10 Promos and Discounts to Use to Drive Traffic

Revel Blog | Revel | February 12, 2018 |

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Slow periods are inevitable for just about every business. If you are looking for a way to increase traffic during a slow period - be it a slow day for your restaurant or a slow season for your shop, discounts and promotions are a great way to bring customers back in your doors. According to RetailMeNot, 80% of diners are likely to try a new restaurant if there is a deal available, so to help you get a jump start on planning your next big promotion, here are ten of the most popular promotions you can use:

Volume-Based Discounts

Volume based discounts work from the principle that “the more you buy, the more you save”.  This encompasses BOGO (buy one, get one free) discounts, as well as “Save 10% when you buy 3.” These types of discounts work well when you’re trying to drive up average order size or for moving a specific inventory item.

Dollar or Percent Discounts

These are generally deployed as coupons and offer a straight dollar or percent amount off an order.  Think, “Save 15% on your next order!” or “$20 off any purchase greater than $50”. Coupons are generally good for customer acquisition and encouraging repeat visits.


A re-price discount replaces the price of a specific item for a specified period of time.  An example would be, “All tacos are $1 on Tuesdays!” (if your tacos are normally $3). These work well to move specific inventory items and to acquire new customers.

discountsOnce you’ve selected your type of discount comes the fun part, it’s time to choose how you position your offering. Check out a few examples:

Flash Sale Any of the above discount types can be promoted as a ‘Flash Sale’, one that is presented as “for a limited time” or “this weekend only”.  Flash sales are a great way to drive revenue or sales of a particular item within a specific time frame.

Happy Hour Those in the nightlife industry know Happy Hour well - a reduction in price during a specific time to offset a natural downturn in traffic. And this concept works in all industries. For example, if Wednesdays are your lowest revenue days, you could do ‘Chicken and Waffle Wednesdays’ with special pricing on specific menu items or your whole offering.

Coupon with Purchase Instead of providing a coupon for general use, you can provide a discount on a future purchase.  This can be for purchases made within a specific time frame, for purchases exceeding a certain dollar amount, or for purchases over a certain dollar amount.  Think: “Spend $15 and receive a coupon for $5 off your next $20 purchase.”

“Tripwire” or Loss Leader Sometimes just getting people in the door is the hardest part of making a sale.  By introducing a “tripwire” or loss leader product - a product marked down so significantly that it brings people in the door even if you sell it just at break-even or below - you’re bringing new customers into your business and often they’re going to purchase more than just your loss-leading product. For example, maybe a certain can of beer is always $1, with the understanding that customers will also buy wings or a burger.

VIP Sale A “VIP Sale” is a way to reward a segment of customers with a special offer. Drive repeat customers by offering an exclusive offer.  Whereas the other types of promotions discussed should be promoted publicly, VIP promotions involve outreach to a limited group.

Holiday Sale Get your share of the excitement surrounding a popular holiday or be the first to capitalize on a less popular holiday or occasion. For example, your ice cream shop could get a nice boost by running a “Last Day of School” promotion in conjunction with the end of the school year in your local district.

We Miss You! Last but not least, bring your customers back with a promotion that reminds them why they previously visited your business. Offer promotions to customers who haven’t visited in awhile. You can do this with any of the aforementioned promotion and discount methods, the effort of sending a promotion will work to bring your business to the top of customers’ minds and the discount will bring them back in.

Want to learn how to make these promotions successful? Check out Revel’s full guide to promotions and discounts to learn how to plan and market your promotional programs! View the Guide