The back to school season is always saturated with discounts, sales and offers on everything from stationary, uniform and school bags, to laptops, tablets and other devices targeted at college students. While these offers and discounts work well for retailers, it can be hard for manufacturers to be heard above the noise.
When looking at how to break away from competitors, manufacturers should consider unique promotions such as Sweepstakes, Trade Ins/Trade Ups and Cashback incentives to drive sales and grab the back to school opportunities while they last. Taking Laptops as an example, let’s look at why they work.
Why should we run promotions if they are already in demand?
Yes, although laptops are already in demand at this time of the year, with college students being one of the biggest markets to target, the competition is fierce. Remember that as a manufacturer, you’re up against all of the key players in the industry who are also trying to grab the attention of college students, from retailers to other manufacturers to second-hand marketplaces. With a market like this, and a high involvement, high cost purchase, the opportunity to incentivise a customer to purchase directly from you should definitely be utilised. This is exactly why Sweepstakes, Cashback promotions and Trade In/Trade Up offers are the most successful.
If you want to captivate your audience and be heard among the noise, what better way to do this other than offering something FREE. Sweepstakes incentivise purchase, gather customer data and most importantly, they are fast and easy to do. Typically, the process involves the Customer purchasing a qualifying product from your store/website, visiting the promotional site and completing the claim form. Claim is reviewed and, upon verification, the customer is entered into a prize draw. Winner is selected at random and notified via email. Upon confirmation of receipt of the email, the prize is issued to the participant.
Trade In/Trade Up
While trade-ins come in many different forms, the most popular and enticing is without a doubt one that runs with cashback as an added element to the trade in. Customers who purchase a qualifying device, receive €xx in cash back if they trade in their old device. This is very effective in the back to school market as students who are strapped for cash will often have older devices to get rid of, and will jump at the idea of cashback into their bank accounts.
Finally, the cashback. If you want to keep it simple and effective, why not run a simple cashback promotion? They are easy to manage and will be attractive to the entirety of the student market who may not have a device to trade in. Similar to the Sweepstake system, a customer buys a qualifying product, visiting the promotional site, uploading proof of purchase, and money being transferred into their bank account. Another reason that Cashback offers are winners for manufacturers is of the claim rates, and predictability. Generally speaking, cashback offers have a redemption rate of 30-40%, which is of course better than the traditional POS discount with 100% redemption rate. This leaves the control with the manufacturer, and gives them a safety net to operate in.
There are of course other promotional tools at the hand of businesses to take advantage of in this busy period, from competitions to gift with purchases. Whatever the case may be, manufacturers should without a doubt leverage the power of the back to school market in order to beat out competition and stand out from the noise.