Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers



November 2013: Bring Students in the Store with Holiday Events

Posted by Stephanie Kubas on 11/1/13 4:00 AM
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The “Black Friday” of collegiate retail typically occurs during the back-to-school season. But, who says your store can’t make a killing during the holiday season, too? Because your target audience is all about convenience, your store has a big opportunity to gain their gift sales. We’ve created four unique promotions that will bring your customers to your store during the most wonderful time of the year and ensure you unwrap more revenue this holiday season. Pick and choose which will work best for your store!

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Download: Faux Black Friday Kit
Download: Faux Black Friday
Download the Marketing Kit

Faux Black Friday

Beginning on Black Friday, consumers are in a frenzy to get the best deals and, although students aren’t typically on campus at this time, you can still participate in the fun! Our Faux Black Friday brings all the deep discounts associated with the day to your students a week or two early – which is even better, because they probably won’t have crossed any gifts off their holiday list yet! Here’s how it works:

Pick a Date

This will vary depending on your school’s schedule, but we suggest choosing the Friday prior to the last week of classes before Thanksgiving break.

Choose Your Merchandise

Decide how many hours you want your sale to last – we recommend running it the entire time you’re open. Then, take that number and multiply it by two – that’s the number of products you need to select as potential items for your sale. For instance, if you’re open for eight hours, then make a list of 16 items.

Give Students a Say

The best way to generate sales is to offer discounts on products that students actually want. And, the best way to find out what they want is to ask! Customize our ‘Social Match Up’ icons with two of the products from your list and let your fans and followers vote. All they have to do is comment on the photo with the name of the item they want to see on sale. Post a different match-up each day during the week leading up to your event.

Select Discounts

Once all the votes have been cast, determine how much the winning items will be discounted and during which hour they will go on sale. We suggest having one item on sale per hour to ensure it’s easy to manage.

Source Prizes

Talk to your vendors and ask them to donate items for giveaways throughout the day. Be sure to discuss how you want to raffle them off, as well. An easy option is to simply have students fill out a form and submit it in a gift box. We’ve even created the entry form for you, so it’s effortless.

Promote, Promote, Promote

Spread the word across every channel you can think of! Our promotional kit will get you started. There’s a customizable poster, Facebook Cover Photo and web image.

Download: Earlier than the Bird Kit
Download: Earlier than the Bird
Download the Marketing Kit

Earlier Than the Bird Sale

This concept is very similar to Faux Black Friday, but with a shorter time frame. It’s a way to get students in your store during a time that may not typically get much traffic: the morning. Award the early birds with a big helping of discounts at this fun event!

Pick a Date

This will vary depending on your school’s schedule, but we suggest choosing a day that’s at a least a week before students leave for break.

Choose Your Promotions

Decide which items you’d like to place on sale and at what discount. Try to consider what would make for the best gifts! Because these deals will only be offered for a limited time, we suggest having all of your sales available throughout the event.

Source Catering

What better way to reward early birds than with a free breakfast? Talk to your campus’ cafeteria or local restaurants to see if they’d be willing to donate their services.

Determine Additional Activities

Include some extra opportunities to earn discounts to make the day more fun! Here’s a few ideas:

Turkey Hunt

Hide several turkeys in sneaky spots throughout the store. Each should be marked with a percentage off. Whoever finds them first, receives the extra discount off their purchase.

PJ Points

Because it’s hosted in the morning, this event is a perfect fit for a pajama theme. Encourage students to wear their PJs to the store to receive an extra discount. Use our template for a quick coupon.

Turkey Talk

Post different Thanksgiving-related words to your Facebook page throughout the day. If students say the correct password in the checkout line, then they receive an extra discount off their purchase. This will drive customers to your social media pages, and hopefully increase your fan base.

Promote, Promote, Promote 

Spread the word across every channel you can think of! Our promotional kit will get you started. There’s a customizable poster, Facebook Cover Photo and web image.

Download: 12 Days of Buyback Kit
Download: 12 Days of Buyback
Download the Marketing Kit

12 Days of Buyback

Encourage your students to use their buyback cash at your store with this fun promotion. It’s an easy way for them to source holiday gifts for their family and for your store to increase sales. Plus, when you offer the deals exclusively through social media, you can increase your fan base, too!

Pick a Date

Choose your start and end dates for the promotion. It should fall during your buyback, and we suggest having the majority occur before finals week, when students get tied up with exams.

Choose Your Promotions

Decide which items you’d like to place on sale and at what discount. You’ll need at least 12, although you could always offer multiple deals per day. Try to consider which items would make for the best gifts. Not sure? Ask your students or employees for their feedback. Then, assign each promotion to a specific day.

Promote, Promote, Promote

Spread the word across every channel you can think of! Our promotional kit will get you started. There’s a customizable poster for in-store advertisement and a Facebook Cover Photo to alert your fans. Plus, we’ve created 12 customizable web images that let you easily drop in a photo of each day’s discounted item. All you have to do is post it to your social pages and wait for traffic!

Download: Midnight Merriment Kit
Download: Midnight Merriment
Download the Marketing Kit

Midnight Merriment

Offer students a relaxing break from finals as a reward for selling their books back early. Give each student who sells their books back during the first week of buyback a VIP pass that will serve as access to an exclusive event! It’s a great way to combat any buyback competition you may have and build loyalty with your customers.

Pick a Date

Choose when your exclusive event will occur. We suggest hosting it during the  Friday before finals, or early on during Finals week. Try to make it an “after-hours” occasion to increase the exclusive atmosphere.

Choose Your Promotions

Pick a few items to place on sale, so students have an added reason to attend. Be sure to consider which items would make for the best gifts.

Collaborate with Local Vendors

Invite local businesses to participate in the fun in order to offer a relaxing environment for your attendees. For instance, you could see if a local salon would donate free manicures or massages, a restaurant would provide free snacks or a yoga studio would lead stress-relief meditation sessions.

Educate Your Buyers

Be sure to let your buyers in on your plans and instruct them to hand one VIP pass to each student who comes to your buyback during your designated week – even if they don’t end up selling their books.

Create the Atmosphere

Develop a holiday-themed play list and dress up your store to match. If you’re feeling really creative, you can even add a red carpet or red stanchions to the front of your store, to make students feel like true VIPs. Don’t forget to have a “bouncer” on hand at the entrance to take VIP passes and welcome guests to your event.

Promote, Promote, Promote 

Spread the word across every channel you can think of! Our promotional kit will get you started. There’s a customizable poster for in-store advertisement, a Facebook Cover Photo, VIP passes and a web image.

About Stephanie Kubas

Stephanie was our former MBS Marketing Communications Manager. She helped Foreword Online evolve from simple reposts from other industry-related sites, to original content sourced directly from our college stores. Although she no longer writes for Foreword Online, it still holds a special place in her heart.

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