What Should Be Included on A Retail Sales and Promotion Calendar?

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. –Benjamin Franklin

You know you should plan in advance, but who’s got the time? As an owner of a small retail business, you have a million things to do. If you’re caught in this frenzy, it’s extremely hard to stop. Nevertheless, gathering the time to create a retail sales calendar is invaluable. A 2020 retail promotion calendar can help you move your business forward.

Unclear about what a retail sales and promotion calendar is?

As the term suggests, a retail sales and promotion calendar is a chronological compilation of sales and promotions your retail business plans to offer. This goes way beyond knowing when Easter falls in a particular year (April 12, 2020, by the way).

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) says sales and promotional calendars “help plan, track, and measure marketing efforts year-round, and can help your business weather the storm during slow sales and enhance or extend peak periods.”

Put These Things on Your Calendar

Carlyn Hill of Threadless, an online creative community, suggests including the following on a retail sales and promotion calendar:

Other events that might make the calendar include local happenings, seasonal occurrences as they relate to your product, and relevant conventions.

Go beyond national holidays. “You need excitement and energy in your store all the time, not just when Congress decides to declare a special holiday,” says Matthew Hudson of The Balance Small Business.

Include Goals on the Calendar

Simply having a calendar and a promotion do not guarantee success. To get the most out of your retail sales calendar for 2020, be clear on your goals.

For example, if the goal of a promotion is “customer retention, rather than a short-term sales boost, consider offering rewards points,” says Amanda Berkey of Salesforce. “Reward points don’t offer the possibility of immediate gratification like discounts, but they will appeal to customers who shop with you on a regular basis.”

Your retail promotion calendar can also help your business keep up a positive vibe.

“A great way to avoid becoming mundane is by strategically planning promotional events for your retail store,” says Hudson. He notes that a “specially orchestrated promotion” can make a major impact on product demand and sales.

An exciting promotion can also inspire customers. “By planning several of these exciting events each year, you’re giving customers a reason to return to the store on a regular basis,” says Hudson.

Personalize Your Sales and Promotions

To grab your customers attention, your retail promotions calendar needs to personalize the promotion and the message rather than doing the same-old or following the pack. Recognizing major observances such as Black History Month in February or Breast Cancer Awareness month in October are great opportunities, but how will your business show its genuine appreciation and respect of what these observances promote awareness of?

Berkey notes a Salesforce report that stated “65% of customers agree receiving personalized offers and exclusive discounts has a major or moderate influence on their loyalty.” She adds, “customers are looking for offers that are personally relevant, and they want to feel like companies they engage with truly understand them as individuals.”

Catering a promotion to your retail stores’ “social media followers or newsletter subscribers, reward customers with early bird offers or discounts on their next visit, or target promotions to specific customer groups” creates exclusivity, according to the NFIB.

Personalization and exclusivity inspire customer loyalty and encourage your best customers to spend. Consider this as you develop your retail sales and promotion calendar.

Creating a retail promotion calendar for 2020 has many benefits for your retail business. It will make your store proactive rather than reactive, keep you organized, and allow you to tailor a message and sales strategy that will resonate with your customers.

You can find some of the major American holidays and observances at timeanddate.com.