Retailers are using promotions in increasingly creative ways to drive purchases and encourage repeat traffic without eroding profits and margins. In a recent JustEnough-sponsored report by RIS News called Retail IQ: Driving Revenue and Increased Engagement With Advanced Promotions Management, findings show that retailers must consider the price, timing, consumer target, merchandising strategy and store location when staging promotions. Technology can help: promotions management software and analytics tools provide better insights by cross-referencing historic, demographic and other data across multiple sources.
The report acknowledges that retailers are taking advantage of wider availability of better, more accurate and affordable data. Nowadays, retailers of any size can gather a lot of information about their customers online with very little effort. Such data can be fed into modern optimization tools, which project how much lift a promotion will provide to entice shoppers without destroying margins.
I answered a couple of questions for this RIS News report regarding centralized promotions management. Traditionally, promotions were planned by different teams depending on the channel, which could result in conflicting messages for the consumer and subpar campaign outcomes. Retailers are realizing the need to centralize these activities across channels, geographies and internal departments. That’s where a centralized promotion planning and execution system supported by a dedicated, best-in-class solution comes into play. Although many retailers want to adopt a centralized promotions management approach, they are attempting to do so using Excel, merchandising, pricing and ERP systems – which often lack in sophistication and the ability to capture the level of detail needed to optimize promotions.
Additionally, a better promotions management process is required; automation alone will only allow retailers to be inefficient faster. What’s needed is a process that allows retailers to get to market faster and eliminates any barriers along the way. Once that happens, retailers can start generating more targeted and relevant promotions that result in more accurate data to analyze, which can be difficult to do when data is gathered from disparate sources.
I also talked a bit about how some retailers are eliminating loyalty card programs in favor of other tools for customer data collection. This is because as loyalty programs expanded, their use has become limited and they no longer are a point of competitive differentiation for retailers. Beyond such programs, there are multiple ways of collecting customer data. In fact, most retailers leverage more than one method, which include virtual loyalty cards using credit card data, email sign ups, mobile app downloads and social media.
Finally, I answered a question about using Facebook for promotions. While the prospect of targeting promotions down to the individual customer level via Facebook was initially met with a lot of excitement, it proved to be too much work without much ROI. The social media platform is an excellent way to engage a large audience and drive brand awareness, but it falls short when it comes to individual promotional campaigns.
To read the full report, click here. Contact us today to learn how the JustEnough Promotions Management solution makes it easy to plan multi-channel promotions that drive sales and improve margins.