30 Marketing Ideas for Retailers to Tackle in September

We realize that it’s not easy for independent retailers to come up with new things to do everyday to increase business, especially as we enter the ever-busy 4th quarter. Here are 30 things to do every single day throughout the month of September. Some will take more time than others but the idea is to provide several options so you can act on them throughout the month!

  1. What’s your wow piece or your “show” piece? Bring it out and show it off!
  2. Create a target list of your best customers, complete with emails and/or phone numbers. Commit to reaching out to at least 10 of them each week this month and let them know you’ve been thinking about them and have a piece you think they’ll love. By the end of the month, you’ll have connected with 40 customers!
  3. Is it easy for customers to contact you? Make sure your phone number and email can easily be found on your website, social media platforms and receipt!
  4. Ask for a Yelp review today.
  5. Post 5 new items on one of your Pinterest boards today.
  6. Do you offer any cookbooks or cooking items? Ask customers to share their favorite Thanksgiving Day recipes with you and share them on your social media pages and email newsletter.
  7. Delegate for growth. What’s one thing you can do today that you can delegate to either free your time or someone else can do better? Email newsletter? Social media? Window displays? Accounting? Marketing?
  8. Want to start a blog? Before you secure a blog page, develop an editorial calendar for an entire year which includes posts you’d want to write so you won’t be faced with the dreaded “what should I write about today” anxiety.
  9. M-Commerce uses wireless handheld devices like cell phones and laptops to conduct transactions online. Last year, 30% of transactions were mobile and the number continues to rise. How are you preparing to capture this mobile market? Is your website able to handle these types of transactions?
  10. Pin 10 new items on one of your Pinterest boards today.
  11. Review your online reputation. Take stock of each place your website or business appears first and then make sure everything is consistent and correct. Update photos. Don’t forget sites like Google Plus, Yelp and LinkedIn, and partner groups like your local Chamber of Commerce. Some make more sense to be on than others but it doesn’t hurt to have an updated LinkedIn page (remember, corporate gifts are still very much a thing).
  12. Reach out to all of your wholesale partners and ask them if they have a listing of retailers on their website. Make sure you’re listed on them (or your listing is correct).
  13. Create a list of service providers who might be seeking thank you gifts for clients year-round and especially during the holidays such as real estate agents, accountants and insurance agents.
  14. Do you offer a personal shopping service? Is this something you can do? Let your customers know you’re available to do this and market it. This kind of service can be especially attractive for customers during the busy holiday season ~ have them send you a list of people for whom they need to buy holiday gifts and a price range and you can provide recommendations for them. Once they approve the gifts, you can even offer to wrap them for a nominal fee!
  15. While most of us live in a digital world, getting a piece of mail is so unexpected and delightful. Send a “thank you for being a customer” card to five customers this month. Letting them know you’re thinking of them will go a long way and encourage them to come see you.
  16. Shoot a video of your shop on your smartphone and post it on YouTube. Make sure you include the location of your store and website so viewers can find you.
  17. Have you tried Facebook Live yet? It’s a feature on Facebook that allows you to “live stream”. Let your Facebook fans and friends know you’ll be on during a specific time and day and encourage them to “tune in” as you give them a tour of what’s new. Make it a regular feature by doing it at the same time and day during the week.
  18. Create a list of gifts to give mom, dad, kids, teachers, etc. during the holiday season and so you’re ready to send the list to local reporters since they’ll be working on holiday gift giving soon. You’ll want to send that list early September to monthly print magazines. For local television and weekly and daily newspapers, send in October.
  19. Do you have a cause-related marketing program set up with local non-profits? Book non-profits throughout the fourth quarter where each non-profit, on a specific day/week/night, gets 10% of sales to their cause.
  20. Write a guest blog post that is well-read by your customers (this could be another place to share your list of gifts to buy mom, clients, etc). Does your local restaurant keep up a blog? Your Chamber of Commerce or local alderman?
  21. Ask your customers to post a photo or video on Instagram or Facebook and tag your business.
  22. According to a UK report “How We Shop Now”, almost one-third of consumers are interested in classes at stores. Offer your shop for a Girlfriend’s Night Out event which allows them to learn something. Arm knitting, anyone?
  23. Can you submit your shop for an award? Winning awards are fun but also news-worthy!
  24. Don’t forget business cards! This is the season of parties and you never know who might be in the market for a gift (or corporate gift ideas!). Keep a handful of business cards in your wallet, purse, car, home, cash wrap, etc.
  25. Can you private label any of your products? Work with your wholesalers to create something unique to your shop!
  26. September 26: Today is Love Note Day. Promote pretty stationery and encourage your customers to send someone a love note!
  27. Do you offer your customers tea or coffee when they walk in? Not only is it a nice gesture but it’ll encourage them to linger, and not rush through your shop, as they enjoy their drink.
  28. Have you teamed up with local businesses and created strong and fun cross-traffic promotions?
  29. September 29: Today is National Coffee Day. How about organizing a coffee flight event?
  30. Plan now to unveil a “12 Gifts for the Holidays” campaign on social media channels. Find products that are appropriate for general gift giving or focus on a particular audience. Make sure you have beautiful photos, they’re available for purchase online and you’ve written copy for each. And let customers know that once they sell out, they’re no longer available to encourage customers to act quickly!

How many of these ideas can you tackle in September? Let us know which ones are already in the works and which ones you’re hoping to try next month!

Megy Karydes is a Chicago-based freelance writer and marketing consultant. Learn more about her and her work at www.MegyKarydes.com.

2 thoughts on “30 Marketing Ideas for Retailers to Tackle in September

  • Thanks Megy, I am printing this out and placing it smack dab in front of me on my wall! I do not have a retail space (online only), but I love the systematic approach to engaging my Fair Trade Store with my customers. Thanks for your help and fantastic ideas! There are many here that I can use. Sometimes (mostly) it seems we seem to fly by the seat of our pants (at least, I feel that way) …this numbered list is rich in ‘to do’s’ and gives real time formation of much hoped for objectives and realized end goals… = Happy Customers – Happy Self. 😉 Thanks so much for this guide. – Michele

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