Retail Resources

Drive Back-to-School Sales with Loyalty & Couponing

Aug 07, 2015 — Stacy Hamer
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As summer winds down, retailers are beginning to ramp up in anticipation of Back-to-School and holiday sales. According to a recent infographic by RetailNext, the Back-to-School shopping season is the year’s second-largest shopping period when it comes to consumer spending. So how do you plan on attracting those spending dollars to your store?

Back-to-School is the year’s second-largest shopping period. - RetailNext

The latest version of our RQ Retail Management software offers next-level functionality when it comes to coupons and loyalty programs. Coupons aren’t old school, physical paper anymore. They can be qualified discounts or promotions sent by email or applied instantly when your customer is making a purchase. For 15% of shoppers, coupons, sales and promotions influence their full decision to make a purchase, states RetailNext.

                   

Typically, coupons are applied to an entire invoice for a flat dollar amount. In RQ, you now have the ability to offer coupons at the SKU level as opposed to the invoice level. Here's why this is amazing --  You can put up to 3 groups of products to trigger the coupon and every group can have its own rule creating a multi-layer ability to qualify the coupon.

So imagine that your bundle combines 1 phone + 2 accessories + a handset protection plan. With SKU-level discounts, you can choose the products/SKUs that qualify and the percentage that will come off the line item. In this example, let's say it's 15% off the accessories only. Previously, you would have had to make the entire invoice 15% off (phone and all) or apply a flat dollar amount for the discount. 

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This is seriously a massive game changer that makes for much easier reporting and handling of commissions. 

You also have the option of auto couponing or discounting – much like you’d see at a grocery store. You can set the discount to apply to everybody or implement a qualified discount with the right combo of products. With that combo, you can tell the system which item will actually get the discount and whether it’s a lump sum or percentage discount.

Additionally, serialized coupons, which can either be physical or virtual cards you mail to customers, are another coupon method integrated directly within RQ. Regardless of the method, coupons have the power to enable more add-on purchases or attract customers to your higher-margin products. 

In RQ, you now have the ability to offer coupons at the SKU level. This makes for much easier reporting and handling of commissions.

In partnership with coupons and discounts, retailers can take advantage of RQ’s loyalty program module. Loyalty programs can be:

  • Sales-Based: After a customer spends “X” amount of dollars, they automatically receive that loyalty-level reward. ($10 off, a free cell phone case, whatever the retailer chooses!)
  • Points-Based: Different SKUs can trigger a different value of points. A one-time-use coupon can be awarded once a certain points level is reached.
  • Visits-Based: Prepaid stores or locations that accept bill payments can monetize the fact that customers come into your store but aren’t necessarily buying something. Collecting points for these visits can create a great experience that keeps you top of mind when that customer is looking to make a purchase.

The reward level can be totally wide open (cash money) or a qualified coupon like I mentioned above.

Loyalty programs ran through RQ are very transparent. Updates are printed directly on the invoice to let customers know where they’re at. Customer points are also easily visible to your store associates at the POS. Staff can be prompted to tell customers the dollar spend or amount of points they are away from reaching their next level.

The typical family with school-age children plans to spend $630 on Back-to-School shopping. - NRF

With targeted loyalty, you can’t abuse it. Requiring all discounts to be run through RQ at the POS provides an incredible amount of tracking that not only helps you see if your promotions and marketing efforts are successful but also makes it clear when and why a discount was applied. Without running the coupon or discount through your POS you risk opening yourself up to fraud as there’s no rhyme or reason as to why you gave the discount.   

With the typical family with school-age children planning to spend $630 on Back-to-School shopping,[1] having the right loyalty and incentive programs in place will certainly help you attract customers as they eagerly head into another school year.

Ready to take advantage of couponing and loyalty programs in your stores? Let’s talk!

 

Topics: Retail Operations, CRM, Loyalty & Marketing Automation, POS

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