Clean up in Aisle 2: Promotions Push Product Purchase

John Chesak
Published Wednesday, Oct 30, 2019



Clean up in Aisle 2: Promotions Push Product Purchase

There are many ways to encourage a customer to purchase your brand but revisiting these basic insights can help you improve your outcome.

Most marketers are aware that just about everybody loves a deal. This concept has stood the test of time and is demonstrated year after year by Black Friday shopping. Consumers wanting the best price, or the limited-quantity item, are willing to get up before the crack of dawn, drive to overcrowded stores, and wait more than an hour or two in line to purchase these door busters.

But offers don’t always have to be centered around a holiday or special day. Promotions can take on many different forms and the desired end result is the same— to get your target audience to make a purchase.

While both brand-equity and promotion-oriented campaigns demonstrate positive sales performance overall, we see campaigns with a savings or value message as driving higher short-term sales lifts— with nearly a 1- 2 percentage point higher sales lift on average. The type of promotion used also matters.

Campaigns with percentage-off or BOGO offers tend to outperform those showing a lower price point or no promotion at all. Shoppers like the BOGO type of deals because they seem to offer a second product completely free, so the perceived value is high.

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In a report from AMG, 66 percent of shoppers say that they like BOGO the most out of all discount promotions. They also found that 93 percent of shoppers report that they have taken advantage of BOGO promotions at least once

Even within the combined grouping of Free, Contest, and Gift Card offers, a variance in median sales performance exists*:

  • 2.7% Sales Lift for Something Free with Purchase
  • 2.8% Sales Lift for Gift Card with Purchase
  • 4.1% Sales Lift for Offers related to a Contest or Sweepstakes
  • 2.8% Sales Lift for Combination of Free, Contest, Gift Card offers

(*based on a limited sample)

We know that products such as beverages, candy, and snacks are driven by promotion— but so are ‘non-foods’ such as baby, beauty, and home and cleaning products.

The difference in sales lift during a promotional campaign vs. the post-campaign period is 1% higher for Baby products, 1.5% higher for Beauty products, and 2% higher for Home & Cleaning products.

For highly-penetrated brands or products with high weekly sales volumes, even a relatively minor improvement on sales lift within any of these promotional situations potentially means even higher incremental sales

Pick a Primary Item to Promote And KISS (Keep It Simple & Straightforward)

Consumers respond to digital ads with single item promotions better than those promoting a broad portfolio or scale event— as observed by sales lifts of 3% or higher in comparison.

Many consumers experience a feeling of overload when offered too many choices and varieties. It can also dilute your marketing message. The KISS principle helps you alleviate the challenges of audiences with short attention spans.  Remember to keep sales, as well your marketing, easy to understand.

  • Know which products give you the biggest gross profit and promote them
  • Know your audience. Don’t just randomly market to everyone, rather use targeted marketing to the people who actually want and will pay for your products.
  • Don’t show them all the different flavors. Go for one specific item, or two, to promote and bring them through your doors. Once they are there, they will find more to buy!

Businesses that leverage traditional promotion tactics should use diverse media to advertise their offers. Digital is great but don’t forget about direct mail marketing. A postcard in their mailbox is an effective way to retarget second-time buyers.  And don’t forget to tie your efforts together – including what happens in-store.  We find that amplifying in-store displays with digital advertising drives stronger sales performance— by 1 to 3 percentage points for ad campaigns in the Grocery & Mass Merch channels

To see what promotion or campaign strategy is working the best for your type of product or industry, it’s important to find a marketing technology company that offers in-depth measurement capabilities.

When you use a marketing company like Valassis, you get measurements during and after the campaign to see the effect your advertising has on sales at the register. You can also learn which factors drive sales in order to iteratively increase advertising effectiveness, as well as capitalize on high-velocity stores using real-time, shelf-aware campaign optimization.

So find the right audience, start promoting…and get ready to clean up in all aisles with extra sales!