The “Don’t Peek” Promotion
By John Blake

Being a surf and board sports retailer in Australia is, for the most part, a fairly predictable business. What we know is we tend to make most of our sales and turnover over the main summer months leading into Christmas and become comparatively quieter over winter.

One of the issues for retailers is how to attract people and generate sales during the quiet times to maintain the cash flow to pay the bills. Here’s an idea I discovered a few years ago, which I think can go a long way to helping retailers to inject some business back into their quieter months.

It’s pretty simple and it involves creating a reason to get your best clients from your busiest months back into your store in your quieter months.

It’s called the “Don’t Peek” promotion and it essentially works like this.

Over your main trade period, anyone who spends over a certain amount of money (you pick the amount) get’s a sealed envelope with a “do not open before” seal on it.

In each envelope, is a voucher for some type of prize or promotional item or discount voucher. (It has to be something that would be worth visiting the store again to claim.)

The instructions are that if the holder of the envelope brings the envelope back into the store with the seal unbroken within the month you specify, they get to open the envelope and get what ever is on the voucher.

So what this could look like for you is this:

Your biggest trade month is December
Your slowest trade month is June

You want to:

– Increase your average transaction size.
– Get more foot traffic in the store in your quietest month.
– Give your biggest spending clients a reason to come back in store.

So you organise a number of prizes (maybe lean on major suppliers). For example, from smaller items to some 40% off vouchers to some big draw cards like a surfboard or an entire outfit valued at $300.

Everyone who comes into the store and spends over $200 receives one of the envelopes inviting them to come back after June 1st, 2016 to collect their prize.

So what have we done?

We’ve achieved the following: Given people an incentive to spend over $200 and given our bigger spenders an incentive to return to our store during our quietest month.

Plus, if things go well and envelope holders return as instructed and buy something else while they visit, we now have the possibility of turning our quietest month into another busy month.

Good luck with it .

*John Blake has been in direct sales for 22 years and has had a long involvement in sales and marketing within the surf industry. His company offers direct sales breakthrough solutions, including training for on-floor retail staff.