How to Promote a Retail Store With Gleam

Do you run your own store? Learn how Gleam can help you promote your retail store and drive sales with this helpful guide.

If you're a retailer running your own store then there's absolutely no doubt that you've got your hands full. With everything that goes into managing the daily operations of a store, it can be incredibly hard to find the time to take care of one of the most important aspects of achieving retail success: promotion.

If you want your store to stand out from both your offline and online competitors then you need to make sure that you're running highly engaging promotional campaigns on a regular basis. We know that this can be quite the challenge, but luckily for you Gleam has an entire suite of apps which can help you promote your store and grow your customer base in highly time-efficient and affordable way.

So if you want to find out exactly how Gleam can take your promotional efforts to the next level just keep reading.

Here's a rundown of the main strategies we'll be covering in this guide:

Run a Promotional Giveaway

If you want to generate store awareness and drive real user action then there may not be anything you can do which will be as effective as running a contest or giveaway.

Most people who find out about your store and decide to visit will do so online, so it's imperative that you are able to reach and engage these users. Gleam Competitions allows you to easily set up and run contests and giveaways which drive powerful user engagement. So if you're looking for a great way to draw attention to your store and encourage visits from potential customers then running a giveaway is definitely for you.

  1. Retail Example Campaign
  2. Deciding on Entry Actions
  3. Choosing a Prize
  4. Finding the Right Contestants
  5. Promoting your Giveaway

Retail Example Campaign

Take a look at this demo we've put together to see what your own giveaway could look like 👇

Deciding on Entry Actions

When running a giveaway, one of the most important decisions you'll have to make is what actions you want to incentivise. The demo Competition above shows you some of the most effective options you can choose from, and to show you exactly why these actions are so powerful we're going to look at them in a bit more detail:

Extra Entries for Existing Customers

Using our Custom Actions entry method, you can reward existing customers by giving anyone with a valid order number a few extra entries. This is a great way to engage your loyal customers and build positive consumer relationships, both of which are great for driving future sales and boosting customer return rates.

You can also get customers to snap a photo of their receipt to enter with our File Upload action:


Legality of Enter with Purchase method varies from country to country. Make sure you are not violating any No Purchase Necessary laws applicable to your country for this entry method. Find out how you can mitigate that and run a regulation-compliant campaign in our Complete Guide to No Purchase Necessary Laws.

Leave a Review

Positive reviews can play an enormous role in the success of your retail store. Studies have found that up to 90% of customers read online reviews and up to 40% make a decision on as little as 1-3 opinions. So if you can use giveaways to elicit positive reviews from customers then you can put yourself in a position to make favourable impressions and encourage visits from people who discover your store online.

You can use Gleam's Submit URL Action to allow users to enter your giveaway by leaving a review on Google or any other platform you're on. All you need to do is provide users with a link to where they can post their review.

Sign Up to Your Mailing List

As a retailer, e-mail marketing is one of the most powerful promotional tools you can use. Sending your mailing list updates on sales, new products, or any other happenings is a great way to promote your store and drive sales, but it's effectiveness is reliant on the size of your mailing list.

To maximise the efficiency of your e-mail marketing strategy you need a sizeable mailing list, and one of the best ways to get one is by using a giveaway to incentivise signups.

Social Media Actions

Maintaining an active and engaging presence across various social media platforms is another outstanding way to engage potential customers, keep your audience up to date, advertise your products and ultimately drive store visits and sales.

Gleam has numerous actions across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more which can give your social media marketing a significant boost.

Using our actions you can ask users to visit you on Facebook and Instagram or follow you on Twitter - all great ways to grow your social media following.

You can also ask users to send out a Tweet promoting your store, or Retweet one of your own posts. These actions are particularly effective if you're running a sale, launching a new product or undertaking any other activity you want to draw attention to.

Check In to Your Store

One particularly powerful action you can incentivise is getting people to check-in at your store. This is a great way to encourage your users to actually visit your store and check out everything you have on offer.

It's most likely that your existing social media followers are customers who live in the vicinity of your store. This means that the bulk of their friends are also likely to live nearby. This is fantastic, as it means that by encouraging your followers to interact with your various online channels you will be exposing your store to a wider online audience who are likely to live within shopping range of your store.

Enter a Secret Code

With Gleam's Secret Code action you can award entries to users who successfully enter a code which has been set by you. As a retailer, a great way to use this action is by offering flyers in-store which promote your giveaway and provide users with the code. This is a great way to encourage competition entries from customers who visit your store, and store visits from competition participants looking to get a few extra entries.

Visit a Website

If you have a website that you want to draw attention to then you can use the Visit action to send users users there. This can be particularly effective if you also operate an online store.

Submit a Photo

You can use contests to collect loads of high-quality user-generated content which shows off what your customers love about your store and your products. This is an outstanding way to collect genuine, trustworthy and engaging material which can give a serious boost to your website or social media marketing.

Check out how YOMG incentivise their customers to submit their own photos:

YOMG's photo contest prompt on a coaster-shaped restaurant pager

You can use the Select actions in Gleam to collect hashtag-restricted images from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or you can use the Media Submit action to gather images from any of these sources with one easy action.

You can also use Gleam's Import Actions to collect images as contest entries without users ever having to interact with your widget.

Running A Photo Contest
Learn All About Running a Photo Contest

Find out everything you need to know about setting up your own engaging photo contest and displaying submissions in a stylish gallery.

Offer Coupon Codes

With our Coupon action you can offer discount codes from within your giveaway. This is a great way to offer participants a discount code to redeem at your store which is a great way to help drive sales.

You can use the actions required setting to lock your discount until after a certain number of actions have been completed. This allows you to use a discount to not only incentivise sales, but also encourage users to complete more actions and maximise the effectiveness of your campaign.

Viral Sharing

If you want your giveaway to gain viral traction then our Viral Share action is definitely worth considering. You can use it to reward users with extra entries for referring their friends to the giveaway. It's a great way to gain additional awareness from an audience that is likely to both live in your store's area, and have an interest in what you sell.

Choosing a Prize

When you run a giveaway another important decision you'll need to make is what exactly you want to give away.

Your prize is the cornerstone of your contest, so it's important that you get it right. Your prize should be valuable enough to incentivise entry and be specific to your target audience so you don't attract attention from irrelevant users.

If you're in retail then there's no better prize than whatever it is you're selling. There's no better way to ensure that your contest entrants have a genuine interest in your store and its products than by actually giving away some of your products, or a discount voucher to use at your store.

Considering throwing in your best-selling product as the giveaway prize, or better - create a limited edition of your best-selling product to increase exclusivity.

When you run your giveaways with Gleam you can easily add multiple prizes to your campaign. This is perfect if you want to offer up a larger prize pool, giveaway unique weekly/monthly prizes, or give out runner-up prizes.

Finding the Right Contestants

If your store has a physical and online component then your giveaway can reach further, but if you're a brick and mortar store which doesn't sell online then you want to make sure your Competition entrants are people who live close enough to your store to be potential customers. Since your online following is likely to be made up of local users this will happen naturally to a large extent, but there are other ways to make sure you're finding the right contestants.

Stipulating that your prize must be redeemed in-store is a great way to ensure that your entrants are potential customers. If you're giving away a discount voucher this is easy, as people will have to visit your store in order to use it. If you decide to give away a product bundle as a prize you can achieve the same outcome by requiring users to pick up their prize from your store.

You can also target potential customers by engaging in various promotional activities that are likely to reach a local, relevant audience. We recommend creating targeted ads at your store's location to promote your giveaway to the right audience.

Promoting Your Giveaway

Promotion is a crucial component of any giveaway campaign. If people don't know about your campaign, they won't enter it. It's as simple as that. If you want your contest or giveaway to reach your target audience and drive real action then you need to make sure that you're using the right promotional channels and tactics.

Spread the Word on Social Media

As we mentioned before, your social media followers (and their social circles) are likely to be made up of individuals who live in the general vicinity of your store and thus make for prospective customers. It's because of this that announcing, promoting, and linking to your contest across all your social media channels is always a great idea. If you haven't yet accrued much of an online following you can even promote the giveaway from your own personal social media account.

Use Paid Ads

If you've got the budget for it, using paid ads can be an outstanding way to reach a new audience and expose a highly relevant audience to your giveaway.

Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, Instagram Ads and Google Adwords all support geographic location targeting, which make these platforms perfect for promoting your giveaway (and your store) to local users.

Announce it to Your Subscribers

As well as making sure your social media following is aware of your contest, it's also critical that you keep your e-mail subscribers in the loop.

Your mailing list is likely made up of previous customers and individuals with a strong interest in your store. These are people who like what you do and have lots of potential to be converted into customers, making them ideal entrants that you don't want to neglect.

Email blast about a promotional giveaway

Embed Giveaway On Your Website

If you run your giveaway with Gleam then you have the option of embedding the campaign directly into your website. This is a good move for two main reasons.

Firstly, it will allow you to encourage entry from the highly relevant users who visit your site.

Secondly, you will be able to drive traffic to your own website. This is a great way to showcase what your store has to offer and entice visitors, if you have an online store then you might even be able to drive some immediate sales.

Run Your Own Competition
Run Your Own Giveaway

Check out our documentation on setting up your own Competition or start using giveaways to promote your retail store now!

Run an In-Store Giveaway

If you operate a retail store then running in-store giveaways that your customers and visitors can easily enter is an outstanding way to drive engagement and encourage patrons to take meaningful action.

If you want to run an in-store giveaway there are two main approaches you can take:

Encourage Users To Enter From Their Mobile Device

Getting your customers and other visitors to enter a giveaway from their mobile device is easy with Gleam's QR Code Landing Pages.

All you need to do is find your Competition's unique QR Code in the Promote tab and prominently display it in your store.

Get the QR Code for your campaign from the 'Promote' tab in the Dashboard

Users will then be able to scan your QR Code and be instantly directed to your giveaway's landing page where they can complete your designated entries and unlock entries. This is outstanding way to generate leads and drive other powerful actions from highly targeted users who have already identified themselves as potential customers.

Here are a few ideas for ways you can share your campaign's QR Code:

  • Prominently display it in your store.
  • Share it with customers alongside their receipt or invoice.
  • Incorporate it into flyers, posters, leaflets and other marketing materials.

Get Users To Enter From A Device In Your Store

If you want to really grow your sales revenue then it's important that you don't only prioritise finding new customers, but also focus on maximising the value you get out of your existing customers.

One of the best ways to maximise customer value is by using e-mail marketing to send them special offers and keep them up-to-date with your store. If you can collect e-mail addresses from your customers then you put yourself in a great position to drive future sales and boost customer lifetime values.

You can use Gleam to incentivise in-store e-mail signups by setting up a tablet or laptop in your store and running a giveaway in Event Mode. This is a great way to drive on-the-spot entry, but we recommend that if you take this approach you don't use social actions which require authentication or logins. This type of campaign works best as a simple way to drive e-mail signups.

Run a Pre-Launch Raffle

If you're going to be selling an exclusive or limited edition product then running a pre-launch raffle to win the chance to buy the product is an outstanding way to generate hype around the product launch, draw attention to your store and drive powerful actions.

A pre-launch raffle can provide you with a perfect opportunity to grow your mailing list, as users who are interested in one special offering are likely to be interested in others. However, when you run any Competition with Gleam you have a wide array of entry actions you can choose from, so a pre-launch raffle can be used to drive whatever actions you desire.

User-Generated Content (UGC) is an incredibly powerful promotional tool. It comes from real customers which makes it far more trustworthy, relatable and engaging than most branded content you can produce.

User-generated content will make a welcome addition to any store's promotional efforts. It's terrific for social media marketing, and if you build a UGC gallery on your own website you can add an extra layer of engagement to the site and help build a real sense of community surrounding your store.

Gleam Galleries allows you to build stylish galleries which will automatically import images from a variety of sources.

Hashtag Galleries

With Gleam you can build Hashtag Galleries which will automatically import hashtagged images from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more into a gallery which you can then embed into your website. This is a highly effective and simple way to collect and display high-quality user content.

All there really is for you to do is create a branded hashtag, set up your gallery and start encouraging your customers to post photos of themselves enjoying your products or store.

If you're importing media from Instagram you should consider asking users to also tag you in their posts and using @mention imports with #hashtag filters. This will help you take clearer ownership over posts and capture additional user data such as usernames and timestamps which Instagram no longer allows you to capture from hashtags alone.

Having a gallery like this on your website is fantastic for multiple reasons:

  • It gives you some interesting content to liven up your website and engage new visitors.
  • Photos of customers enjoying or successfully using your products essentially serve as positive testimonials, which are one of the most powerful tools for encouraging visitation and purchase.
  • It allows your customers to play an active role in your store which builds a sense of community and promotes loyalty.

You can also display hashtagged images by activating Carousel Mode in your Gallery and showcasing user-generated content in a scrollable carousel. This is a highly effective way to stylishly and unobtrusively incorporate powerful UGC into your website.

To encourage users to use your hashtag and submit photos into your gallery you can try running a social media campaign, putting up promotional signs in your store or giving customers leaflets asking for photo submissions.

Competition Galleries

In many circumstances, the prospect of being featured in your gallery or on your social media feed will be enough incentive for people to submit UGC. This is especially true if you operate in the fashion industry or another field which lends itself to photo sharing.

However, sometimes people may need some extra motivation to submit photos, or sometimes you might want to drive a lot more content creation than usual. In these situations you should run a photo contest and build a Competition Gallery to house all of your submissions.

We already discussed using a competition to collect user-generated content, and with Gleam Galleries you can import images directly from your competition into your gallery.

You can even allow users to enter your competition from inside the gallery and vote on their favourite submissions to help you pick a winner.

Create Your Own Gallery
Set Up Your Own Gallery

Check out our documentation on setting up your own gallery or start showing off user content now!

Use Capture to Grow Your Mailing List

E-mail marketing is one of the most effective marketing tools for directly reaching out to your users for promotion. E-mails can be used to advertise new products or special offerings such as sales. They can help you forge stronger, more personal connections with your customers and they perform the simple yet important task of reminding people about your store.

If you have a large mailing list then promoting your store becomes a much easier task, the challenging part is acquiring a large mailing list in the first place.

With Gleam Capture you can display targeted messages and opt-in forms from your website to drive e-mail signups and grow your mailing list.

Ask for Signups

One great way to use Capture to generate e-mail signups is simply by asking.

You can create bold Popups, subtle Floating or Bar Captures to ask users who are interested in staying up to date with your store to sign up to your mailing list.

Build a newsletter popup with Gleam Capture

Offer Coupons to Drive Signups

A highly effective way to grow your mailing list and drive sales at the same time is by using Capture's Coupon template to incentivise e-mail signups with discount coupons for your store.

Offer a discount coupon in your popup form

The discount coupon you offer will give website visitors extra incentive to sign up for your mailing list, and by providing users with a discounted offering they will become far more inclined to visit your store and make a purchase (especially if they've never shopped with you before). This just goes to show how powerful this strategy can be for both driving instant sales and extending your long-term promotional reach.

Discount coupon can be copied directly from the popup form

Generate Leads From Inside Your Store

Every time a stranger enters your store you want them to leave as a valuable lead, or better yet, a customer.

A great way to accomplish this is by offering instant discount codes to visitors who sign up to your mailing list from their mobile device.

With Capture, you can create signup forms with unlockable coupons that visitors can easily access from their own mobile devices by scanning your Capture's unique QR Code and being automatically directed to a dedicated landing page for your signup form.

Get the QR Code for your Gleam Capture from the Dashboard

Run a Rewards Campaign

If you want your online audience to complete actions that will give your marketing efforts a boost and drive future sales then you should try running a Rewards campaign. With Gleam Rewards you can use Coupons to instantly reward active users and incentivise the completion of a wide array of powerful actions.

  1. Retail Rewards Example
  2. Choosing Entry Actions
  3. Choosing a Reward
  4. Promoting Your Reward

Retail Rewards Example

Choosing Entry Actions

When you set up a Rewards campaign you'll have to decide on what types of actions you want to incentivise. Your best options are the same entry actions we recommended you use in a Competition, but there are some important things to note.

Unlike a Competition, running a Rewards campaign involves giving out some sort of prize or special offering to everyone who participates, instantly. Since you'll be providing everyone who participates in the campaign with value, it's important to make sure that you're getting enough value back from them.

There are three key ways to do this.

  • Only allow powerful entry actions such as signing up for your mailing list, leaving your store a positive review or submitting user-generated content. All of these actions are great for your overall growth, and can be well worth a reward.
  • Require users to complete multiple entry actions before receiving the reward. With Gleam you can set a minimum number of actions that need to be completed before users can claim their reward. This is a great way to ensure that you're getting enough value back from your reward.
  • Make sure the reward you offer and the actions you drive are proportionally valuable. You don't want to be giving away a high-value reward to users who just visit your Instagram page.

Choosing a Reward

Another key decision in running a Rewards campaign is deciding on what to offer as a reward.

As a retailer, the best option is to simply give away discount coupons to be used at your store. Not only is this a valuable reward which will drive action from interested users, it will also drive sales.

By offering a discounted price you give people the extra incentive they may need to visit your store and make a purchase. This is an outstanding way to both drive additional sales from your existing customer base and encourage first time purchases from individuals who may just become loyal customers once they see everything you have to offer.

If you only have a physical store, take note that once users have received their coupon, they need to go through the effort of visiting your store to make a purchase. Because of the extra effort, it's important that you offer a sufficiently valuable coupon, or else users may not bother. 15% or 20% discounts will often do the trick, and if there are certain items you don't want to mark down, you can limit the offer to selected products.

Promoting Your Reward

Much like Competitions, you should be promoting your Rewards campaign across social media, on your website, in-store and through e-mail marketing. You can read all of these promotional strategies right here.

When you run a Coupon Rewards campaign, it's especially important to promote the campaign in-store. Make sure everyone who walks through your store knows about your Coupon campaign (and that they can enter it from their smartphone) is a terrific way to drive additional action from customers and make purchase a little bit more enticing for visitors who may have otherwise left without buying anything.

You can easily encourage participation and offer valuable rewards to store visitors using your Rewards campaign's unique QR Code landing page. All users have to do is scan your QR code and they will be directed to your Reward's unique landing page.

Gleam Retail Reward Campaign appearing on a smartphone device
Run Your Own Rewards Campaign
Run Your Own Rewards Campaign

Check out our documentation on setting up your own Rewards campaign or start offering discounts now!


Stuart McKeown

Stuart McKeown is one of the Co-founders at Gleam. Aside from writing and helping businesses grow, he also enjoys sound design and drinking tea ☕️