How to Run a Retail Giveaway That Drives Word-of-Mouth and Grows Your Business
By Francesca Nicasio
Who doesn’t love retail giveaways? More than just a gimmick, running contests can be a lot of fun and can have several benefits for retailers. When done right, these initiatives can increase online and foot traffic, drive word-of-mouth, and help you acquire new customers.If you’re thinking of doing a giveaway in your business, keep reading. This step-by-step guide is packed with retail giveaway ideas, tips, and examples to help ensure that you’re able to craft a contest that’s both exciting and effective at the same time.
Step 1 – Set your goals
Get clear on what you want to achieve with your giveaway. Set just one or two main objectives for your contest. This will help you focus your efforts, avoid confusion, and make evaluating the results much easier.Common giveaway goals include:To collect customer information – Contest can enable to gather more information about your customers so you can build your email list. And depending on the details you collect, you could gain insights into demographics, purchase habits, and more, which can be very valuable.Drive awareness for a particular product – Just launched a new product line? Putting your merchandise up for grabs could be just the thing that could put your products on people’s radars.Acquire new customers – Use contests to put yourself in front of new audiences. Giveaways tend to attract a lot of people, many of which may not be your customers yet.Engage existing customers – You could also leverage contests to show existing customers how much you value them. The right giveaway can re-engage current customers and increase loyalty.Increase social engagement – Looking to increase the number of fans or likes to your social media accounts? Contests have proven to be effective in doing this.Increase store traffic – Giveaways, when promoted right (e.g. hosting an event or displaying the prize in-store), can also drive foot traffic.
Step 2 – Decide on a prize
Prizes are an important component of any giveaway, so think this one through. You want to give away a prize that’s highly appealing and exciting but still relevant to your brand.According to Kat Rosati, Brand Manager at Apparel Booster, you shouldn’t “offer items in a giveaway that are highly wanted but have nothing to do with your business.”“For example, don’t do an iPad giveaway. You will likely get a lot of people sign up just for the giveaway but many won’t be the right people for your business. Instead, do a giveaway or run a contest related to your business — a product or service that your real clients would be interested in. You will get a much higher ROI that way.”Let’s say you’re a cosmetics retailer looking to run a giveaway. A relevant prize could be a free makeover or makeup tutorial.Here’s another example: last year, Vend ran a St. Patrick’s Day contest, and one of the prizes we decided to give away was a POS bundle complete with a barcode scanner, receipt printer, and cash drawer.By offering up something relevant to your business, you can ensure you’re attracting the right types of contest entrants.