Trading stamps have traditionally been used to build customer loyalty to a retailer, the customer keeps coming back to accumulate more stamps. But trading stamps have come under attack by consumer groups and are no longer as popular as they once were because they add to the cost of merchandise.
The major way in which a manufacturer can offer the consumer a price break is through coupons. Commonly distributed by newspapers and magazines, coupons offer cents off the retail price and are redeemed at the point of purchase. The redemption rate is 33 percent. Like trading stamps, coupons have come under criticism. Although coupons continue to grow in popularity, some organizations claim that they actually cost consumers more money. And, they continue, consumers often purchase products they do not need because of the coupons.
Contests and Sweepstakes
Contests and sweepstakes involve the customer in games of chance or skill and they are popular sales promotion activities. Although contests and sweepstakes attract many new consumers, they must be open to everyone meaning you do not have to buy something in order to participate. In addition, many professionals enter, and some companies have been sued for nonpayment.
Trade shows are a relatively low-cost promotional method used as a pushing strategy. Aimed primarily at channel middlemen such as wholesalers and retailers, trade shows offer manufacturers the opportunity to exhibit and sell their various lines. For some industries such as agriculture, publishing, furniture, fashion, and toys, trade shows are very important. One of the most popular trade shows is the annual Detroit Auto Show.
Personal Celling is a form of interpersonal communication designed to inform and induce a prospective customer to make a purchase. The major advantage of personal selling over the use of mass media is flexibility.
Personal selling is often classified as either retail selling or business selling.
Retail selling is that one-to-one selling which takes place in retail stores. Retail clerks, responsible for selling to the consumer, are often nothing more than cashiers and are the lowest paid personnel in the selling profession. For several reasons, retail selling is declining in importance because of the increase in advertising, which pre-sells merchandise, the lack of knowledgeable and motivated salespeople willing to work for low wages, and the consumer's lack of confidence in a sales clerk's ability to provide competent assistance. Retailers claim that shopping in the future will be "characterized by price and value promotion, smaller selections of merchandise, store layouts designed to increase sales and signs and displays instead of salespeople". The end result will be more self-service characterized by fast, efficient, central or area checkouts. As service declines, however, direct home selling, is growing. This popular form of retail selling is successful because sales people are "invited" into homes at convenient times, and the sales presentation often resembles a social event, with friends and neighbors gathered together for fun and refreshment. .
In contrast to retail selling, business selling is one of the highest paid professions
in America today. Business salespeople sell products to business and industry.
Two unique classifications of business selling are technical and missionary. .
Technical selling is often done by experienced scientists who work with potential customer and\or their technical staffs. Their function is not to take orders, but rather to convince customers of a product’s superiority.
The second type of business selling is missionary selling. Missionary sales people are employed by the manufacturers and are used to supplement the personal selling activities of middlemen. Their job is to contact, periodically, with both wholesalers and retailers to check their stocks, arrange displays, provide advice on selling, and inform the customer of a new product.
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