Promotions are an essential part of any retailer’s marketing toolkit, and never more so than during the holiday season. They increase sales, build loyalty, and delight customers. They also deliver rapid results, complementing longer term brand building strategies.

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The holiday season is when promotions do their best work. Shopping activity is up, and consumers are buying goods they wouldn’t normally purchase during the rest of the year. They’re very open to buying from new places – research from Google in Australia, for example, found that at Christmas, a massive 79%* of shoppers are open to buying from retailers that are new to them. This gives retailers the opportunity to win new customers over the gift-giving season and then convert them to becoming repeat shoppers.

In 2022, offers and discounts are more important than ever, as shoppers balance the desire to give gifts with the squeeze on their budgets from cost of living increases. Offering a discount not only wins over new shoppers, but increases the loyalty of existing ones as they see the retailer ‘give something back’.

There is no doubt about the popularity of promotions with shoppers. Statista tells us that 88%+ of shoppers use vouchers and discount codes, and 68% of shoppers say that promotions increase their loyalty§§.

In fact promotions literally have a ‘feel-good factor’, with a study showing that recipients of a voucher had a 38%++ increase in their oxytocin levels!

Shoppers particularly want tailored offers that are targeted, based on their needs, wants and likes. Offers that they feel are not just for ‘people like them’ but actually for them.

The great news for retailers is that if they can get this right, promotions can drive massive business benefits that go way beyond revenue:

  • Increase sales – for example a 10% price promotion can increase sales by around 36%**
  • Reduce marketing and sales costs by 10-20%¶¶
  • Increase customer satisfaction by up to 20%

  • Increase sales conversion by 10-15%

  • Increase employee engagement by 20-30%

  • Increase shareholder returns – retailers with consistently high customer-satisfaction scores have a three times higher return

Five steps to perfect promotions

The most effective way to implement a promotions program that delivers sales, loyalty and all the follow on benefits, is to harness the power of an integrated retail technology platform.

An integrated retail technology platform is a system that includes all the key elements you need to run your retail business, fully integrated with each other. All the elements work seamlessly together to help retailers plan, deliver and track their promotions.

The key elements of an integrated retail technology platform work together to help retailers through each of the five steps of a promotion campaign:

  • Step 1 – Planning  A loyalty management system  is where retailers hold the data they have captured about customers, including demographics and shopping history. By analysing that data, they can plan which promotions are likely to capture the interest of shoppers, and what they are going to offer. Loyalty management system data enables retailers to build deeper relationships and greater loyalty, by creating truly personalised promotions.

  • Step 2 – Building A promotions engine is where the retailer sets up and manages promotions. They specify the promotion type and the conditions for that promotion. Promotion types might include multi-buy, buy one get one free, discount, free products or a coupon for future purchases. Conditions can be day/date/time, customer loyalty level, product, retail store, number of items purchased, sale value or expiry date of the product.

  • Step 3 – Information The most direct way to let customers know about a promotion is to send the offer to them as a digital coupon. Digital pass software sends information directly to the customer’s mobile device, complementing in-store information and other forms of advertising campaigns, such as social media, tv and radio.
  • Step 4 – Application In a retail technology platform, the promotions engine is a part of the retail pos system, so retailers can be sure that promotions are applied automatically and consistently at the online or brick and mortar checkout.
  • Step 5 – Analyse the results  Retail Analytics helps retailers to see the results of their promotions, with a Sales Promotion report that clearly shows the results, including anything that needs tweaking or adjusting.

Promotions are a great way of generating sales and loyalty at any time of year, but none more so than the holiday season, when the world’s mind turns to shopping. Retailers can win new shoppers, who are open to trying a different retailer, and increase the loyalty of existing customers with an offer that makes the perfect seasonal gift.


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