How POS Receipts Build Sales And Loyalty

Posted January 14, 2014

2014-01-14_1001The coupon revival continues, and the source of those most often redeemed might surprise you.

According to the Annual Topline U.S. CPG Coupon Facts Report for Year-end 2010, released by NCH Marketing Services, Inc., marketers distributed 332 billion coupons for consumer packaged goods last year, marking the largest single year distribution of coupons ever recorded in the United States. Those coupons redeemed totaled $3.7 billion in savings for consumers. Fueled by frugal recession-weary shoppers, coupon usage has climbed from 63.6% in 2007 to 78.3% in 2010, according to NCH.

Most of those coupons distributed— a full 90% — came in the form of free-standing inserts, according to Inmar, the company that handles the bulk of coupon processing in the U.S. But retail marketers take note — that’s not where the leading growth in redeemed coupons lies.

Checkout coupon redemption rates grew 39% in 2010, faster than freestanding insert coupons, digital promotions, shelf-pad, and in-ad coupon offers. Indeed, coupons printed on receipts enjoy a redemption rate that’s three times higher than that of direct mail and newspaper circular-based receipts. Bob Carter, president of promotion services for Inmar, says the data his company is gathering tells us that consumers are still looking for deals, but appear to be less motivated to seek out and redeem out-of-store offers.

The ability to leverage receipts to communicate brand awareness, promotions, coupon offers, and other forms of customer engagement is not new. Consumers’ enthusiastic return to interest in that messaging certainly is.

The consumers who are most enthusiastic about coupon redemption might surprise you as well. Assumption might lead you to believe that the lowest income households are the heaviest coupon users, when in fact it’s your best customers who seek them out and cash them in. Coupon usage in 2010 was dominated by households with incomes greater than $70,000, with 38% of what Inmar labels “super heavy” users and 41% of “enthusiasts” coming from that demographic. Households with income of more than $100,000 drove coupon growth in 2009.

Finally, lest you think the coupon craze has come and gone, the latest figures show coupon redemption was up 4% in the second quarter of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010.

As in-store couponing goes, nothing beats the receipt. Modern, powerful software tools allow endless and easy customization of designs and parameters on receipts, such as targeted offers to customers who meet specific purchase thresholds. Chain-store retailers can even create store-specific messaging and offers, enabling location-based messaging that’s custom-fit for the demographics of their consumers.

The writing is on the wall — if you’re not promoting special offers on your register tape, you’re missing a powerful opportunity to delight customers and drive repeat traffic.

Receipt Printer Marketing: Beyond The Coupon

While printing coupons on receipts is a high payback proposition, it’s not the only way to leverage receipts for creating brand awareness and building loyalty. In fact, a simple software utility can create dynamic receipts that spring to life in the hands of your customers, enabling customization such as:

Logo and Web site promotion – At a minimum, retailers should include their Web site URL and logo on every receipt they issue. Adding logos — preferably in color —to your receipts will help reinforce your brand and create the differentiation needed in this ultra competitive market.

E-mail collection – Collecting CRM-enabling data at the POS is hard to do in fastpaced retail environments. Using the receipt to direct customers to your Web site to register for newsletters and special promotions opens up a new avenue of customer communication. Adding an incentive such as a discount or sweepstakes entry will boost your opt-in e-mail efforts.

Advertisement of specials – Specials are the drivers of repeat business, and repeat business is the driver of incremental sales revenue gains. A simple, flexible receipt editing tool will allow frequent customization of strategic offers and promotions that drive traffic on typically slow days, move stalled merchandise, or aid in new product launches.

Gather customer feedback – You’ll drive Web traffic and gather important data on your stores, services, or products by surveying customers. Encouraging feedback from customers not only implies that you value their input, it helps marketers and merchandisers make important assortment and promotions decisions. Again, providing an incentive for participation with boost survey results.

Event promotions – Having a sidewalk sale? Planning a holiday pop-up store? Celebrating an anniversary? Build awareness of these and other strategic events by adding information in the margins or on the bottom of your receipts.

Recruit new associates – Some studies peg the cost of hiring minimum-wage retail associates at well over $3,000.00. Much of this cost is attributed to the expense of advertising open positions. Adding a “we’re hiring” message with contact information on your receipts is an inexpensive way to recruit from your best pool of applicants — your loyal customers.

Receipt printer marketing costs only a fraction of a penny per receipt, and your message travels in the hands of your customers on a frequently-referenced piece of paper. Integration of receipt printer marketing software tools is easy, and the interface that enables custom design and messaging is even easier to use. To ensure they maximize the power and visibility of receipt marketing, successful retailers train their employees to draw their customers’ attention to the message at checkout.

With a proven tool and a little creativity, you can ensure your receipts reflect your brand and promote its goals. Escape the receipt content limitations of your current POS application without modifying your mission-critical POS software.

Contact BarcodesInc today to learn more about the power of ReceiptWare, its patented, free receipt marketing application for CognitiveTPG printers.

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