Do you know how to get the most from your store promotions? As retailers look for ways to increase profit margins in an increasingly competitive environment, incorporating best practices when developing your promotional signage and tickets is going to give you an advantage. Current research suggests consumers are making more decisions at the shelf-edge than ever. Retailers that empower their marketing and merchandising teams to influence these decisions see substantial gains.
Store promotions: What’s the best practice?
The SignIQ Service Delivery Manager, Adam Despott, understands what makes a ticket work better than most. His role is devoted to ensuring promotional signage and shelf-edge labels are designed as effectively as possible across a variety of retail organisations. We asked him what he considered essential if a retailer wants to experience the best return on their promotional ticketing investment. The answers might surprise you.
Finding the right ticketing strategy
The first step to success is finding the right ticketing strategy for your company.
- Centralised print and distribution
- Decentralised in-house developed system
- Specialised ticketing service
A centralised print and distribution system is the way retailers have traditionally managed their store promotions. While tickets are of equal standard, they’re also costly and time consuming to produce. This system is inflexible and does not allow stores the ability to match or recreate those tickets. Store managers will always have the need to produce their own tickets especially in the cases of stock clearance and local promotions causing brand compliance issues.
Many retailers have overcome these difficulties by creating a decentralised in-house developed system. This provides a lower distributed cost for a promotion but it’s expensive to maintain. Updating or modifying the system is often slow with ticketing dependent on IT staffing and infrastructure issues. With rapidly changing technology, this means an in-house ticketing system often struggles to meet all business and governance ticketing requirements. It all adds up to an inflexible ticketing structure albeit in a different way than a centralised system.
A specialised ticketing service provides a lower cost for store promotions with the bonus of being quick and flexible to implement. Not only are the tickets of a high equal standard across the retail network, store managers have the capacity to match and recreate the same standards for local promotions. The retailer no longer has to worry about keeping up with a continuous flow of software and hardware changes and should enjoy regular updates to the functionality of the ticketing service.
Every retailer needs a clear vision for how promotional signage and tickets will appear in the store. You will need to understand how you want your tickets displayed and how many you want distributed throughout each store. This is an ideal way to support your corporate brand and give shoppers a comfortable experience. It’s crucial to clearly define your style and standard for both catalogue and everyday ticketing and communicate that throughout your store network.
Colour print vs. Mono print
There’s always been healthy debate about colour versus mono print for store promotions. While using pre-printed stock can often be seen as a cheaper solution, it quickly becomes expensive when:
- You require a variety of paper stock for various promotions.
- You need to implement a change that requires new stock for all stores.
- Changes are slow to be implemented or delayed. For example, you’re planning on refreshing your style but you want to use up current stock first.
Retailers who use colour print are often more nimble when it comes to making changes. New ideas can be quickly implemented and old ideas easily stopped. Colour printing continues to become cheaper, making a decision to print in multiple colours more viable every day.
The information printed on the ticket is a vital aspect to creating an effective promotion. It’s essential to understand the type of information you need to help promote a particular product and encourage shoppers to purchase. Use a lot of white space on your tickets and organise the data carefully without clutter. Don’t forget to include, if applicable:
- Unit pricing
- Discount information
- Savings values
- Product Descriptions
- Country of Origin
The challenge to comply with consumer protection laws in a fast-paced and widely distributed retail network is getting harder. Ensuring every ticket for every product in every location is correct is no mean feat. Non-compliance comes at a cost so retailers often elect to deploy the most basic (and unattractive) ticketing. Trying to manage anything more sophisticated would dramatically increase the compliance risks. The three areas of compliance management a retailer should consider are:
- Non-Compliance Prevention. Your ticketing system should only produce tickets that comply with the consumer protection regulations.
- Non-Compliance Reporting. Your system needs to monitor and report all ticketing activity to ensure store execution of ticketing is compliant with consumer laws and store policies on pricing.
- Non-Compliance Detection. Finally, your ticketing system should detect any potentially critical compliance conditions and automatically alert and escalate these issues to the designated personnel.
It’s one thing to have a strategy and a clear vision but quite another to execute both every day, in every store, across your network. Best practices around executing a retail ticketing strategy include:
- Training staff in your ticketing methods and standards
- Ensuring multiple levels of your management team check in with stores regularly regarding the level and standard of their ticketing
- Including your ticketing strategy as part of new employee training
- Integrating ticketing with your key retail systems so the product information on your tickets is always current
What this means for retailers
Traditionally the only way to measure the results of your ticketing strategy is to employ merchandisers or perform store checks. A good ticketing service allows you to centrally track ticketing activity in real time, right down to the store level. This gives retailers the opportunity to plan and manage store promotions instead of continually reacting to problems. Regular reviews of your ticketing reports ensure a high understanding of how your store network is performing. Importantly, retailers can be confident their ticketing complies with consumer protection laws and supports your store brand uniformly throughout the organisation. The only viable ticketing for retailers is a specialised ticketing service.
If you’d like more information on the SignIQ specialised ticketing service, why not phone us?
Have we missed any ticketing best practices?
This post originally appeared on the SignIQ blog and is used with permission.