Managing Price and Promotions Across Channels in Retail
Managing prices and promotions across various channels of communication and selling is a challenge that is becoming increasingly complex for retail businesses to navigate. The main challenge comes in seamlessly integrating the online and in-store shopping experiences customers have. As more and more people choose to shop both online and in-store, ensuring the customer has a quality experience no matter which avenue of shopping they choose ensures that your business keeps their sales high as possible.
Ensuring customers can experience the same great sales no matter which way they choose to shop is vital to ensuring that you have satisfied customers that find the sales and deals they are looking for. Challenging as this may be, some of the following tips may help you ensure that your business's prices and deals are consistent both online and in-store:
1. Deciding on your Customer Model
The first step is deciding which method of sales you want to use. There are three main methods to highlight here:
Channel-specific: This model consists on running certain promotions in-store and others online treating each store as two separate entities.
Omni-Channel: Keeping the exact same pricing, promotions, sales, and deals in all your channels: online and in-store.
Hybrid Mix: Provides a mix of some similar signature deals both online and in-store, while also providing special sales both online and in store as well to entice customers to use each method of shopping to get those sales as well.
2. Determine Your Competition:
Once you determine your method of sales and adjust your prices, sales, deals, bargains, and promotions to match the model you choose then you must determine who your primary and secondary competition is.
Primary competition will be the competition that will be right in your exact niche of sales. Secondary competition are companies that sell products similar in nature to your own but that may have some nuanced variances and differences.
To set an example, if your company sells pots and pans you would say that your primary competition are other companies that sell pots and pans, such as Cuisinart or Chef Du Jour. If you are talking about your secondary competition you might set stores like Bed, Bath, & Beyond or Khols as competition as they sell similar products, but also an array of other products as well.
You have to offer customers a reason to choose your product and business over these other brands and businesses. Whether it's the quality of the product or special sales you run. Give customers a reason to choose your brand over the other competition.
3. Understand Consumer Behaviors in Your Field:
It's important to keep up with the latest trends in customer behavior. Understanding what customers currently want can help you sell your product much more easily. Some steps to ensure you are providing what your customers are looking for includes:
Be transparent about extra fees such as shipping and taxes that apply to the product. Customers want to know what they are paying before they get out the door. Extra fees should be included, especially when customers shop online.
Providing quality price points that are competitive with others in the market. This means checking prices others offer and ensure you are competitive if not better. Remember to check places like Amazon as well.
Calculate your operating costs and make sure there is a profit to be made. Otherwise, look for ways to cut operating costs to maintain competitive pricing and profit margins.
4. Managing Price Changes:
As the national inflation rate hovers around 2% annually some industries will find themselves above or below that line. Be sensitive to product trends in your industry to ensure you are not pricing products to low or high to make a profit and remain competitive.
Understanding your competition and the competitive price points customers are looking for can help you ensure that customers are having a great and seamless shopping experience whether it's online or in-store.