Contrary to popular belief, St. Patrick’s Day is not a holiday that is off limits to any business that isn’t a bars or restaurants!
Everyone who owns a business can take advantage of the holiday’s hype, the trick is simply in having a good plan. You don’t need to serve green beer with corned beef and cabbage (‘thought it couldn’t hurt) to get customers in the door on March 17.
Retail stores especially have tons of options when it comes to promotions and marketing campaigns for taking advantage of St. Paddy’s. Here are four quick ideas that you can easily implement (and without spending too much money) to make the most of St. Patrick’s Day.
Create a Festive Holiday Vibe
Your retail store probably has decorations up and Christmas music playing all December long to get customers into the holiday spirit, right? Why not do the same for St. Patrick’s Day? Studies have shown that the music you play in your retail store can play a huge role in terms of customer experience.
Play some traditional Irish music all day, perhaps some up-beat jigs, just be sure to stay away from some of the more depressing tunes that the Irish have been known to write.
Don’t forget to decorate either. Since it’s only a one-day thing, you don’t have to go overboard, but it can’t hurt to put up some rainbows, pots of gold and leprechauns around the store.
Speaking of leprechauns, why not hire one for the day? You can get a guy to dress up as a jolly leprechaun and stand in front of your store greeting people. Everyone loves taking pictures with people dressed in funny costumes.
Make sure you print out some flyers for your friendly bearded fairy to hand out to passers-by as well, especially if you are running some type of promotion or sale for the day.
Not sure what kind of sale to promote for such a holiday? Here’s an idea:
Have a “Green” Sale
This is a pretty simple and effective promotional idea that you don’t have to put too much time or effort into. Simply give a discount for every green item in your store for St. Patrick’s Day. It can be any shade of green and literally any item in your store.
There are a variety of ways you can run this promotion obviously, so feel free to get creative. For example, instead of simply focusing on green items (perhaps you don’t have that many), you can give a discount on a green store item with the purchase of any other non-green product.
Or if you’re a florist and everything in your store is green for the most part, well, you can do the opposite in that case. Discount items that aren’t green.
Since St. Patrick’s Day is a one day event and it isn’t really a huge shopping day like Black Friday, whatever you decide to do, you’re probably going to want to run a sale or promotion that’s going to be both fun and easy to put together, without much overhead or planning needed.
Team Up with Other Businesses
St. Patrick’s Day presents you with the perfect opportunity to put together some cross-promotional ideas. Naturally, the most obvious types of businesses that you could team up with would be bars and restaurants in your area that you know always do well on St. Paddy’s.
You can ask for an ad on a local bar or restaurant’s menu in return for plugging their specials and St. Patrick’s Day offers at your store. Or you can agree on discounts across both businesses. For example, anyone with a receipt for items purchased on March 17 at your store can get a free drink at the bar. And anyone who shows you a bar tab of more than $20 the day after St. Patrick’s can get a discount at your store.
Or a tax service. You already know that many of your customers are going to be drinking a little bit more than usual tonight. Why not put together a promotional event with a local taxi service? You can offer a discount on a taxi ride with proof of purchase from your store.
This kind of idea works on a couple levels. You’re offering people a discount on a service they really need and you are showing your customers that you care about their safety and well-being, something they’ll surely appreciate.
Hold a Fun Contest
Just like with most of these promotional ideas, what you do with these ideas depends on how imaginative you want to get. Contests are great because they encourage interaction between you and your clientele.
Here’s a simple idea. You can hold a competition in which your customers can try to say your retail store’s name and business slogan using their best Irish accent. You can then chose five of the best ones and give them gift certificates.
This type of idea is another one that can be leveraged in a variety of ways. For example, recording videos of your customers saying your store’s name in a funny Irish accent can make for great content that you can use on your social media channels.
So you’re not only getting people into your store and interacting with them, you are also using the promotion on social media to bolster your brand and show people that you’re running a store that enjoys having a little fun every now and then.
Holding a creative and fun contest is the perfect way to get people in your door and brand your retail store as a place where shopping can truly be a fun experience.