How to Use Contests and Giveaways to Drive Store Traffic


drive store traffic contests & giveawaysContest and giveaways have long been effective tools in the retail marketing toolbox. The old ways of doing them still work today. But there are a whole new batch of ways to create compelling promotions using digital and social media, along with the long-standing traditional methodologies. Here’s a look at some of the ways you can drive customers into your store or site.

Big giveaways for big events. When you’re trying to make an event seem like the biggest thing ever, adding a big giveaway works double duty. First, it will drive traffic into your store to register for the big prize. Second, just the fact that you’re giving away something with a high perceived value makes the event seem bigger and something not to be missed.

retail_marketing_win_carGiving away a car is the go-to here for many retailers. You can cut the cost of the giveaway by making it a 2-year lease rather than a complete giveaway. Or you can partner with a local dealer and give them free advertising/publicity for their dealership in exchange for cutting the cost of the vehicle or even giving it to you.

You don’t have to give away a car to have a high perceived value, though. For instance, some of our furniture retail clients have given away a houseful of furniture. Enough free furniture to refurnish a house seems huge, but since the retailer is only out the actual cost, not the retail value – the impact on the bottom line is  much less than the perceived value.

everybody_wins_retail_marketingUsing volume to create value. You don’t have to have a huge grand prize to get customers excited to come into your store. A lot of smaller prizes or an “everybody wins” scenario will also drive people in. This can be done with scratch off cards they bring in, a spin the wheel in store or some other random way to determine awards. A few of these can be bigger with the rest being a percentage off or varying small amount gift cards – so the majority of prizes drive sales and up your average ticket spend.

The in-store selfie contest. A few years ago I wrote a post about how to create a successful selfie contest. Lo and behold, selfies are still a thing. And I don’t think they’re going away any time soon. So creating a selfie contest where customers post pictures of themselves taken in your store or with your products is a way to take advantage of what they’re already doing and get them to do it in your store. Plus, the posting of the selfies on their social media accounts helps spread the word about your store, your products and your contest.

pinterest-contestSocial Media Contests. Social media has created a lot of ways to integrate contests into your media mix in the digital realm. Some of these are better at driving customers to your website than to your store. But if you have eCommerce that can be just as good. Even if you don’t, there are benefits to driving traffic to your site. In a previous post, we talked about creating a Pinterest contest for a client. The prize was a $500 gift card and part of the contest was to create a pin board around the holiday. Part of that board was to choose an item from the client’s website as a favorite for a specific holiday event or gathering. This got customers looking through the site, choosing something and then linking it back to the site from their pin board. So, you had customers “window shopping” on your site and providing good links back to your site. That helps both from an SEO standpoint and to drive some of their Pinterest followers to the site. The retail marketing for the contest was in their print, social, direct mail, even TV.

Those are just few of the ways you can add contests and giveaways to your retail marketing arsenal and drive business to your store, your website or both. Feel free to share what contests/giveaways have worked for you. Or even what hasn’t. I’d love to hear them and share them.

Mike-McClureMike McClure, giving away retail marketing ideas.

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