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3 Ways a Retail ERP Solution Can Help Manage Promotional Campaigns

 User at touchscreen

Promotions play a key role in your inventory management and store sales, but implementing them takes more than a one-size-fits-all strategy. The right promotion will drive traffic to your store, while the wrong one will prevent seasonal or outdated inventory from moving off the shelves.

But a retail ERP solution can create and manage promotional campaigns to improve sales and aid with your inventory management. Here’s how:

  1. Determine what you want to achieve: First you must decide why you want to have a promotional campaign. It is to improve sales? Is it to move a slower-selling product off the shelf? Or is it to increase demand for a new product? Or maybe it’s just to increase traffic to the store?

    Your retail POS software and retail ERP solution can identify the offers you can use to drive demand. You can set up a clearance rack where everything is marked down, 50 percent off or buy one, get one free.  All these offers can drive demand of a certain type of product or product category.

  2. Offer coupons to encourage return traffic: You can offer promotions based on a customer’s purchase history. For example, when a customer purchases a bicycle at a store, the checkout register could automatically print out a coupon offering a discount on a bicycle accessory during the customer’s next purchase. This is similar to what often occurs at grocery stores where, during or after a transaction, the grocer’s register prints out coupons based on the customer’s buying pattern.

    With retail POS software, you could program your register to print out a coupon giving the customer an incentive to come back and shop again. With this type of promotion, you don't need to know anything about the customer; you only need to know they bought a certain product, such as a bike.

    If you offer a coupon to encourage return traffic, be sure to specify a beginning sales date and an expiration date. Retailers with unsophisticated point-of-sale systems tend to honor any coupon, whether it has expired or not, but with retail POS software, the system will know the rules associated with the coupon. You can allow your managers to override the retail POS software, but coupon expiration dates allow you to eventually return to full price on the product.

    Also, be sure to create coupons based on buying habits. If you push products or savings that are not relevant to the customer or that don’t support their past buying habits, the customer will tend to ignore the promotion.

  3. Promoting the promotion: It’s one thing to have a promotion, but it’s another for people to know about it. Be wary of making a promotion so complex that the customer can’t understand the offer or can’t see the benefit. 

    In addition to making the sale easy to understand, it’s also important to make the promotional product easy to find in the store. It’s frustrating for a customer to come to the store only to have a hard time finding the sale product. Stores should also make the promotion easy for store associates to identify and to process at checkout. You don’t want a customer to bring a product to the counter only to have the register ring up a different price, which then takes several minutes and a couple of managers to override.

With a retail ERP system, you can also manage mobile app pushes, create printable coupons and send direct mail or email blasts to all your customers or targeted customers.

The bottom line is this: To identify the ideal sales promotion, your retail ERP system must have the information base and ability to capture ongoing data. Your system should also be able to track the effectiveness of promotions to help you understand what is working and what is not. Having data to target your promotions and understanding the effectiveness of past campaigns is vital to figuring out what promotions are relevant to your customers.