Global Marketing

When a “sale” is more than just a sale…

Marketing analysts have been using consumer's characteristics and behaviors to play a considerable role in strategy formation of sales.  In the 1960's, Black Friday gave birth to modern day sales tactics.  Retailers claimed it was the point of the year that they turned a profit or were “in the black” and it essentially took them all year to generate enough revenue to break even.  They found that if they had sales throughout the year – people would spend money more readily and not just towards the end of the year.  This allowed retailers to make more money earlier in the year and turn a profit or break even much faster than the day after Thanksgiving.  Retailers discovered that impulse-buying accounted for a significant portion of consumer spending and if they could play on those behaviors, the stores could generate more revenue.  Some of the most common used tactics are:

In Your Face – placing expensive items in plain sight and up front

Sensory Delight – bright, attention getting items

Sacrificial Lambs – unloading slow moving inventory

This Goes with That – bundling products and grouping items together

Super Specials – bargain bin items and appearance of deep discounts

Checkout Tempters – small items that catch your eye at the checkout stand


Keep an eye out for these sales tactics and more.  Be sure to ask yourself – is this really a sale and I am getting a good deal?  Because a “sale” might just be a gimmick and not really a good deal.

One reply on “When a “sale” is more than just a sale…”

Checkout tempters (impulse buys) are the worst. I know some retailers that purposely slow down their cash wrap process to supplement the sale with these small, often unnecessary items. I too am guilty of falling into this trap.

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