Thursday, 17 September 2015

Think about what you want your promotions to acheive

I've started looking in more detail at some promotions in certain retailers, and I think that you can split promotions into two main types.

Promotions that drive people to your door
Promotions that influence your customers when they are in store

I think that you can split promotions in this way and I also think that you should think about your promotions in this way. Why? Because you need to drive people to your door AND you need to influence people's purchasing decisions when they are stood in your store, looking at your shelves. There needs to be a balance between there promotions as you attempt to achieve both of these things in tandem. A successful retailer will want and need to attract new customers with their promotions that drive people to their door. These can be linked to their loyalty cards, headline offers or outdoor advertising. The idea behind this is that you, as a retailer, can expand the customer base that frequents your shop or shops. From this increased customer base (and you providing them with fantastic customer service) you can increase your sales.

The other promotions will actually affect people's buying decisions when they are stood in front of your shelves. This is mainly aimed at your existing customers - those that come into your shop as a matter of course. From the starting point of having these customers walk through your door anyway, you want to ensure one of the following three things-

1- They spend more money than they came in for.
2- They buy when they may not have expected to.
3- They find a reason to come back.

This isn't always an easy feat but promotions such as multibuys, the location of related sales close to each other or announcements of coming events are all great ways of talking to customers with the aim of achieving one of these three things.

I'll look at little more closely at these three promotion types-

These are the tool of these three that will get your customers to buy more than they came in for. Take many, many national retail chains that have 3 for 2 promotions running is some or all of their shops at different times. The idea is that once the customer has cottoned on to the additional maths, the sale is logical.

The maths is as follows-

ONCE YOU HAVE BOUGHT THE FIRST ITEM (the one that you came in to buy)

From this mindset, most customers then buy more than they came in for.

Associated sales
These are a great way of achieving points 1 and 2 from the above. The basic example from my early retail days was a promotional end of associated products. At Christmas, we used to sell wrapping paper
like it was going out of fashion. But the clever retailer made a promotional end of wrapping paper, sellotape, gift tags, a sellotape dispenser and bags of ribbons and bows.The difference in sales is astounding and customers walk out with something that they perhaps hadn't come in for.

Event announcements
This is the one area of the three that I find a little resistance to, from retailers that I speak to every day. The resistance is in the fact that retailers are worried that they put off today's customer until the event, if they are promoting a great event. For example, if you are offering double points on your loyalty card next week, then a customer that walks through the door today may be out off buying until next week.

The converse could be actually happening. A customer could walk in today to check out your prices and find that you are slightly more expensive than a competitor that they have just checked, Whilst they are in the store, they see your offer and decide that it would be better to buy with you rather than your competition.

I think that every announcement, promotion of piece of marketing that encourages your customers to spend with you is positive and you shouldn't hold back with the worry of simply postponing sales.

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