We bought a Lustigt prize wheel for $29.95 at IKEA a few years ago, and once a month we set it up for our First Friday on Monroe Street event. Everyone who makes a purchase of $10 or more gets to take a spin, and we give away store gift cards as well as small prizes that we source as closeouts from our vendors. The cost to us is minimal, and our customers love to win.

A new addition to Monroe Street, I’m Board Games and Family Fun, had a prize wheel out in front of their store during the recent Monroe Street Festival, and it was a great way to engage people passing by. They got a big wheel from another business that was giving it away – and the big wheel is more fun to spin, I must admit, because it spins a lot longer than our little one. 

Displays2Go shows the prize wheel they sell filled in with motivational prizes for employees: VIP parking, an extended break, and even an extra day of paid time off. This would be a great way to have a bit of fun at a staff meeting. You could also reward employees who have reached a specific goal in sales or training with a chance to spin the wheel. We once used ours to give our staff members their pick of some of our slightly defective merchandise and product samples.  We divided these miscellaneous items into three colored bins and whoever landed on a certain color got first pick.  We kept going until most of the goods were gone.

The key to making everyone happy is to make sure there are no losers. Instead of “no prize,” you could mark one section as “spin again.”  It also helps to have one exciting grand prize that participants really hope to win, even if the odds are against the wheel landing on that spot. I think that spinning to win a prize is a better practice than using the wheel for a discount popup, unless you keep the discount amounts close to each other.  Customers who see that they might have won 50% off their purchase are not going to be very satisfied with a 5% discount. 

Offering a chance to win a discount coupon for a future purchase (with a start and end date) after checking out is a fun take on the bounce-back coupon to encourage customers to return. For more ideas, check out Kamila Palma’s blog post about creating a successful Spin the Wheel promotion on Easypromos.

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder

Please note that there will not be a Specialty Shop Retailing blog post next week