Dealer Outlook

Trade Only Dealer Outlook Blog

Will that be a coupon and cash?

Poor people need low prices. Rich people love low prices. Either way, everybody loves a bargain. It can even make us all spend more than we planned.

So says Todd Hale, senior vice president for Consumer & Shopper Insights at The Nielsen Company. Writing in the December issue of Nielsen’s Consumer Insights, Hale notes: “These are happy days for the promotion industry, as manufacturers and retailers update time-proven promotional techniques.”

His reference is to the fact that, with tough times a certainty in 2009, consumers will likely spend less on products that don’t deliver a rational benefit and buying on a deal will increasingly become the norm. And, in the world of getting a deal, couponing is among those most time-proven promotional techniques in retailing.

Coupon activity had actually been slowly falling in recent years. Last year, however, coupon use did not decline at all. That has set the stage for consumers, looking for more deals in a bad economy, to increase coupon redemptions in ’09.

Over the years, it’s been my observation that marine retailers haven’t used promotional coupons very much. But experts like those at The Nielsen Company predict consumers will take advantage of what they will see as a cost-cutting strategy in tough times.

Moreover, it’s never been easier for dealers to provide customers with coupons via such channels as e-mail, invoice stuffers, in-store displays, postcards and even mobile phones. So the barriers to using coupons to promote business are virtually non-existent, and coupon ideas need only some imagination.

Coupons are ideally suited for promoting marine accessory purchases and services. But they can also do the job of providing that bargain extra “with the purchase of this boat,” and so on.

Coupons that offer a customer an added discount for cash can really be a win-win. That’s because credit card companies are reportedly raising fees on retailers. Go figure! As I see it, that gives dealers more motivation to offer discounts for customers willing to pay cash. Customers are already seeing that happen — for example, at gas stations with convenience stores. Many, like Citgo stations and Convenient Food Marts, already offer lower gas prices for cash purchases.

Passing on savings to customers through coupons and cash can help put more of the latter in your register. After all, in these times cash rules, and you want to be king. And who knows, as more and more retail channels offer discounts for cash, the credit card companies may just wake up to see they’ve shot themselves in the foot, and fees for retailers could come back down.

Comments

3 comments on “Will that be a coupon and cash?

  1. STAN CARPENTER

    Thanks for the infomation reminder. I have notice these coupons in our mail alot lately, in fact we used one this morning on a radiator purchase. I will pass this message on to all of our department heads.

    Stan Carpenter, CEO
    Bullhead City, AZ.

  2. LARRY RODRIGUEZ

    CALL ME CHEAP, BUT I’VE ALWAYS TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF COUPONS TO CHANGE THE OIL IN MY CAR, HECK SOMETIMES IT’S CHEAPER THAN DOING IT MYSELF!
    WHY HAVEN’T MANY BOAT DEALERS NEVER TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF THIS SMALL PROMOTIONAL HAND OUT OPPORTUNITY AT SHOWS, WHICH CLEARLY WILL INFLUENCE ADDED CUSTOMER TRAFFIC BACK AT YOUR LOCATION LATER ON, IS BEYOND ME?
    THANKS NORM!

  3. Gerry Odom

    The public no longer looks at boating as a value endeavor. Until the industry makes solid efforts to restructure and reduce the cost of the activity its; se la vie. West Marine charges $24.95 for Collonite Wax. The manufactureres recommended retail is $16.95. This is one example; thousands exist. Don’t believe me, check it out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments Policy.