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What’s your Promotion Objective?

A short walk down any shopping centre or shopping district, you’ll definitely see many businesses running promotions – 10% off, 50% off, 1 for 1, etc. In fact some businesses are perpetually on Sale or Promotion.


So do these promotions really work?

How can businesses be on promotion every single week?


Well for a properly planned promotion, there should be a strategic objective behind it. It could be to attract new customers, launch a new product, attract foot traffic for up selling or cross selling purposes, etc. It all depends what the marketer wants to achieve, so this article we will be discussing what makes a promotion successful. And what you need to consider when planning one.

Why do you need an Objective?

The first mistake small businesses make is not having a clear and strategic objective behind their promotions. They have a vague objective like wanting to increase sales, and they simply copy what competitors are doing.


Do you really think you have a high chance of success with this?


Chances are, the less thought out your promotions are, the less chances of success you have. Why? Because if you are not even sure how to measure your success, how can you say you’re successful?

The 3 Simple Objectives to Increase Sales

For Retail Businesses, it boils down to 3 simple objectives to increase sales. Whatever you plan to do should fall into one of these 3 categories.

Objectives:Buy moreVisit moreRefer more

Example Strategies:


Up sell



Cross sell



Tiered Rewards





Appointment Reminders


Rewards / Package Reminders



Birthday Campaign


Seasonal Campaign



Reward for Referrals



Reward for Sharing

(Facebook, Instagram, etc)

Buy more

This usually is a bait and sell strategy. Give potential customers an irresistible offer to come down to buy your products or services then follow up with your real agenda of up selling or cross selling other products and services.

This is widely used in the services industry where their staff will usually follow up to sell you a package.


If you do not have any staff to do the up selling or cross selling for you, then build it into your promotion mechanics. Example Buy 2 get 1 free, Buy Y get X at 30% off, etc.

This is suited for product merchants or distributors where they do not have full control over the sales process of their products.


If you have a loyalty system, you can try purchase bonuses like: Spend $250 to get bonus 1,000 pts or Spend $500 to get bonus 2,500 pts.

These will help you tempt those borderline purchases to top up their purchases to qualify for the purchase bonuses.

Visit more

This will fall more towards a loyalty strategy. The whole point for this strategy is to maintain the relationship with the client as long as possible so they continue to buy from you and not your competitors.

You can send customers a simple reminder for their appointments or about the rewards or packages they still have with you. Try to get them back periodically to finish up their packages and rewards with you so you can sell to them again.


You can also send them occasional Birthday Treats, Christmas / New Year Promotions to hype up sales transactions for the seasons. Even if they don’t redeem the promotions, it still serves as a reminder that you’re still around and you care for them.

It’s much better than not communicating with your customers and letting them forget you 1 or 2 years down the road.

Refer more

Referral Campaigns are very popular for online businesses because it can go viral very fast if your products and services are good. For Retail, don’t expect the same virility as online businesses because the effort for an offline conversion is much higher than online business.

Nonetheless, it still good to have a Referral Program for your business. A well communicated and structured Referral Program, will facilitate the referrals for your business. If you solely depend on your customer’s word of mouth to get the word out, there’s potentially loss of referrals due to the lack of follow ups. If possible, try to utilize technology to facilitate the sharing, tracking and rewarding of your customers for you.


Lastly, endorsement on social media is a very valuable resource too. If possible try to encourage it or ask customers for it. Build it into your sales process to ask for feedback and get customer testimonials. In certain cases if you need it fast, incentivize customers to post or share for you.

It can help you grow your presence through your customers’ social networks.

In Conclusion

These are the 3 most basic objectives applicable for small retail businesses that will directly impact their bottom line. There are many more strategic objectives that marketers can aim to achieve for different reasons, but that will be for another article next time.


At the end of the day, promotions need not always be about immediate increase in sales (e.g. up selling or cross selling strategies). Getting Loyal customers should be of utmost important for most retail business so you can focus on serving them better instead of chasing for new customers every single day.

SoVou is an affordable Cloud Loyalty System that uses SMS to engage your customers and encourages them to share your promotions on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter & Email.

Our Loyalty System’s is specially designed for Small Brick & Mortar (Offline) Retail Businesses that requires customers to come down to buy or use their services. We have stripped off the complex features to ensure that you and your customers have pleasant experience with your Loyalty Program.


Feel free to contact me at find out more about our Loyalty System!


Everything expressed in this article is my personal opinion and might not be applicable for all businesses. Please share with us your ideas and thoughts too so we can grow & learn together!


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