This end of season’s sale has been a pleasant surprise for most of the brands keeping the economic gloom and apprehensions about low consumer spending in mind. With increased footfalls and higher conversion rates, most brands have registered a 30 to 40 per cent increase in their sale. But, once the discount period is over, it’ll bring back the challenge of ensuring the customers’ footfall. We find out how retailers are sorting this dilemma and what innovative methods are being created to keep conversions up.
The outbursts of seasons’ sales and the bumper discounts encourage Indian shopaholics to paint the town red by shopping differently at 50 per cent off on weekends and 40 per cent on weekdays at United Colors of Benetton. So, when a consumer can buy 10 books for the price of 6 on regular days at Crossword, why wouldn’t one be incited to go on a shopping spree. Sales have become common now, when retailers surely record peak sales fi gures with 10 to 15 per cent of incremental growth but post sale, most of the consumers would not even walk into a store. There is, of course, a fraction of consumers who do not mind spending additional moolah to get personal attention and avoid the hassles of shopping in a fl ea market. But, a pertinent question is, apart from the ‘end of season sale’, do brands indulge their customers enough to generate a shopping interest. So, when aLL, a brand for plus size consumers, says ‘buy two and get the third one free’ on 15th August, what happens to the footfalls in the stores?
The most common measure to calculate footfalls is by scanning through the sales data before, during and after a sale period. Say, when the sales go up to 15 per cent during the same period, it also falls to 10 per cent immediately after the sale period is over. When it again rises up due to an event say to 12 per cent, the company is said to have gained footfalls and attracted new customers. “Customers react differently to different brands. There is a strong possibility of a brand experiencing as much, if not more, footfall even after a sales period as the brand can create the aspiration to shop for new collections that normally arrive in stores post a sales period,” says IvanaPerovic, CEO, AP Group. It is a distributor and retailer of various international luxury brands. “
After the sale, we normally bring in a contemporary new line, which is not only fashionable but super comfortable, affordably priced, and of premium quality,” adds Lavina Rodrigues Pinto, Marketing Manager, Metro Shoes. In order to contain the drop in sales, brands come out with their sharp collections with visible differentiation and innovative product lines. Brands like Marks & Spencer, Shoppers Stop, Spencer’s supermarket, et cetera regularly add new brands in every category to attract customers post sales.
“In the fashion industry, end of the sale marks the arrival of fresh merchandise. This is a crucial period for any brand as not only does the brand needs to educate customers of the new trends of the season but also align the stores and communication highlighting the fresh arrivals, thus ensuring customer interest in the new merchandise” says SrinivasRao, General Manager – Marketing, Lifestyle.
In the current scenario, the brands interested in winning, retaining and deepening customer relationships can no longer do so simply by creating a better product or even by holding down costs. “The true effect of marketing can never be accurately measured as the benefi t gets spread over a number of years. Even if it is a specifi c campaign related to the release of a new product, various factors lead to increase in sales. If a brand wants to increase its brand loyalty, it needs to interact with its client on different levels and communicate consistently,” says Ivana.