The Anatomy of a Sale
By Eric M. Weinstein
It is the holiday season and you see sale signs in store windows and see advertisements in the newspaper and on TV. As consumers we have been trained to think of a sale as equating to low prices and limited quantities. The Webster's dictionary defines a sale as: "A special disposal of goods at lowered prices". Doesn't that sound exciting? Who wouldn't want to go to a place where there is going to be a "disposal of goods"? Sounds like a day at the garbage dump without balloons, doesn't it? A sale is not just low prices; a sale is an opportunity for retailers to create a mood and an environment in their store that stimulates the customer to purchase. And besides, who wants to shop at the garbage dump?
Once you decide to have a sale, how do you begin? Is it as simple as buying a "Sale" sign and hanging it up in the front window and hoping for the best? No, you have to plan in advance and deploy a strategy geared toward success. One crucial thing to remember when having a sale is to clearly state when the sale begins and ends. Sales work best when there is a sense of urgency and scarcity. Always state quantities limited and sale prices are good for a limited time only.
First you have to let the public know you are having a sale.
Signs and banners are the best way to let the world know that you are having a sale. Of course you could spend money on print or radio advertising and in some cases this makes perfect sense. For limited budgets signs and banners are the most economical option. Signs and banners are reusable, so you can use them for the next sale you have. Many companies sell preprinted sale banners that are eye catching and priced right and come pre-strung with cord so they are ready to hang. What if you decide to have a truly unique event? If this were the case then a custom banner or sign would be what you are looking for. A great money saving tip if you are interested in custom signage is to visit you local sign shop to see all the options available and then order the signs on line to save money.
A unique way to make your sale and event is to have a promotion at the same time. Contests and giveaways are great for generating excitement. Contest kits are available from a number of retailers. The kits come with everything you need to run you contest: game cards, posters and signs to promote the contest. The best thing is you decide what the prizes are! Hand out game cards with each purchase or visit and collect customer addresses on the back of the losing cards to build a mailing list for future sales and promotions.
The most important thing to be mindful of when you have a sale is what your customer's expectations are? They expect great prices, quality merchandise and great service. It is what they don't expect that make a truly successful sale.
About the Author
Eric M. Weinstein is the VP of New Business at Specialty Store Services, a leading business to business provider of Retail Store Supplies and Retail Displays.
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| Some other articles by Eric M. Weinstein|