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Retail marketing is one of the many tools used by large and small retailers alike to attract customers and encourage them to spend money in their stores and shops. The more customers spend the more rewards points they receive and the happier the store manager will be at the prospect of return customer visits.
To the customer it means special offers and bonus buys which can either make the shopping bill cheaper or it gives the expectation of some form of reward at a later date. They can build up their reward points until they have enough to redeem them for cash off their shopping bill, or choose a gift from the reward program catalogue that is sent to them.
Many of the larger nation wide retailers face stiff competition from rival retailers so they spend a fortune on loyalty and reward programs which allow the customer to build up points that can be used in payment for their shopping once they have saved enough. This usually involves the shopper in handing over their points card each time they shop. The cashier swipes the card and points are added according to the amount of money spent.
The points reward catalogs which are sent to a customers home, shows all the gifts that can be purchased with points. The selection is quite diverse and often includes days out, entrance tickets for cinemas, air miles, hotel nights and a whole host of other items. Some of the gifts are redeemed for points only and others are a mixture of points and cash.
A reward program is another marketing tool, which is based on the same principle but is usually an addition to the points received for shopping. Customers are sent vouchers which allow them a set amount of money off when they buy a specific product and present the voucher at the till. Or if they purchase the named product they receive additional points.
This allows the retailer to promote certain products which they have bought in bulk and although they may be popular products, they are not selling fast enough. These promotions are often used in any advertising for the store. It is also a useful tool for introducing new products to the market.
The buy one get one free tool has become very popular with all retailers not just the larger supermarkets. But it is also the source of some controversy. Is it really a bargain if you get one for free if you only need the one, particularly if it is a perishable item? Many retailers often sell the single product cheaper, so instead of buying the offer pack, two singles give more value for money.
Retail marketing practices seem to have crossed over into many areas of daily life and are not restricted to supermarkets or the smaller general retail shops. These practices are used in everything from food items to clothing and even to cars and furniture to holidays and credit cards usage. Whether they are worth it or not really depend on whether you would have purchased the product or service without the special offer.