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Jul 14, 2017

Sidewalk Sales

Hosted by Shelby Klick and Vince Ventura


Sidewalk sale tactics to make your event a success!


  1. Preplan
    1. Consider your location. Are you in a good place for a sidewalk sale? Do you have a lot of foot traffic or maybe a parking lot to make it huge “must see” event?
      1. Check with your local zoning board to see if you are allowed to use the sidewalk in front of your building for such a sale, use banners, or a temporary tent.
    2. Permits
      1. Choose a date that is historically warm and sunny. We can’t always predict the weather so have a backup plan to have a rain date or move it indoors.
    3. How’s the weather?
      1. A great way to bring more customers to your sale is to partner up with neighboring businesses. If everyone is holding an outdoor sidewalk event on the same day and times, more people will take the time to shop knowing they will find more deals, plus this is a great way to get noticed by your neighbor’s customers.
      2. Partner with vendor reps as well. See if anyone is available for product demonstrations, answer product questions or if they have samples that they want to sale.
      3. Invite a nonprofit or community group like school booster club to supply food and refreshments for donations.  This give you a bit of good-will while exposing your store to more people. Plus refreshments can go a lot way to make a happy shopper.
      4. If the sale will have a theme, pre plan all the details before you tackle your marketing to keep everything consistent!
    4. Partners
    1. The point of any sale is to move inventory and generate cash flow. To make this event a success, you need discounts that will make people excited and get them to your store.
    2. Clearance and everyday deals just moved to the sidewalk isn’t going to cut it! Make your hard work pay off by giving a sale that customers can’t resist with products they can’t resist. Even consider doing a store-wide event with sales starting outside and bringing them indoors.
      1. A cohesive collection or display can usually get away having less of a discount while a section of odds & ends may need a deeper cut to get attention.
    3. Mix in sought after brands or products with their own special discounts with clearance products that need moved out of the store.
  2. Want to move inventory - need enticing discounts
    1. People linger in a fun environment. Turn up the volume on some fun music, hang bright signs announcing the sidewalk sale, and share enthusiasm about the event, products, and your customers.   
    2. Your employees play a big part in any sale. Make sure that they are well educated on each product, have full understanding on all the sale details, and are enthusiastic! Even in hot weather, they need to have a smile on their face and excited to be there. Make sure they know how to interact with customers and create a friendly and fun atmosphere.
      1. First, you want all the prices to be understood at first glance. Is the price on the tag already discounted? Do customer get a percentage off the price written? Do different color tags mean different things? Make sure you have original price and sale prices all clearly marked.
      2. Second, use signage to get people off the sidewalk and into your store! Choose one or two things that will drive people in the door. Did you just get a new collection in? Is a demonstration happening inside? Get them in the store and browsing your regularly priced items too.
    3. Make sure you use signage wisely!
  3. Look & feel of the event
    1. Sign up for email list
      1. Sidewalk sales are great exposure and a great way to get new people to become paying customers. Ask everyone for for their email address telling them what value you give with your emails!
      1. Stuff bags with “Back Coupons” to encourage shoppers to come back and get a % or $ amount off their next purchase.
    2. Back coupons
      1. While chatting with customers, tell them about future events, classes or anything else happening in store to encourage them to visit again.
    3. Talk about events, classes, etc.
  4. Bring Customers Back
    1. Like after any marketing campaign or event, it’s a good idea to sit down and evaluate.
      1. What products were people excited for?
      2. Which discounts grabbed customer’s attention?
      3. How did products do outside vs. inside?
      4. Are there unsold products that need to go back to the clearance section?
      5. How many new customers vs. old customers shopped that day? 
  5. Evaluate


  1. Pre-planning is the biggest part. Know what you’re selling, what you paid for products and how much you can discount while still making a profit.
  2. Educate your employees about the sales and products and make sure they keep customers happy and having fun.
  3. Throughout the event keep in the mind bringing customers back by giving them a good experience and talking about future events.
  4. Evaluate and see how you can improve similar events in the future.