The Guide to Retail Promotions: What, Why and How

Discounts and promotions play a significant role in attracting customers to make their buying decisions. Various forms of promotions exist that suit diverse needs and occasions. There are line discounts, total discounts, BOGO offers, price multiples, accelerated discounts based on quantity offtake, free shipping, lucky coupons, repeat visit coupons, loyalty points, and modified or integrated forms. Customer attraction is based on her or his personal choice of how much a discount or promotion sounds lucrative enough to influence a buying decision.

What types of promotions

Some of the promotion types adopted by retailers are:

1. Double Discount: Double discounts provide ultimate happiness to the customer, and he or she may purchase more quantity compared to what he or she intended to buy. This process is called two-for-one, which works as a bonus discount. Double discounts happen when the quantity of a product is offered to a consumer at the same price it was being sold at before the offer.

2. Percent Discount: Here, the consumer is given a discount of percent of his or her entire purchase amount.

3. Category Discount: Sometimes, a specific category of products is put under discount to make customers buy more of those items.

4. Value Discount: A fixed value is offered as a discount on items purchased, with a minimum purchase value indicated.

5. BOGO Offer: The buy-one-get-one offer is an attractive one and is offered in various forms, like buy-one-get-one at half price, buy one from category A and get one free in category B, buy five for the price of 3, or buy item A and get x% of the discount on item B.

6. Discounted Price Multiple: Here, a discount is offered on a graded scale depending on quantity, like 2 for $30 and 3 for $42, on the concept of Buy More, Save More.

7. Line Discount: Here, specific items are identified for discount, and those line items get a discount in the invoice.

8. Free Coupons: Free coupons are issued based on total purchase value with a specific validity date to woo the customer to come back to the shop for more purchases.

9. Free Shipping: When the invoice value is higher, free shipping is offered as a discount.

10. Loyalty points: Sometimes, when a specific category of items is purchased, bonus loyalty points are credited to the customer’s account.

Why do a promotion

Promotions or sales discounts are a necessary part of the sales growth strategy. They act as a trigger or motivator for customers to buy your product on impulse. A compelling discount coupled with a personalized offer that reinforces your brand message and also incentivizes existing and potential customers to make the purchase might attract them to leapfrog your sales funnel. An attractive promotional offer has the chance of converting the sale more than average. To increase revenues or keep your place as a competitive retail destination, retailers need to use discounts in various forms for sale events, big and small, keeping in mind the impact of the discount on the store’s sales.

How to make customers get attracted to a promotion

Customers often decide while browsing through the merchandise. Online shoppers tend to consider different parameters, such as brands in the competitor’s list before deciding, the availability of discounts, the value proposition of the purchase, the physical and logical usability of the product, the shipping cost or cost of traveling to the shop, and the service standards of the brand or retailer. Hence, a retailer must focus on all of the above in their online communication to make an informed decision quickly and get all the answers they need. Making a smooth online browsing experience coupled with buying-decision information will help the customer make that decision soon. A conscious effort to acquire customers is often to make sure that the inbound traffic is already convinced that your offer will be attractive and prompt them to make a buying decision.


In today’s online world, promoting offers has become very easy as there are options to reach customers on various digital mediums. If you intend to use promotions and discount strategies to increase the sales of your products and services, then do consider the options mentioned above, techniques, and knowledge to increase your sales. We hope that, as a retailer, you will develop marketing strategies and techniques that will benefit your brand and, hence, increase your profit margins. Retail ViVA has all the above promotions or discounts configured in its Point-of-Sales module, giving retailers the power to personalize promotions depending on seasons or customer types.

Written by
(Ragu)nathan Kannan

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