If there’s a word that we all could agree to love, it would be ‘Sale’. It is no surprise that before any mega sale day like black Friday, we see most people sitting and waiting for the clock to hit 12 and for the sale to begin so that they can start shopping. We also witness many websites crashing because of the rush of customers, increasing the website’s traffic. This also explains why most businesses which offer sales frequently stay profitable throughout the year.
In general, as humans, we are so attracted to sales because of the concept of ‘fomo’ which stands for fear of missing out. We have innate competition to get the best thing at the best price which we can show off to the rest. Sales promotion help us do just that. Though there are many types that exist, in this article, we will be denoting the ones which are quite popular. Before we dig into that, for knowledge’s sake, let’s see what sales promotion actually are.
What Are Sales Promotions?
It’s a marketing tool which is used to attract customers and ultimately increase a business’s overall sales revenue. It is a popular tactic used by many retailers. These may allow the customers to either get products at a lower price, or get a higher value of the sale.
What Are The Most Popular Types of Sales Promotion?
There are numerous existing, but the ones that take over the internet and physical stores include the following:
1. Free Shipping or Free Returns
Previous research done shows that about 80% of customers would be more eager to buy from Amazon, if they were offered free shipping – this suggests how successful it tends to be when attracting more customers. Not just that, but the research also showed that about 64% customers said that they would make purchases only if they were offered free returns.
This probably has you thinking why. Well, the reason behind this is simple – people love sense of security (what we learned from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs). When a store offers them free shipping or returns, they are offering customers a strong sense of security which makes them assume that they can easily purchase and send the product back without any cost if they are not satisfied with it. Since from a business’s perspective, no one likes a loss either, so to cope with that, most put up shipping cost or add a free shipping limit which makes it a win-win situation for both.
2. Discounted Products
It makes the product more affordable for the customers which makes them want to purchase more, thereby driving up your sales easily. Percentage off is the most common type of sales promotion in which you’ll see, “50% off” on websites or stores. It can be flat or up to. While flat usually is more successful, up to can also be effective as it creates a false delusion in a customer’s mind.
Doesn’t that percentage off on websites drive you towards the shopping cart within minutes? That’s the psychological trick which tends to work almost always in sales promotions. We are naturally appealed by discounted products, be it a percentage off, or a reduction in price by dollars.
3. BOGO (Buy One Get One Free)
Don’t we all love to get free things? This explains why everyone loves the BOGO offer. Every customer is sure not to miss this one out especially if it is a product that they’d rather purchase in bulk, like grocery items, chargers, etc. This also applies to products that complement one another, for example, tea with a sachet of powdered milk. This helps drive sales up as businesses tend to use this tactic smartly by thinking about complementary products which customers will buy together.
4. Flash Sales
If there is one thing we all get scared of is sense of urgency. This is exactly what is exploited by businesses. Flash sales are created for a limited amount of time for customers to make purchases and avail discounts. However, if customers end up missing out due to the limited time, the regret is way too much. Most businesses use this strategy to get rid of surplus stocks, while customers who are fortunate enough to purchase them are clearly the winners there. Research shows that one hour flash sale is the most successful one.
5. Coupon Codes
This is a part of discounts tactic, but is sometimes, personalized by many businesses. A coupon is offered to customers which may or may not come with a time restraint allowing them to make purchases at incredible discount by using that coupon. It may be a free shipping coupon, percentage off coupon, we miss you coupon, etc. It’s a smart strategy used by businesses to make customers feel special and become more loyal towards the particular brand. The customers who make frequent purchases are generally emailed the coupons and at times, these are offered in the official website too.
6. Holiday Promotions
Another popular type of sales promotion is holiday promotion. Most people tend to spend their money around the holiday season like Christmas or Thanksgiving. Stores tend to be loaded with customers with many demands. However, notably, exactly when a sale becomes official is dependent upon the type of industry. For example, if it is a holiday season, offering sales at last minute, won't be the smartest decision and instead, for that, sales should start a month or two early. Some sales will likely be regarded as early bird discounts which are available at least 15 days earlier.
7. Loyalty Rewards or Promotions
Customer Relationship Management is one of the most important aspect of any business’s strategy. To achieve that, most businesses offer loyalty programs and get customers enrolled within it, where they get exciting points and rewards which can be redeemed to get discounts on their purchases. As part of loyalty program, most customers exclusively get free shipping and free coupons too.
To conclude the above discussion, it can be said that all of these strategies tend to be fruitful for both, the customers as well as the business. Sales promotions should be done frequently, yet smartly for them to be effective. Marketing of these sales promotions is essential as it is important to make customers aware about the sales promotion at the first place, therefore creating a ‘hype’ about it can prove to be successful.