A free pizza every month for a year? It may seem a far cry from selling PCs and laptops, but it is just one of the mouth-watering sales promotion techniques that Opia research shows has real effectiveness in the back-to-school market.

Our research demonstrates that brands can create exciting sales promotion strategies that will increase revenues and build new levels of loyalty among students as they prepare for a new year at school or university.

Conducted among 250 UK consumers, it uncovered just how sizeable the opportunity is and how open students and their parents are to more innovative, data-driven sales promotions that eliminate the need for costly discounting.

The survey found for example, that more than half (55 per cent) of respondents admitted they would be more likely to buy a PC for a student if they were offered a reward such as cashback or a gift with purchase.

Big numbers

The revenue potential around these types of sales promotions is substantial, with £409 the average value for a PC that consumers said they would buy for use at school or university.

Half of all those responding, (50 per cent) said they would be more likely to increase their anticipated spending if they were offered a high value reward such as a cashback promotion or a gift. Yet in an obvious sign that innovation is largely absent from this market, 77 per cent said they have never taken up a promotion relating to a laptop or PC.

While leading laptop brands offer a variety of discount, cashback and free gift options on certain models, the research suggests that in the back-to-school market there is minimal implementation.

This is certainly a market eager for more creativity in sales promotions. Nearly half (47 per cent) of respondents said that simply claiming a reward in the form of cash or another device would make a PC purchase feel less expensive, overcoming a major psychological sales hurdle and making consumers more likely to upsell themselves.

Flexibility to meet consumers’ needs

Success in this market however, will depend on the innovation and precision used in designing bespoke sales promotion techniques. We can see from the research that consumers are open to a wide variety of enticements that match their own priorities. In particular, many are attracted by accessories such as tablets or printers as a gift with purchase when they buy a PC or laptop.

Almost a third (32 per cent) said a cashback offer would meet their requirements, while 22 per cent were attracted to an Argos gift card as a reward. Some 16 per cent said a free pizza once a month for a year was an attractive proposition.

The point here is that there is little limit to the creativity that can be used in putting together profitable and attention-grabbing product sales promotion strategies. The rewards for brands that implement them will be significant in terms of increase loyalty and exposure to new customers.

The risk-free solution

To give retailers and manufacturers a turbo-charged entry into the back-to-school market, Opia can design sale promotion methods that precisely target consumers’ requirements. Backed for risk in the insurance market and underpinned by a deep, data-driven understanding of consumer behaviour, these techniques give a retailer or manufacturer access to bolder and more exciting mechanisms that might previously have been considered too risky or complex.

As a specialist risk-managed sales promotions agency, Opia will create a complete end-to-end sales promotion strategy which meets the client’s challenges, works within its budget and delivers a compelling proposition that drives sales.

For the brand or retailer this means an uplift in product sales without the erosion of margins through discounting. By paying a small fixed fee on all qualifying sales, the brand avoids exposing its P&L to an over-subscribed campaign.

The result will be a bigger, more exciting presence in the back-to-school market where creativity and innovation will undoubtedly lead to increased revenues.