The loyalty of regular customers and the emergence of new ones are the subject of interest of any store. Therefore, each season is celebrated with promotions and discounts, the main goal of which is to increase sales and profits. The result is influenced by competent planning of actions and the implementation of this plan. Anya Pabst tells what you need to focus on in the difficult matter of planning seasonal sales and sales — specialist in the field of crisis communication, head of the Russian branch of the international franchising company BEITRAINING.
The reasons for holding promotions are numerous and often combined: opening a store, beginning and end of the season, pre- or post-holiday sales, creating an information occasion to draw attention to the store, the need to sell out stale goods or introduce a new one, to stand out among competitors. It happens that at the same time the action does not lead to the desired results. The reason for this may be an inaccurate definition of the target group, an incorrectly selected time, an erroneous presentation strategy, etc.
When planning another rally, the owners are racking their brains: what would come up with one to stand out from the crowd? Creativity in this matter plays an important, but not decisive: success will always be enjoyed by the principle of love of consumers that is true at all times for saving - real or apparent. Therefore, the basis of virtually any action is a discount on the product itself or a second pair of shoes, free related products, a coupon for the next purchase or gift.
Nevertheless, the planning of the campaign should begin with the question of identifying "your" customer, who will be interested in this particular campaign. His age, education, income and place of residence, social and marital status, family composition (having children), loyalty, average bill - all this is significant for business information. “A successful businessman knows his client almost better than himself,” says Anya Pabst, head of the Russian branch of the international company BEITRAINING. “Therefore, determining the ultimate goal is the key to progressive development, because the efforts made to move in the wrong direction, regardless of your persistence, will not bring results.”
Even if you have been running a point of sale for twenty years and know your customers almost by name, collecting additional information will not be superfluous. Moreover, it is not necessary to spend money on specialists - you can simply conduct a survey in the very magic. Of course, there are always few people wanting to fill out a questionnaire, but a small souvenir or sweets will be a pleasant incentive to spend a few minutes. So the questionnaire will allow you to get a detailed idea of regular customers, which will greatly facilitate the planning of the advertising budget based on the needs of a specific target group.
In the right focus
The second stage of preparation for a "literate" action is the definition of focus management, that is, the angle of view that underlies the decisions made by the leader. As a rule, it is formed in four main directions. The first and most common is price. On it are all the discounts, assuring that their shoes are the cheapest. However, such a trick is weak in gaining regular customers, and buyers here leave more easily than they appear in search of the cheapest offer. The price focus is divided into two types - the focus on costs (low prices) and on sales (the most popular product of the season) and is focused on increasing sales at any cost, pushing quality to the second place.
Price focus is opposed by focus on the product. At the same time, the store convinces the customer that he pays the money precisely for quality, which means that he is ready to spend more. This strategy is chosen by high-end stores. With customer loyalty, things are much better in this case, but they also change their preferences if they doubt the quality of the product or find someone who will offer the best solution. Focus on the product is characterized by high costs and the constant need to update the range and follow the latest in industry.
There is a third strategy, the focus of which is the buyer himself. His needs are put at the forefront, and thus he does not choose from the proposed, but the manufacturer creates what the client needs. One example is an online store of German shoes, where you can “create” shoes for yourself, making a layout from the proposed nose shapes, heel height and shape, material, color, jewelry, etc., and then pay for the order and wait for the parcel.
Customer is always right
As in the definition of focus management, focusing on customer needs is the basis of successful promotions. The buying process does not begin with the arrival of the customer in the store, but with the realization of the need to buy something. The following is the process of finding information, analyzing alternatives, and finally, making a decision. Understanding the purchase process, you can influence it through marketing, and intervene in it - at any stage. For example, to independently initiate a problem with the help of a “banner” with the inscription “Meet autumn fully armed!” The best models of the season at N! ” So the client is led to the idea that he needs a new pair of shoes, and he can find it from you.
You can attract the attention of the client at the next stage, when he is busy searching for information. Media, outdoor advertising, distribution of flyers come into play. Much depends on the target group and the channels of information familiar to it. Remember that your store for customers is not the only opportunity they are considering. Do not waste time, but give correct and sufficient information, and do not become impatient or unfriendly.
The third stage - the analysis of alternatives - also allows you to influence the client through marketing activities, depending on your focus management. Focus on the price implies that you will capture the customer’s attention with discounts: five percent of the price of shoes for the current season, liquidation of the collection, etc. With a focus on the product, the stock is likely to be associated with a story about a unique assortment. For example, high-quality shoes from Germany (Italy, the North Pole, Timbuktu) with a unique impregnation that protects from rain and dirt.
Focus on the client implies promotions related to the benefit for the buyer: extension of the warranty period, related products, etc. Such a promotion itself looks less significant for most buyers than the same discount, so the promotion may combine several attractive offers. You can offer the client to choose from several alternatives - what exactly he wants to receive: a discount, related products or a coupon for the next purchase.
Discounts - the most common marketing event to attract customers. They can be simple (from the price list), bonus (for regular customers), quantitative (when buying two or more goods from the assortment), special (for privileged customers), etc. As a rule, it is provided not for the whole assortment, but for some goods. There is no point in making a discount on the hit of the season, which is already so well dismantled. It is simply displayed in a window or in a conspicuous place in the store, and the buyer is informed that this particular model is best sold. Such information is already attractive to the client, especially if the numerous merits of the product are mentioned.
With experience, the arsenal of techniques used in conducting promotions is expanding. Promotions directed “to the future”, for example, a discount or other preferences for repeated purchases, increase customer loyalty. In addition, the promotion should be beneficial to the client, and this benefit should be striking - therefore, it is important to make this information available to the buyer.
One of the incentives to take part in the action is various limiters, the most common ones - in time and in quantity. In the first case, a discount is offered only within a certain time frame (50% before the New Year) or quantitative (the first hundred customers receive the latest shoe care product upon purchase for free).
Having spread advertising networks wider and having agreed on mutually beneficial cooperation with an enterprise from another segment, one can make the action memorable and unusual. Offer coupons to the pool or massage parlor for the participants, and discounted coupons or an advertising banner in your room at equal prices.
Do not forget to notify as many people as possible about the campaign using outdoor advertising, the media or targeted mailing. The success of your campaign will be ensured by focusing on a specific target group, the correct focus of management, information delivery channels and the right moment of contacting the seller to the client. The originality and benefits that the client receives also make the promotion successful. This means that it can be made reusable and planned as part of a long-term marketing strategy, making creative amendments and making it more profitable both for oneself and for the client, who in this case turns into a permanent one.
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