Customers love discounts. More often than not, where someone decides to shop is based not just on the base prices, but any additional savings or deals they can find through coupons. And while customers who take advantage of these offerings may think they’re the ones getting the deal, these discounts can be just as beneficial to retailers, helping them bring in more customers, make more sales, and promote new products.
Up until now, retailers are often at the mercy of manufacturers when it comes to coupon distribution. Manufacturers determine what discounts apply to which products and when. The benefits still exist, of course, but he retailer has no control of when or how they use these coupons… unless they make their own. Doing it themselves can be costly, labor intensive and gives them no way to easily track distribution or redemption. Coupon creation tools are usually geared for the big box stores, leaving small and medium retailers out in the cold. So what options exist?
By using services like Octopon, retailers can easily make their own coupons, giving them complete control over important factors like: Which items are discounted? How are they discounted? Creating unique deals and time frames for when the coupons can be redeemed. And there are even greater advantages to using customized coupons:
Controlling Traffic – Outside of big box stores and national chains, retailers will always have slow days. Elements local to them, like paydays, have a big impact on when customers decide to shop. Most managers will capitalize on these patterns by planning sales and other events around days of increased activity, which is certainly a solid strategy, but what if you could get more business by increasing traffic on “off days” as well?
When utilizing a service that creates customized coupons, look to see how tightly you can control the “valid through” dates. Octopon allows you to control this window of time, down to the day of the week or even set times during a day. So say, for example, Wednesdays is your slowest sales day. You can create and distribute coupons that are only valid Wednesdays, even branding it something enticing like “Hump Day Delight,” offering a discount for specific items or from total purchases. This is a simple way to encourage customers to come in and boost sales.
Making Difficult Sales – Manufacturers will often produce coupons as a means to promote new items being introduced to the market. Historically, it’s been a good way to test the waters and gauge public interest and response on a large scale. But what about established products that are just sitting on the shelves? Sadly, that’s not the manufacturer’s problem: it’s the retailer’s.
Low-selling items are expensive in many ways. Besides not turning an actual profit, they take up precious shelf space they could be better used and prevent you from getting new stock, not to mention cash flow. Eventually, it may come to a point where it’s easier to take a loss and sell them at a steep discount just to get rid of them, or even throw the items out entirely.
With custom coupons, you can promote these items the same way manufacturers do with new products. There are many reasons why certain items aren’t selling, but you can create coupons specifically for them. Once a discount offer is made, customers are more likely to try something new. This could influence sales in the long run if customers really like it, or if they buy it once and don’t like it, you’ll at least get the items out the door without taking a complete loss.
Even the Playing Field – It seems that every month there are new stories in the news of how the biggest retailers are expanding. Customers may see this as a good thing since the nation’s largest stores make it a point to sell products at low prices. But the dark side of this, which has only recently attracted mainstream attention, is how this continued growth makes it harder for smaller stores to survive and puts many out of business for good.
It isn’t entirely possible for small retailers to get the same advantages that the major players do; they simply have more money and influence on a national level. However, it is possible to offer similar sales events through uniquely designed coupons. For example, if you know that Amazon is selling kitchenware at a special discount over a two-week period, you can capitalize on this with tailored coupons for your own store, matching the elements of Amazon’s sale that you like but adjusting it to meet your own needs. It’s a great way to piggyback off of sales your customers are more likely to be aware of and retain the business for yourself.
When you look into customized coupons, you begin to see their strategic uses in keeping your store competitive. Through creative application, they can help you gain leverage while serving both yourself and your customers.