4 Ways Your Small Business Can Leverage St. Patrick’s Day to Drive Retail Foot Traffic

Drive Retail Foot Traffic

Attention small and medium business (SMB) owners, you don’t need to rely on the luck of the Irish to keep your sales in the green this St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re looking for ways to increase your in-store foot traffic on the days leading up to and around St. Patrick’s Day, we’ve got you covered. Put that four-leaf clover down, we’ve laid out below our favorite tips and tactics for driving retail foot traffic into your store during this year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

St. Patrick’s Day by The Numbers

Why should your small or medium retail business care about St. Patrick’s Day? Because your customers do!

Each year, more than 33-million Irish-Americans (or let’s face it, anyone that likes a good party) take to the streets and celebrate with pints of Guinness beer and traditional Irish dishes.

Now, here’s where your SMB needs to start paying attention. In 2018, nearly $5.9 billion were spent in celebration of the green holiday, and 9% of people choose to shop at local and small businesses. St. Patrick’s Day is also a big shopping moment for men. In fact, 23% of men who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day make a run to a local store in preparation for the festivities.

These numbers help to illustrate the sales-driving potential this day represents. This year, capitalize on the excitement of St. Patrick’s Day to drive foot traffic and retail sales with these marketing tips.

St. Patrick’s Day Foot Traffic Driving Campaigns Perfect for SMBs

1) Offer A Green-Themed Discount

Don’t let your customers risk getting pinched this year! Reward them for embracing the St. Patrick’s Day tradition of wearing green by offering a discount to customers that shop in their festive attire.

Want to kick your promotion up a notch? Embrace the “green aspect” of the holiday by encouraging your shoppers to “go green” on St. Patrick’s day. Offer discounts or special pricing for customers that use their own reusable shopping bags. Likewise, consider creating and gifting branded reusable bags to the first 50 or 100 shoppers that come in on St. Patrick’s Day.

Whether your SMB is offering a discount or a gift with purchase, be sure to promote your St. Patrick’s Day offering on your social media channels. Don’t forget to create your own hashtag, while also using relevant hashtags during the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day.

2) Boost Your Social Media Game With a Festive Photo Booth

Speaking of your social media channels, St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect opportunity to uplevel your social media presence.

Create some social media buzz and drive foot traffic during this year’s St. Patrick’s Day by setting up a photo booth with fun themed props and accessories. In the U.S. alone, there are over 25k searches for photo booths and over 4 million photos on Instagram tagged under #photobooth.

Photo booths are a fun way to get individuals involved with your social media pages on the days before and the day of St. Patrick’s Day. Create signage encouraging your customers to share their photo booth picture with their social media network.

Not only can photo booths help to create the perfect in-store engagement, but they can also help build awareness of your store as your customers share their memories and photos to their social media networks.

3) Advocate-Only In-Store Party

If you have an advocacy marketing program (or even a VIP customer shortlist), St. Patrick’s Day is a fantastic opportunity to show your appreciation for their continued loyalty. On St. Patrick’s Day, open a couple hours early and invite your top customers to a fun party and private shopping event.

Depending on your type of store and core customer, you can create an event that’s 18+, 21+, or an event for advocates of all ages (aka, family friendly). Create a party playlist or hire a local DJ to create the Irish-ambiance and don’t forget the refreshments! St Patrick’s Day themed sweet treats and savory snacks should be included in the party planning.

Just be sure to check your local laws before you give away any Guinness.

Encourage party-goers to post on social media using branded and holiday-themed hashtags during the event. Not only do these posts help to advertise your store during the holiday, but it also helps to show off the perks of being in your SMB’s advocacy marketing program.

When those individuals who have yet to sign up for your program see what a great party you can throw, they’ll immediately want to sign up to join. So be sure to have information and an optimized sign-up page ready to go the night of the event for easy recruitment.

4) Host a Themed Trivia Night

Retail SMBs live and die by their foot traffic. The more people you have a chance to bring through your doors, the more likely you are to increase your sales. Did you know nearly 60% of modern retail consumers are willing to attend events at retail locations? Yet, only about 23% have actually been invited to an event by a retailer.

Attending an event at a retail stores gives shoppers an opportunity to explore your store without feeling the pressure to make a purchase. When you start hosting events, your relationship with your customers evolves from a one-off transactional style relationship to one that’s built on a deeper emotional level.

For St. Patrick’s Day, consider hosting a special trivia night the week of St. Patrick’s Day. Invite your customers and their friends to come to your store after hours for a fun night of questions and answers. Many brands opt to work with a local professional trivia company that can support the logistics of the event but don’t be afraid to tackle the event on your own. The internet is full of example questions and fun trivia a mere Google search away.

Because shoppers will be in your space after-hours and with a more relaxed mindset, they may be motivated to do a little bit of light browsing and shopping. With this in mind, you should plan to keep one or two POS systems open during the event.

Be sure to identify and promote what prizes are up for grabs during the trivia. In general, the bigger/better the prizing, the more likely you are to drive a huge turnout. As a best practice, your prize should in some way be related to your brand in order to better reinforce your brand personality in the minds of your customers.

Let the Shenanigans Begin

This year, don’t miss out on this major holiday and turn green with envy. SocialToaster can help your retail small or medium business drive foot traffic and promote your holiday-themed in-store events through the power of advocacy marketing. Curious as to how advocacy marketing can benefit your brand? Call us today to schedule a free demo!

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