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What are In-Store Promotions?

What are In-Store Promotions and How Do They Work?

Billboards. Commercials. Online ads. All of this works to build awareness of your brand. But nothing works as effectively as communicating with the public directly. No middle-man. No mixed messaging. That’s why even the biggest brands are turning to an in-store promotions agency to sell their product.

But what even is an in-store promotion? With more and more shades of experiential marketing sweeping across the industry, there’s understandably a lot of confusion.

Below we’ll answer all your questions. What are in-store promotions? What are in-store promotion jobs? What does an in-store promotions agency do? We’ll even explain the different types of in-store promotions and give you some in-store promotion ideas to put into practice.

Let’s get started.

What are in-store promotions?

In a nutshell – it’s a market strategy designed to attract people to a store to try a product. It can take numerous forms.

Slash prices. Trial free tasters. Or stock a whole shelf with your product – top to bottom. To be an in-store promotion, you need only follow two simple rules:

  1. It must occur in a retail space
  2. It must promote a brand

Often in-store promotions begin with the manufacturer themselves. Although, on occasion, stores may launch a new product with an in-store promotion.

The goal is to generate interest in the product. Whether that be a free taster to encourage someone to buy or a discount offer to fuel sales and create loyal customers.

It’s also a fantastic opportunity to get people to brand switch. And, it’ll shift large amounts of stock and create extra revenues when sales may be declining. For instance, product displays can be placed prominently at the end of an aisle or near the cash registers to boost sales. They’re likely to leave a lasting impression in your customers’ minds.

All-round, in-store promotions are a versatile and effective sales tactic.

Not only can they increase sales, but they enable brands to control customer perceptions. But that relies on a capable in-store promotions company and talented, charismatic in-store promoters.

In-Store Promotions

What is an in-store promoter?

An in-store promoter may work for the store itself. However, most often, they’re sent to a store by an in-store promotions agency.

Their job is to showcase the brand to the customers.

Think product displays, demonstrations, or free tasters. The in-store promoter will attract customers to the product and answer any questions.

All in-store promoters should be well-versed in the product, the brand, and the company. They’ll chat about what a customer liked about the product. And they’ll encourage them to buy one, by introducing the promotion offered.

With capable in-store promoters, companies can control their brand narrative. They’ll also be able to tempt customers away from other brands. That’s particularly critical when dealing with a new product launch.

In short: they’re taking advantage of customers’ impulsive buying. Most people don’t plan their purchases. And they’re generally open to a better deal or product.

It’s the in-store promoter who spells out the benefit, boosting overall sales.

What does a promotional company do?

In-store promotions companies are your one-stop shop for all things promotional. No matter if the event is big or small, they’ll run a promotion from start to finish.

But what does that entail?

Well, first they’ll discuss the type of promotion you want. Do you solely want a product display? Or do you want to try a bolder strategy?

Then, they’ll move on to planning. Which stores do you want to run the promotion in? Why those stores? Do you wish to tie in an in-store promotion with other promotions elsewhere? For example, at expos and conferences.

These are critical questions to developing a successful in-store promotional strategy.

The in-store promotions company will then begin hiring staff. All the in-store promoters should be interviewed and screened before being hired. They should then undergo rigorous training to ensure they understand and complement the brand. This is key to memorable brand activation.

Finally, throughout the promotion, the promotional company will review progress. Adapting the promotional strategy can further enhance the results – and, in the end, sell more products and attract more customers.

Types of in-store promotions

In-store promotions come in all shapes and sizes. There are many types of in-store promotions, from classic discounts to product displays. Which one is right for your brand?

Here are a few examples:


Are the most obvious way to sell a product. They come in many forms, including percentage discounts, a lump discount (e.g., ZAR 100 off), buy one get one free, and multi-buys. Even free shipping can be considered a form of discount. There’s one clear advantage: it’s an easy sell. Everyone loves a bargain, and a discount can be an effective way to lure a customer into trying your product.


Are similar to a discount. But they can be even more successful. In one study, a $50 coupon beat a 15% promotion. However, percentage discounts tend to do better overall. The trick is finding the price sweet spot. It’s all about making it sound like a bargain relative to the product’s perceived value. For example, a 40% deal might be equivalent to $10 off – but the former sounds a lot better.

Free tasters

Tend to work only for food and drink products. It’s probably the best way to launch a new product, particularly around the holidays and major occasions. For example, letting customers taste a new recipe for a Christmas chocolate cake will have them salivating. If it’s good, you just know it’s going to fly off the shelves.

Demonstrations or Try Before You Buy

Are an awesome way to showcase a product. They’re the free tasters of non-consumable products. Imagine a new cooking device demonstrated in-store by a chef. Or headphones, where you get to hear the quality first. It’s also a confident statement by a brand – “our product is so good that you’ll have to buy it once you try it”.

Product displays

Are more subtle but no less effective. This form of passive marketing relies on our psychological understanding of supermarkets. Product displays placed on the end of aisles or near cash registers increase a customer’s chance to pick up an item. An attractive design is a simple way to boost sales with little upfront costs.

What are some in-store promotions examples?

Hopefully, you’ve now got some ideas for promoting your product. But to really get your imagination going, here are some of the best examples of in-store promotions:

Try a pop-up shop

Combine social media with a real-world experience. Pop-up shops work fantastically. That’s exactly what Los Angeles-based jewellery store Angie and Chloe Jewelry did. They sold and marketed their jewellery in shops, cafes, events and more.

The result: more exposure, more turnover, and more customers. It worked wonders!

Go seasonal

T’is the season to be selling – whether it be Christmas, Summer, or another holiday, tailoring your in-store promotions to a seasonal theme is a sure-fire way to attract customers.

One example is the Christmas blend. Food and drink companies like Starbucks often create a Holiday Blend. Then, you can market in-store and sell at a high margin.

It’s a win-win situation!

Clever product placement

Subtly doesn’t pay. Don’t leave your top products languishing at the back of the store. Put them front and centre.

Here are a couple of tips for product displays:

  1. Group similar items together
  2. Place high-value products near the areas with the most foot traffic
  3. Keep best-sellers at eye level – otherwise, customers will walk-by without noticing
  4. Low cost, high demand products should be placed near the cash registers

These simple tips will make the most of product displays.

Attract influencers

Social media rules marketing. Alongside your talented in-store promoters, invite a local celebrity or online influencer along. Not only will it attract people to the event, but it’ll also significantly boost brand awareness.

Ask them to post about it in advance and keep posting throughout the promotion. That way, you combine the digital and real-world for the complete promotional experience.


Here’s the Secret About Promoters Jobs in South Africa

Do you have a product launch or conference where you need to promote your brand? Have you heard about promotions jobs and want to know more? Or have you ever wondered who those people are promoting a brand?

We’ll let you in on a secret: they’re brand promoters.

If you’ve never heard of them before, you’re missing out. They’re the secret ingredient missing from your promotions. Whether you need a brand ambassador or a promotional job for a day, we’ve got you covered.

However, there remains a lot of confusion over exactly what promoter jobs are. That’s why we’ve put together this handy article to explain all the key questions.

Let’s get started!

What is a promotions job?

A promotions job is a position in the field of promotional marketing. That’s all about the strategies and techniques used to communicate your product to the audience.

Before you ask: what’s the difference between marketing and promotion?

That’s really simple:


is how you bring your product to the consumer. Here, you identify consumer needs and analyze your competitors. Then, you’ll devise a campaign to market your product to your audience.


is a subset of marketing. It’s the method by which you present and communicate your product to your consumers.

Here’s a quick example:

  1. Analysing the right price point to sell your product = marketing.
  2. Developing a stall with a brand promoter for a conference = promotion.

What do promotions teams do?

Now, we’ve covered the basic definitions; what can you expect from a promotions team?

Well, if you’re attending an event – big or small – a promotions team will be there to answer any customer questions. They’ll advertise the product or services of a business directly to the public. Food products will be offered as a taster, or non-edible products will be available to test. Before the event, the promotions team will screen and then brief on the brand activation. So, they’ll know your product inside-out.

Here are a few examples of what promotions teams do:

Expos and exhibitions.

Here, the promotion’s job is to inform and engage the attendees. The result: increased interest and awareness of your brand.

Nightlife brand ambassadors.

For a red-carpet event, you want your brand to stand out. This isn’t a promotions job for an amateur. You want a smart, well-dressed professional to show off your brand in style.

Experiential brand ambassadors.

Want to engage your customers? That’s the promotional job of an experiential brand ambassador. They run fun activities that spread the word about your product.

In-store brand ambassadors.

Here, brand ambassadors offer free samples to customers. They’ll discuss what makes the product different and will subtly push for further sales. A fantastic way to launch a new product.

What are the four types of promotion?

Everyone knows the 4 Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion. But promotion also has four key types: advertising, public relations, direct marketing, and sales promotion.

Let’s explore each one:


That’s any paid communication aiming to sell a product or service. The goal of an ad is to inform and persuade any potential customers. However, there is no interaction between the brand and the customer – it’s all one-way.

Public relations.

It involves all press releases, product publicity statements, and other corporate matters. The primary purpose of public relations is to manage the company and brand image. Often that means mitigating negative stories and helping to build overall brand awareness.

Direct marketing.

Here, the company markets directly to the consumer. That could be via direct mail, catalogue marketing, telemarketing, or even face-to-face selling. If you’re cutting out the middleman, that’s direct marketing.

Sales promotion.

Any promotions jobs revolve around sales promotion. This includes big events, in-store launches, trade shows, and more. It’s the perfect way to interact with the public and create a buzz around your brand. Plus, many brands have even filmed their sales promotions and gone viral with the clips. There are endless possibilities.

What skills and qualifications do promoters need?

Promotions jobs rely on the skills of the brand ambassador. They need the charisma and knowledge to promote your brand to the public. They need to create hype.

So, what skills do we look for in our staff?

  1. Product knowledge. Top of the list is being able to develop comprehensive product knowledge rapidly. They’ll then need to communicate that effectively and answer any relevant questions. It’s all about anticipating the customer’s wants and desires – with the knowledge always ready.
  2. Customer service. Whether our brand promoters are on the red carpet or in a local store, we prioritise excellent customer service. That means impeccable communication skills – listening to the customer’s question and providing an informative and satisfactory answer. They should also be able to build a relationship with the customer, so they’ll remain loyal to the brand.
  3. Smart, professional appearance. Our brand ambassadors don’t just sell your brand; they are your brand. That’s why we only select people with a professional and engaging appearance. After all, the last thing you want is a moody teen for your promotional job.
  4. Prior experience. We want to see past results. While we’re always open to giving talent a chance, previous sales experience is a major plus.

How do you start a promoter job in South Africa?

Whether you want a promotions job in Johannesburg or a promoter job in Cape Town, it’s all about experience and knowledge. Think about it like this: if you can’t sell yourself for a promotions job, how can you sell a product?

That’s why it’s critical to get a range of experience in marketing, sales, or customer service. It can then springboard you into a promotions job in Johannesburg, Pretoria, or beyond.