IndustryEye: The Great NEMOA Debate
Survey: Twenty-four percent said every mailing; 15 percent said never; 34 percent said four to six times per year.
The editor’s take: The audience member makes the most sense in that promotions are something of a necessary evil. The retail industry as a whole, long ago trained shoppers to wait for sales and promotions. In the catalog/multichannel business, this translates mostly to free shipping promotions. My feeling is the longer you can hold out, the better. But at the 11th hour of your key selling season, when you need to clear out your slow-sellers, it’s time to promote.
2. Are more catalog/Web marketers using promotional techniques?
Cassidy: “Free shipping is everywhere, and has increased dramatically. I suspect the amount of promotions has doubled over the past year or so because it’s working.”
McAvoy: “You’re forced into it, but does [free shipping] fit with your brand? As long as it’s not a knee-jerk reaction to business [conditions], you have to do it.”
One audience member on why his company is running fewer promotions: “When we measured source code for source code, we weren’t making that much money. Your marginal customers and not-very-committed customers get the bargains, and your best customers don’t. So we didn’t want to do that in this particular case.”
Survey: Fifteen percent reported no use of promotions in 2005, up from 4 percent in 2004; but 12 percent of mailers reported using promotions 10 to 12 times per year in 2005, up from 6 percent in 2004.
The editor’s take: In the case of free shipping offers, use them on a spot basis at various times throughout the year — or during a particular selling season. Make sure the offers have tight rules so your customers don’t start taking free shipping for granted.
3. Should the catalog industry increase or decrease promotional techniques?