Supermarkets regularly boast that they are investing hundreds of millions into price cutting ‘promotions’. At the moment Asda have their “10% cheaper” guarantee, at Sainsburys it “Brand Match” and Waitrose have extended their “Brand Price Match”. It looks like they are all trying to out do Tesco.
Price is important to my customers and we took steps at the start of the credit crunch to help our shoppers by introducing low prices across a range of everyday products including eggs, milk, bread and potatoes. Customers appreciated this and our turnover has continued to grow through the economic problems of the last 5 years.
Of course as well as our low prices on these products we have continued to have regular promotions across the store. We also stock price marked products in many of our categories. I did a test a few years ago with baked beans. I displayed price marked cans next to the same size of unpriced cans with the price marked dearer than the standard can. I wasn’t surprised to discover that the price marked were more popular, people have an expectation that price marking will be better value.
This knowledge lead me to develop our own ‘price marked’ promotional tools. Soon after the global economic crisis hit in 2008 we launched ‘Mo’s Specials’. Taking the idea of price marking and creating our own labels that we stuck to our key promotional lines.
When we have multipacks of beer or multipack crips on offer we stick a Mo’s Special label on every pack to reinforce the regular promotion cards we use. We are choosy about which lines we promote this way, but from the customer response we know we do get substantial additional sales with our own price marked labels.
We go beyond promotions by using the stickers on the poor selling we identify with our EPoS sales data. For instance if we reduce poor selling wine to £3.99 the Mo’s Special label says its great value, not that it’s a reduced to clear line.
What happens is that our store value proposition goes home with the goods we have sold and keeps telling our customers why they shop with us until the purchases are used.
The big supermarkets spend vast amounts of money promoting their ‘good value’ and independent store operators can feel that there is little they can do to be heard. What we have been doing for the last 5 years is to train our customers to know the value we are offering with Mo’s Specials. I know that with the consistent and regular use of the label we have changed our shoppers perception on our pricing and trained them to expect deals at great prices.