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The ultimate sales come-ons

Promos lure customers into your store and make it easier for them to part with their money.
By Justine P. Castellon |

Red tags that scream, “On sale,” “50% off,” “Buy One, Take One,” and “Free” have a hypnotic effect on shoppers. They cause many unplanned purchases, which never fail to make many retailers happy, particularly in these trying times. For the entrepreneur, these tactics tend to build a base among patrons and eat into the competition’s market.


These incentives, collectively known as promotions, entice customers to buy more, buy now, or buy more now, offering in exchange various temptations that may come in the form of discounts, bundles, free samples, and coupons. They are offered either after you buy, before you buy, or during the sale. Some promos may require simple acts like entering the store, others a complex set of acts such as performing increasingly difficult tasks at various stages of the sale.


But retailers want exceptional or ‘wow’ promotions that can cause the customer to rush to the counter, buy the product, and avail of the promo with little or no regard for the item. You may develop and implement one using any or a combination of these methods:



• Freebies. Customers love to receive free items and services. The Body Shop is famous for its free makeover to customers who try out their products on promo. The additional benefits: This is an exceptional way to do product sampling, and the best way to demonstrate how to use the product.


• Instant contests. Raffles and similar gimmicks attract new customers and help you build a mailing list, which may be used in future offers and promotions. Customers prefer winning on the spot from having to wait for a raffle in the future. Many groceries offer small prizes for certain purchases.


• Charity works. Touch the customers’ heartstrings and you create an emotional bond with them. For instance, give a portion of your sales to favorite charitable institutions.


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