What’s the Best Kind of Special Offer?

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What’s the Best Kind of Special Offer?

Would it surprise you to hear that there isn’t a ‘best kind’ of offer? It actually doesn’t matter one bit which kind you use! Although supermarkets bombard shoppers with offers and deals, the fact is that they’re often just giving money away!

Why do we say this? It’s due to the nature of the human brain and how the modern shopping experiences interact with it. When shoppers are faced with two different special offers every second in the supermarket, it is impossible for them to calculate the added value of each one. As a result, their subconscious takes over and decisions are made based on emotional ‘best guesses’.

  • For example:Sales of DVDs priced at £4.24 increased when a sign said ‘Two for £10’
  • 45% of shoppers buying from a BOGOF display of tea only bought one
  • Sales of a leading lager, supported by an impactful shelf edge label (SEL), soared by 10 per cent compared with rival brands – the label read: “Thieves will be prosecuted”

The example of the beer is perhaps the most surprising, but it has a simple explanation. When faced with 85 different brands and ranges of lager, the brain automatically tries to slim that number down to a smaller, more manageable quantity by any means necessary. So if products have a unique feature such as a special offer or an eye-catching SEL, the brain will use these distinguishing features to help make a decision.

 The Truth Behind Promotional Offers

The fact is that although shoppers are influenced by product promotions – they don’t take in the details. As a result, the subconscious takes over and shoppers tend to fill their trolleys with items regardless of whether or not they are good value.

At SBXL we send teams of researchers into stores to monitor how real people really shop. We know that the human brain just cannot cope with the number of decisions they have to make in a store. In numerous studies we have carried out, it is clear that the precise nature of a special offer or deal was much less important than how that same offer grabbed the attention of the shopper.

We’ve increased product prices and caused sales to rise. Altering the layout of the SEL has led to significantly more sales with no change in value at all. In some cases, just introducing a promotional colour has resulted in an increase in sales share of more than 30%.

The message to retailers and brands is simple: it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it!

To find out about the psychology of special offers, talk to us on 01543 255 259 or email info@sbxl.com