Sales Promotion Techniques For An Retail Market Harris & Ogbonna ( 2001 )

Sales Promotion Techniques For An Retail Market Harris & Ogbonna ( 2001 )

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When considering the retail market Harris & Ogbonna (2001) suggest that the fast pace of change in the industry requires organizations to be dynamic with a heightened emphasis on continuous innovation or imitation. It is my intention to discuss three sales promotion techniques that gained significant traction in my country, none of which it appears were ideas generated here, rather were imported from the US either by US firms pre-existing in the marketplace or by enterprising firms here looking for a commercial edge. Those three will be the use of relationship management software to establish a ‘coupon culture’, product sampling/testing groups, and finally loyalty programs. I shall end the piece with my thoughts on whether or not these options are and could be made available in other countries.
The idea of coupons is not a new one in my country, but their use was sporadic and limited to a few products, nothing on a national scale. The 1980’s brought a major shift change in our shopping habits, with the rapid growth of the supermarkets we began to leave smaller independent traders and moved to large chains. These chains were good at enticing you with offers on the products you already bought, but also in the wider range of goods available. Coupons were offered to all patons as a means to selling the items to more customers, a small financial discount offered was enough for many to switch brand, and the hope was that once tried they would not go back to their original brand. But by offering to all it was rather scattergun, more hit and hope that targeted promotion.

This changed with the advent of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software in the 1990’s. Computers were now able to monitor what we bought, how frequently we bou...

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... with be better placed and have more resource to expel on the options than others, but the core and basic elements are available to all. What works in the US was easily transported and adapted in my country, as I am sure it was in European and African nations. The world is getting smaller, the business world even more so, and of nothing else the retail industry knows how to copy a good idea when it sees one.
In conclusion, sales promotions are only effective if the consumer is listened too, firms have to know the market they are targeting, investment in good CRM software would be a key element for me. Given the competitiveness of the marketplace, innovation is also key, though as Harris & Ogbonna (2001) point out it is not only lead organizations which innovate, but also those which are quick followers that are likely to succeed in intensely competitive industries.

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