Make Promotions A Priority

At Bo’s Village Peddler, the staff loves promotions.

Owner Terri Smith—an eMpowered Buying with Marathon member in Millington, MI—says she promotes “everything we can”, and that includes candy, pizza, beer, wine, Marathon-supported promotions, Subway promotions—all of it.

“Promotions are really valuable,” says Smith. So she manages promotions in a few ways:

  • Always a reason: season!
    Connect promotions with holidays and/or the seasons, such as offering hot chocolate deals in winter months.
  • Vendors always have a deal
    Capitalize on whatever kinds of deals are going on with your suppliers!
  • Develop your own promo
    When an item needs a boost to increase sales, do what Terri Smith does—create your own promotion!
Smith also opts to continuously manage promotions, meaning she doesn’t necessarily map out a promotions calendar one year out. She does what works for her and the store—sometimes that means just monitoring promotions on a monthly basis. “I factor everything in and really try to promote everything we can.”

To get started, one industry consultant, Steve Montgomery of b2b Solutions, suggests thinking about promotions by using the “umbrella” method. The method leverages a particular theme—such as a holiday—and finds related items that support it. For example, Valentine’s Day conjures up images of love and hearts. Your store could schedule multiple promotions around the idea of “Things We Love.” Employees could even get in on the fun and create “buy-one-get-one” (BOGO) deals of their favorites!

Another approach to promotions is to focus on price—such as a two-for-one—or a specific category, like sports drinks. Regardless of the strategy, Montgomery suggests homing in on details about a month out to ensure product availability and buying at the best price. You’ll need to market the promotion with signage, of course, and, when it’s all over, be sure to evaluate your success—note what worked…and what didn’t.

“Promotions work to retain and reward existing customers,” says Montgomery. “They also help operators get new customers.” Best of all, they can drive profitability, which makes promotions a win-win—for customers and operators!

Get some fresh ideas about items worth promoting—check out mycsquare.com!

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