more about how to use a loyalty program to promote your business in this blog post.

Which type of advertising does Massage Envy use here? They use informational POS advertising to target existing customers who impulse buy and convert them into repeat clients. If it works for them, it can work for you too!

In-Store Promotions Examples

Here are some ideas you can use to brainstorm an effective in-store promotion for your small business:

  • Offer a temporary discount on popular services.
  • Giveaway extra or slightly imperfect stock as part of a promotion.
  • Offer a reduced rate on a monthly subscription plan when you sign up shortly after your visit.
  • Promote a cheaper price on services when they are bundled together.
  • Create customer giveaways
  • Email customers receipts and give them a chance to enter a giveaway for referring a friend. Check out this post on how to obtain customers’ email addresses in store.
  • Include the chance to win a giveaway item if the customer completes the survey found on the bottom of their receipt.
  • Partner with a nearby company whose target market is similar to yours. Offer each other’s complementary services or products at a discounted price. You and the business you partner with can both advertise the in-store promotion to expand your reach even further.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Sales Promotions

While these in-store promotions examples can be very lucrative and may sound simple to do, it is important to take time to plan for and calculate the cost of the promotion, to ensure you receive a good return on investment. If you’re not getting enough customers to offset the cost of an in-store promotion, you may end up losing money.

Make room in your business budget for marketing including in-store sales promotions. For help with a marketing plan and budget, check out our 6 Sample Marketing Plans for your business.

What are some of the best in-store promotions you’ve seen? Tell us in the comments below!

ThriveHive combines easy-to-use tools and expert guidance to help businesses stand out and get found online. Learn more about our guided marketing and advertising solutions here.

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