Every business, no matter how successful it is, has non-peak hours. For a Hair Salon, these hours could be midday during the week from 11 am to 2 pm when the majority of their customers are at work. Midday hours for a Sandwich Shop are most likely their busiest, with traffic slowing down between lunch and dinner. Non-peak hours depend upon the business itself and the purchasing behavior of its customers, and we've included a short list of ways to drive traffic into your store during these times.
Promotional pricing is one of the oldest and most effective methods that small businesses leverage to attract customers during otherwise slow times. In fact, the "Happy Hour" was created just for this reason. Create your own “Happy Hour effect” by offering a product or service at a discount like "Buy 1, Get 1 Free" or a free value-add with a purchase.
Spread the word
Now that you have a promotion with which you can entice customers, how do you spread the word?
A) Put a sandwich board in front of your store, detailing your promotion
B) Post your promotion to Facebook
C) Email your customers
D) Shout it from the rooftops
E) All of the above
The answer is E, however, the most impactful tool you have to reach all of your customers in one full swoop is with an email campaign. If you’re using a loyalty program like Belly, send one of your fully customized emails directly to your customer base with all the details of your promotion. Plus, you can track the results including email metrics and subsequent non-peak hour traffic.
Get involved in the community
As a small business owner, it makes perfect sense to get involved with the happenings in your community. If the city is rallying around the high school football team’s playoff game, offer free ice cream cones (or any product your business offers) to those wearing school colors during non-peak hours. The options are endless and the folks in your community will notice and appreciate your involvement.
Offer Double Belly Points
If you have a loyalty program like Belly, you can easily offer double rewards points during specific times as a means to drive traffic like O'Connor's Perfect Pint in Wisconsin does. "We've been running double points camapigns during the week until 4 pm, a time when we typically aren't busy. We've seen an increase in customers visiting because of the incentive." ~Mike O'Connor, Owner
Create a secret offer on Facebook
If you’re wary of bringing in too many customers and having to give away product to meet demand, make your non-peak offer a bit more difficult to find. Hide a secret code behind your Facebook Page’s profile photo. When people visit your Facebook Page, they’ll only be able to view the offer when they click your Cover Photo. Run this secret offer as a test to see if customers bite before blasting it out to your full customer list.
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