Penniless Shopper: Buy 2 for...
It appears the BOGOF offer may have been pushed aside for the new present day offer of Buy 2 (or 3) for around the £2-5 mark; or even buy 3 and get the 4th half price. The question I need to ask myself is if I fully understand this replacement offer. These offers are part of the price war which has erupted. Retailers, in particular the supermarkets, have a range of product prices slashed and multiple deals on offer. There is huge pressure on the larger supermarkets to increase market share. The supermarkets in turn try to present the price conscious shopper with the best deal.
These days every retailer seems to have in-store promotions focused on a variation of these deals. Offers range from “buy 2 for £2” to “buy 2 for £5”, both of these for different types of ice cream. I found every supermarket using variations of these deals in the form of shelf talkers or POS in multiple aisles. Messaging was usually within eye level to attract the shopper. The deals are clearly displayed and as a customer I find my attention drawn to their propositions. These offers work well when there is an instant visual in front of the shopper defining the deal when he or she is standing in front of the product. My feelings are that a product on offer for a pound or less offers great value. However a BOGOF offer or Buy 3 for £2 offer on a shelf edge indicates the retailer is working hard to give me a special offer.
A 2 for £2 ice cream offer presented the second item for 30p. Deals that give you savings such as these can break down a barrier to purchase. If the customer is trying to watch his calories and indulge in a “one off” treat, the deal could be the difference between a sale or missing out. This particular deal offers good savings and is definitely catered to the family\bulk buying shopper. Supermarkets are focusing a lot of these deals on this target audience. Price conscious families are constantly looking for a way to bring their shopping bills down and these in-store deals could help save some cash.
Both BOGOF and Buy 2 for £x offers are fantastic for non-food items which are usually at a higher price point and thus offer a larger saving. Items such as laundry and beauty products usually fit into this category. I've known friends who will disregard brand loyalty and go for the current offer on sale, creating a type of promotion loyalty. Whilst consumers will have a range of brands they prefer; they will wait until one of these brands is in the deal and buy in bulk. This presents a fantastic customer loyalty incentive for retailers as customers are now looking for the promotion more than the brand.
For me the BOGOF deal was a really big hit because of the simplicity of it. Not only was it clear to the average shopper the saving he or she was making, but in the customers eyes they were getting a whole product for free. The promotional mechanism on this new offer is more complex to work out. A branded POS will catch the consumers eye and draw them in, but then it could be argued that customers are then stood there trying to calculate the saving. The reality is that the confusion over the saving could lead the consumer to disregard the purchase completely. If they do proceed, they then need to assess if they can afford the new items or will they have to take something else out of the basket. As these deals tend to be slightly more costly in nature, it will take up more of your shopping budget than you perhaps bargained for.
It needs to be gauged whether these deals are confusing shoppers, creating barriers to purchase and potentially go back to simple messaging. A combination of a branded POS and a great special offer will almost always attract the price conscious shopper. Sometimes the simplicity of a deal is the best way to get a conversion.