As a small business owner or manager, we know there may be tasks and goals on the back burner. Promotions, for example, aren’t a mandatory task when selling tobacco, cigars, and vapes, so they’re often pushed aside.
But the truth is, promotions can be a game-changer for your smoke shop. Are you missing out on these valuable opportunities to increase sales?
Why Your Tobacco Shop Needs to Run Promotions
Promotions are an effective way to get people in the door and making purchases. Whether you’re sending out emails and paper coupons, or simply putting a sign in your smoke shop window, consumers love to feel like they’re saving money and getting a good deal.
If you’re having trouble deciding what kind of promotions to implement, we’ve brainstormed a few tobacco-specific deals you can try in your store.
1. Buy One Get One Promos
BOGO, or Buy One Get One, is a pretty standard promotion you’ve likely taken advantage of as a consumer. It’s as simple as that: buy one item and get one free.
There are different combinations of this promo you can use, however, so think about what makes the most sense for your smoke shop and get creative! This promo typically involves purchasing one or more of a specific brand/type of product and getting something else at a discount, or at no cost at all.
Some tobacco BOGO examples are:
- Buy two packs of cigarettes, get one free
- Buy one case of cigars, get one at 50 percent off
- Buy three lighters, get two free
- Buy a vape starter kit, get a free e-juice
2. Mix and Match Deals
Mix and match promotions are a fun way to let new and returning customers try out products (especially products they may not have typically purchased). For this type of deal, you’ll want to select a variety of items that qualify for the promotion, allowing customers to create their own bundle.
For example, if you have cigars that you sell individually from cases, there’s a ton of opportunity here. Typically, humidor customers will pick and choose the cigars they want and get charged a set price per unit. But if you run a mix and match promotion, you can, for example, let them pick five cigars of their choice for a 10 percent discount on the bundle’s total.
Smoke shop customers may be hesitant to purchase a case of a cigar brand they’ve never tried before, so a mix and match promotion could be just what they needed to discover a new favorite. They get to give new cigars a try, and if they don’t like them, no big deal — they got their bundle at a discount, and it was worth a shot.
Many humidors and cigar shops have a VIP club for tobacconists, often requiring a one-time or ongoing membership fee. Whether you have an existing membership program or it’s on the horizon, consider running a promotion to get customers to join the club.
Memberships are great for sharing new product releases, hosting exclusive events, and creating a small team of people who are loyal to your small business. And to make things even more beneficial on the customer’s end, people love getting a good deal or free gift before committing to something.
Maybe customers who join your VIP club at the register get a 20 percent discount on their order, with a 10 percent discount on all future purchases. Or perhaps it’s as simple as gifting new club members a custom ashtray with their name engraved on it.
Again, the possibilities are endless — so don’t be afraid to flex those creative muscles!
4. Customer Loyalty Programs
Last, but certainly not least, customer loyalty programs are great for ongoing promotions.
One easy idea is to reward first-time customers 10 dollars off their purchase when they give you their email address. This is a win-win all around because the customer gets a discount on their transaction, while you get the golden ticket: a contact method provided voluntarily.
Your customer will likely know that you’ll be keeping in touch, which means there’s less of a chance that they unsubscribe when you send them emails. You can then utilize your new customer’s email address to send them event invitations, new tobacco product releases, customized coupons based on their purchase history, and so much more.
Another idea is creating a rewards program linked to customer loyalty. You can award gifts and/or discounts to customers who reach certain thresholds — whether it’s a dollar amount spent or number of products purchased. For example, you could promote an incentive that rewards members a free cigar every time they purchase 10 cigars in your smoke shop.
If you’re not taking advantage of a customer loyalty program, you should be! Outside of promotions, there are so many things you can do to nurture your tobacco shop’s first-time and repeat customers.
Tracking Tobacco, Cigar, and Vape Promotions
With all of these promotional ideas floating around in your head, you’re probably wondering how you could possibly keep track of them all.
A powerful point of sale system is vital for tracking how your promotions are performing — and so many other retail business tasks. After all, you need to know whether the promos you’re running are worthwhile so you’re not wasting time on a deal that’s not effective.
With CAP Retail by POS Nation, you can take the guesswork out of managing promotions, customer loyalty programs, product marketing, business reporting, and so much more. Our all-in-one solution can easily keep track of all the tobacco promotions we mentioned, applying them to transactions automatically so that there’s no extra work required at checkout.
Interested in learning how else CAP Retail by POS Nation can help you increase tobacco, cigar, and vape sales? Schedule a free POS software demo today!
If you’re new to the industry, you can also download our free resource: The Tobacco Point of Sale System Buyers’ Guide.