Retail marketers often look at offer planning as something that belongs in the realm of merchandising. The systems that merchants end up using are spinoff products from whatever financial ERP happens to be installed. What both groups might be missing are the benefits that come from having an offer planning system that’s tied into their marketing planning and execution systems.
Let’s look beyond the average capabilities that most systems offer, i.e. showing on hand inventory or item details. In particular, we’d like to highlight three things to look for in your in next offer planning solution.
The ability to create versions is crucial to any retailer’s strategy of differentiating product and price by market. So, it makes perfect sense that you should be able to version your offers at several levels. The first level involves varying the item selection by market; yes this means the featured item as well. The second level is varying the discount by market, i.e. 10% for Market A, and 15% off for Market B.
2. Omni-channel offers
Planning an offer does take time and effort on the merchant’s part, and a good offer planning system should allow you to apply / reuse an offer across multiple channels. To be more specific; you should be able to take an offer meant for a circular and apply it to an email. The system should also maintain a link between the offers in all channels for reporting purposes.
3. Streamlined Execution / Production
Details from offers (SKUs, images & copy) should be visible within your planning and production tools. At a more granular level, graphic designers should be able to search for and pull SKU information right on to the page. This is usually accomplished via a plug-in for InDesign or any other page production software your team uses.
Are there other must have features for a retail offer planning system? Let us know in the comments.
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