Rising Above Inflation – How Retailers Can Leverage Promotions to Attract and Retain Customers

Over the past decade, the retail industry has faced more changes and obstacles than it has in the entire previous century. While retailers are recovering from the supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19, they are now grappling with the impact of rising inflation on their businesses.

This has created a crisis for retailers and consumers alike. Suppliers are putting pressure on merchants and consumers are experiencing unprecedented price shocks. However, with the right approach, retailers can turn these economic challenges into opportunities to reconnect with their customers. 

By understanding shifts in customer demands and behaviors and investing in strategic promotional planning, retailers can attract and retain customers. Throughout this blog, discover how inflation is still impacting the retail business in 2023, and how it presents an opportunity for retailers to reset and launch new promotional strategies.

Table of Contents

Inflation continues to impact retailers

1. Rising Costs

The retail industry is facing a host of challenges, with rising costs being one of the most pressing concerns. Just as COVID-induced supply and demand restrictions have been alleviated, inflation has created new obstacles for retailers, who must now grapple with increasing costs for production, distribution, and marketing.

To add to their woes, suppliers are exerting pressure on businesses to absorb the escalating costs of raw materials, making it increasingly difficult for retailers to maintain their profitability. 

As a result, retailers are forced to increase their prices to stay competitive and protect their profit margins.

2. Decreased consumer demand

The current global inflation development and the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have fundamentally altered consumer behavior, prompting significant changes in shopping habits. Consumers are cutting back on spending, shopping less frequently, trading down to cheaper alternatives, and eliminating nonessentials from their budgets.

The continued rise in prices has led to serious disruptions in demand for retailers, as consumers remain cautious about their smallest purchases. This has put retailers in a tough position, as their cost of goods continues to increase even as consumer willingness to spend decreases.

For those working behind the scenes at retail brands, this situation represents a worst-case scenario, forcing them to prioritize customer attraction and retention above all else. To succeed in this environment, retailers must find new and innovative ways to connect with consumers, adapt to shifting demands, and respond to changing market conditions in real-time.

How smart promotion planning mitigates inflation pressures

As retailers face new challenges from changing customer behavior and the impact of inflation, smart promotional planning has emerged as a key strategy for mitigating the effects of these trends. By tailoring promotions to meet the needs and preferences of customers, retailers can achieve a range of benefits that can help them stay competitive in a rapidly evolving market.

Promotions can be a powerful tool for shaping consumer behavior, but achieving success requires building trust with customers during difficult times when budgets are tight.

By offering affordable rates and delivering real value to customers, retailers can position themselves as trusted partners during times of uncertainty and change. This can help retailers attract and retain customers in the face of shifting market conditions, enabling them to weather the challenges of inflation.

1. Smarter promotions boost sales and attract customers

Boosting Sales

Better promotion planning can be a key strategy for retailers to boost sales. Recent findings have found that 40% of consumers are buying products in promotion to get more goods for less cost. 

By offering discounts, loyalty programs, or other incentives, retailers can encourage customers to purchase more products. This can help offset the impact of rising costs and help retailers maintain their profit margins even if they need to lower prices to remain competitive.

Attracting Customers

In addition to boosting sales, optimized promotions can help retailers retain loyal shoppers, attract new customers and entice value-oriented shoppers. In a crowded marketplace, promotions can help differentiate a brand and stand out from competitors. 

By offering unique and compelling promotions, retailers can generate buzz and attract customers who may not have considered them before.

Ultimately, by investing in optimized promotions, retailers can create a more engaging and rewarding shopping experience for their customers, while also driving sales and growing their business.

2. Optimize promotion performance with data

Data analytics and forecasting are powerful tools that can help retailers optimize their promotion management and ultimately improve their bottom line. By leveraging these tools, retailers can gain deep insights into customer behavior and purchasing patterns, enabling them to increase the precision of promotions investments and thus make better-informed decisions about promotion planning.

Analyze Customer Behavior and Purchasing Patterns

One of the key benefits of data analytics in promotions planning is the ability to gain deep insights into customer behavior and purchasing patterns. With the vast amount of data available today, retailers can analyze customer data to uncover patterns and trends, such as which products customers tend to buy together or what promotions are most effective at driving sales.

By understanding these patterns and trends, retailers can optimize their promotions planning to better align with customer preferences and behavior. For example, they may discover that certain products tend to sell more during certain times of the year or that certain promotions are more effective at driving sales for specific customer segments. Armed with this information, retailers can develop promotions that are more likely to resonate with customers and drive sales.

Making Informed Decisions about Promotions Planning

In addition to gaining insights into customer behavior and purchasing patterns, data analytics can also help retailers make informed decisions about promotion planning. By leveraging historical sales data, customer data, and other relevant data sources, retailers can create accurate sales forecasts and develop promotions that are more likely to achieve their goals.

For example, if a retailer wants to increase sales of a particular product, they can use data analytics to identify the most effective promotional strategies to achieve this goal. They can also use forecasting models to determine the expected impact of a particular promotion, such as how much additional revenue it is likely to generate and what its effect will be on profit margins.

By making informed decisions about promotions planning, retailers can ensure that they are investing their resources in the most effective strategies and maximizing their return on investment.

Meet Cognira’s Promo AI Solution

Cognira’s PromoAI solution addresses the entire lifecycle of promotion planning across merchandising and marketing organizations. This includes supporting in-store discounts and weekly circulars to online advertisements and customer-targeted offers – all informed by AI to maximize efficiency and ROI.

Part of Cognira’s solution focuses on strategically planning promotions with an AI-powered system that provides real-time forecasts of promotional performance.

The Promotion Planner module brings all planning under a collective roof, allowing retailers and wholesalers to collaborate efficiently across departments, prevent cannibalization, reduce planning cycle times, easily track workflows and approvals, and efficiently create promotions across all channels.

What makes Cognira’s Promotion Planner module stand out from the crowd:

  • Centralized dashboard for planning and optimizing promotions, events, and campaigns
  • Supports collaboration across merchandising, marketing, and vendor partners
  • Real-time forecasting while planning promotions
  • Streamlined workflow for efficient promotion planning
  • Generate retailer-specific and consumer-specific promotions
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About Cognira

About Cognira

Cognira is the leading artificial intelligence solutions provider for retailers. Cognira is passionate about helping retailers unlock valuable, transformative business insights from their data.

We know retail. We love data.

To learn more, check out our website at cognira.com or contact us today to get started. 

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