Competitions are an essential tactic in retail to drive incremental sales and add excitement to the retail experience. Run well, an in-store competition can generate excellent business for a retail store. Run poorly, they can cost a lot of money. Here are ten essential tips for running a successful in-store competition in just about any type of retail business:
1. Know what you want from the competition. Without this, you will have no way of assessing its success. The goal could be sales, building your customer database, attracting new customers.
2. Select a prize that will appeal to your customers and which has measurable value. It will ideally be something which you can put on a show in the store as a great prize display attracts customers.
3. Make qualifying to enter easy – a certain value of purchases or purchasing particular items. How people qualify to enter is all about what you want to achieve from the competition.
4. Make ordering easy – with a simple form. This needs to be able to be completed quickly at the sales counter.
5. Gather important customer data: email address, cell number, gender and age range.
6. Promote the competition inside your store. The goal is to get your customers engaging with the products you want to sell and this takes excellent visual merchandising around this impulse activity.
7. Depending on the nature of the prize, promote the competition outside your store.
8. If customers have to enter by creating something, put all entries on the show if you have space. People will come back with their families to show off their entries.
9. Draw the prize publicly, get more people back in for an event around announcing the winner.
10. Name the winner publicly and congratulate them.
Consider scheduling regular competitions in-store. Get your business known as the lucky place to shop. This can be a good differentiator over competitors. Ask your employees for their ideas on running competitions. Experiment with unusual competition ideas that are likely to attract new shoppers to your store, especially competitions people are likely to talk about to their friends.
Be proud of your competitions. This means, be loud. Competitions are all about growing your business after all. If you are timid and keep them hidden in your four walls you miss the opportunity. Competitions can really lift a retail store. The key is how you engage with the competition opportunity. Be bold, loud and happy in running them and expect a good sales lift as a result.