Monday 27th August marks the final bank holiday until Christmas and retailers across the UK are gearing up for a serious surge in footfall. Here are just a few tips to ensure your business stays competitive.
Any business not already making the most of social media could be missing out on some huge marketing potential. Consumers expect the brands they engage with in-store to have an online presence too, and utilising social media is one of the most effective ways to reach out and connect with new and existing audiences.
A little research can go a long way, so spend some time looking into the kind of hashtags and keywords your target audience is using around the August bank holiday. From there, set about creating some eye-catching social posts that your customers can share and engage with. Your social channels should act as an extension of your brand voice, but it’s worth considering how themed gifs and live videos could further boost your online presence.
Launch time-sensitive offers
Bank holidays are the perfect opportunity to draw in new customers with special sales and discounts. The key is to create a sense of urgency, so limiting these offers to the duration of the long weekend is sure to get people through the door and turn casual browsers into valuable customers.
Special offers don’t necessarily mean slashed prices. You may choose to discount certain items, but also consider ways you could be more creative in your efforts. For instance, complementing products can be put into a bundle that works out cheaper than buying the items individually.
Embrace the change in seasons
The change in season is a busy time for retailers, as they navigate the time-consuming task of replacing old stock with new. Take a step back however, and you’ll realise that the summer bank holiday is also a great opportunity to cash in on other events, such as the climax of the back to school season.
At this time of year, plenty of children and parents are likely to be out shopping for school essentials. It could therefore be beneficial to bring related products to the forefront of your bank holiday marketing. Combining events in this way is a great way to promote your business to as wide an audience as possible.
Host a class or event
Retailers of all sizes are going to be competing to attract footfall over the long weekend. As an SME owner, the only way to make sure you stand out against the crowd is to offer something truly unique. Consider how you could offer customers a valuable shopping experience by hosting a class or event in-store over the weekend.
If you’re a fashion retailer, think about throwing an in-store fashion show or inviting a local influencer along to host dedicated styling sessions. Hardware stores could promote informal workshops that demonstrate how to use the latest tools, while cooking and tasting events are great for food and beverage retailers. These events don’t need to cost a fortune, but can go far in showcasing your best products and giving customers an experience they won’t forget.
Connect with other businesses
If you’re looking for new and effective ways to market your business, it’s likely those around you are doing exactly the same thing. Make the most of this by buddying up with other businesses in your area and offering customers a well-rounded retail experience.
For example, you may choose to offer additional discounts to those who make a purchase at your store and the store next door. A complementary business doesn’t necessarily need to target the same audience as yours, either. Bank holidays are a family occasion, so consider businesses that are likely to appeal to your customer’s friends and family members, too.
Many towns and villages will be holding special events over the long weekend, such as festivals, markets and fairs. If you haven’t been approached already, be proactive in reaching out and seeing how your business could get involved.
Participating in local events is crucial to growing visibility and brand awareness. It also gives you a chance to connect with like-minded business owners, some of which may be open to collaborating on joint marketing campaigns or even setting up your own event in the future.
The bank holiday weekend is a great opportunity for retailers to engage with their audience and generate additional revenue. It's all about marketing your business in the right way to encourage valuable customers through the door.