Not everyone wants to go shopping on Wednesdays

28Sep12

I recently threw away a bunch of coupons from one of my favorite clothing stores. While I planned on redeeming at least one of them, the entire batch ended up expiring before I got a chance to. The reason: they were only valid on Wednesdays, and I almost never have time to go to a store in the middle of the week.

I’m guessing the retailer was thinking that revenues tend to be lower on weekdays, so it makes sense to provide incentives for people to shop on Monday through Friday. While this probably makes sense for a restaurant or other service business where people can enjoy the product over and over, I don’t think it fits with a more typical retail model. After all, you can only buy the same shirt or pants or jacket so many times in a given week, or even month or year.

Ideally, retailers who are trying to drive in-store traffic would not limit promotions to specific days of the week. But for those who insist on it, there’s a simple way to reduce the number of coupons that go unused. Just offer a catch-up period during the following weekend when the promotion will still be honored. That way, customers who tried to make it in will have a way to get the items they wanted, and you’ll still enjoy the sales lift that the campaign was designed to generate in the first place.



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