Magazine article Marketing

Marketing Promotion: Make Me an Offer

Magazine article Marketing

Marketing Promotion: Make Me an Offer

Article excerpt

Retailers are facing unique challenges to recruit and retain customers. We invited marketers and category experts to discuss the big issues.

Retailers are finding it harder than ever to keep customers loyal Rather than stick with favoured stores, people are shopping around for the best value - even if this means visiting more stores and scouring the internet for the best deals and offers.

For some customers, good value equates to low cost, hence the initial success of discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl. For others, it is about choosing retailers that provide a comfortable in-store experience, coupled with reliable customer service, while yet others have spent more time shopping online, using the web to compare prices and find discounts.

The past two years have undoubtedly been a nightmare for some retailers, with Woolworths the biggest name to vanish from the high street, but for some it has been a boon. Sainsbury's, for example, has positioned itself as a store offering quality food at a fair price, through initiatives such as its lauded 'Feed your family for a fiver' promotion.

With these issues in mind, Marketing joined forces with Yahoo! for the second in a series of round table discussions. We invited a premium selection of retail marketers and experts to join us at the historic Liberty department store, in the heart of London's West End.

Our panel agreed that the recession has made people take greater control when shopping. Gwyn Burr, customer director at Sainsbury's, says consumers are becoming more savvy, actively seeking out bargains.

'We have a proposition of universal customer appeal. Our own-brand, which is brand quality but 20% cheaper, has seen enormous growth as consumers try to recession-proof their basket,' she adds. 'It doesn't matter how good your marketing is, and it doesn't matter how good your branding is; they either see the value in their basket or they don't.'

Burr reveals that three-quarters of Sainsbury's customers buy both Basics and Taste the Difference products in the same shopping trip, demonstrating that they want low prices on some products and to treat themselves with others. Sainsbury's has also posted a 300% growth in sales of higher-welfare chickens 'Customers want value and values,' she says.

In line with this growing concern with value, consumers are increasingly researching products online before purchasing. Nigel Robinson, managing partner and head of new business and marketing at MediaCom, says: 'Retailers need to enable consumers to travel seamlessly from online to offline stores.'

Craig Mawdsley, joint head of planning at ad agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, claims consumers are not going out to the high street because they fear they will yield to temptation. However, he adds that they are more willing to be tempted by supermarket clothing ranges.

He explains: 'If a retailer at a brand level can put forward a really convincing value equation, and get the customer into a safe place about what that brand is delivering for them, then suddenly you can unlock some of that discretionary purchase. 'If you demonstrate to customers that you are working hard to earn their custom, it stops them from moving away.'

Melissa Littler, marketing director at online fashion retailer Brand Alley, believes that consumer priority when clothes shopping is 'cost per wear'. This, she argues, is the appeal of discount designer fashion, as it is perceived as providing 'value that will last'.

MediaCom's Robinson contends that although people are thinking carefully before purchasing, 'they will invest in something if it's good value - even if it's quite a high-ticket item'.

He notes that Sky subscriptions have stayed solid, despite fears that people would cut back on what some would consider a luxury. This is because consumers are prepared to invest in brands that help them enjoy a good night in. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.