10 Tips For Boosting Traffic During Your Retail Business' 'Off-Season'

1. Host Special Experiences


Physical retail establishments still have one major advantage over e-commerce: the ability to create an all-sensory experience. Utilize your physical space to create an experience worth sharing. A clothing boutique could bring in a fashion stylist for an exclusive makeover event, a bookstore could bring in an author for a reading or a home decor store could do a painting class with a local artist. - Ryan Vet, boon, Inc.


2. Work With Influencers For A ‘Theme’ Holiday


Is it “National Best Friend Day”? What about “National Caffeine Day”? Unless you’re logged onto Instagram, who really knows? Influencers, however, love themed holidays. If you work together, you’ll be able to find the perfect pretext to develop an engaging branded event, even during the off-season. - Vivien Garnes, Upfluence Inc.


3. Find Out What Your Customers Need Now


Just because the rush of holiday shopping is over doesn’t mean you should stop courting your customers. Figure out what they need in their lives—and for that season—by offering quizzes and polls across social media and using the data to create some campaigns around those services. Give them what they need at the time they need it! - Christina Hager, Overflow


4. Build Your Brand With Video


One of the best ways of creating a community of people who love your products is doing it with video. It’s almost a must-need in your strategy, and when it’s used in social the right way, it can help keep your brand, products and revenue streams flowing. There are a lot of free or very cheap video platforms, and you can really have some fun with it to bring more character to your brand. - James Gilbert, CloudCherry


5. Celebrate Your Best Customers With Invite-Only Sales


Hitting your sales goals in slow months can be a daunting task. At Grass Monkey, we always advise clients to avoid going on discount outside of an annual promo calendar, as this can hurt your brand equity in the long run and train your customers to expect discounts every month. In these times look to your VIPs: Celebrate them with a password-protected sale only announced through email and social. - Amelia Castellanos, Grass Monkey


6. Capitalize On Your Customers’ Complementary Interests


Activate against ideas that are core to your mission and help build a community with your customers. Leverage data and insights about their interests to pick the right type of activation. Think of DSW’s in-store pop-up nail salons, which draw in customers, create a relaxing experience for them and are the perfect lead-in to complement a new pedicure with a new pair of shoes. - Valentina Marastoni-Bieser, Cuebiq


7. Partner With A Cause


Even if it’s not the official season of giving, consumers love companies that give back and will gladly participate in altruistic endeavors. Partner with a local animal shelter (bonus points if the shelter brings rescue puppies) or nonprofit and host an in-store event. Have a clear message of giving—“10% of all sales today go to this charity”—and spread joy as you boost sales. - Melissa Kandel, little word studio


8. Introduce New Tech


Introduce technology allowing customers to immerse themselves in your brand. For instance, host an event in which you launch digital, interactive fitting rooms for customers to try on clothes and accessorize themselves virtually with jewelry, shoes and scarves in your store. This is a great way to attract self-serve shoppers while efficiently acquainting them with your store’s inventory. - Marija Zivanovic-Smith, NCR Corporation


9. Launch A New Product Or Flash Sale


New product launches are a great way to boost sales. And if you don’t have a totally new product, maybe look at a limited-edition run. We’ve also had success with flash sales or grab bags—assuming you have low-cost inventory you need to move. Often these deals go viral, with deal sites picking them up. - Terra Teat, JLab Audio


10. Sponsor A Fun Run


Host a one-mile fun run or 5K with your storefront as the start or finish line. Or (and this is even easier), partner with a group already organizing a race and arrange for bib packet pickup, late registration and T-shirt sales to be done at your shop the day prior to the race. Offer a special discount for race registrants when they come in to pick up their bibs and include a coupon in the packet. - Jeff Grover, Best Company


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