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When buying something locally, you not only save on shipping costs, which means more money in your pocket, but you support and strengthen your local community whilst being environmentally friendly with reduced transport distances to be covered for delivery or collection.
Cucalu is an app that allows you to buy nearly anything you want locally easily and painlessly.
Cucalu has an analytics prowess the envy of other apps.
It can track where its users are making purchases online and land-based and is layering that information with its geolocation intelligence to launch tools that allow customers to review their experiences either through digital ads or on in-store visits.

What to look for when searching for promotions.

All businesses have sales promotions, but not all promotions are equal. Sales promotions can take the form of discounts, percentage-off deals and more.
The aim is for the company, online or land-based, to offer a short-term incentive to boost sales by offering a lower price and better value proposition.
Sales promotions may be used to clear out excess inventory at the end of a season, generating cash to clear invoices and to buy inventory for the next season.
Knowing how a business uses promotions, makes it clearer to buyers whether they are getting a good deal or not.
For businesses, promotions are not just about shifting goods. Companies also use sales promotions to achieve non-revenue-generating objectives, for example when a new business launches, promotions can attract customers away from competitors, which is important for a start-up that wants to prioritize establishing a customer base before it focuses on profits.
Businesses also use promotions to upsell and cross-sell. This means you buy a more expensive item, or you buy an associated product such as a free t-shirt if you but a particular jacket.

Online deals vs. in-store deals

Online shoppers are found to be more price-sensitive because of the readily available low search cost and direct price comparisons, much more easily than going to various stores.
Interestingly, a buy-one-get-one-free deal on a website requires more work to be successful than the same bonus pack offered in a store.
This is because online consumers have to deal with payment processing, shipping, and handling fees, and days waiting for the products’ arrival, while in a store, the products are available without those additional steps and delays, making impulse buys much more likely.

Consumer psychology

Many promotions are designed to give consumers the perception of saving money when buying products, but they may not all be as good as they first appear.
This is because of the human condition which makes the choice between whether the promotion is favorable, that is, will have a gain to the consumer, or is there a risk of losing money by making the purchase.
If a “buy one, get a second half-price”, seems a good deal, the shopper will make the purchase, but if it is a “buy three, get one half-price” a benefit may not be felt, partly because the individual doesn’t need that many, has no space to store the extra, or knows the extra will spoil before it is used, or will never be used at all even if it does not spoil.
It is worth bearing in mind that the sense of loss feels more than twice as bad as a sense of gain but doing the math’s will be able to clarify if your instincts are accurate.

Impulse Buying

When an offer looks tempting, it can often lead to an impulse buy, which happens when you do not weigh-up all the options before making an unplanned purchase. This is what companies really want, a promotional campaign that will trigger a consumer’s impulse to buy, which will increase the company’s sales and profit.

Comparing prices:

There is a psychology to price reductions that most consumers are not aware of, but which companies use to great effect.
When left digits are different: one example is that if an original price is £93 and the sales price is £79, the price difference of £14 is seen as greater than the difference between £89 and £75.
This is because consumers focus solely on the digits to the left (the difference between 9 and 7 in the first example, and 8 and 7 in the second example).
When left digits are the same, but right digits are different, for example, £45 and £42, consumers pay more attention to the right digits (the 5 and 2) to determine the discount received.
Tests have shown that the smaller the right digit, the greater the deal the consumer thinks they have.

Framing Effect

The Framing Effect is when an individual change their preference between two or more alternatives due only to the way that information is presented.
The risk choice has already been mentioned, but there is also attribute framing and goal framing. Attribute framing deals with one key phrase or feature of a price discount that is emphasized to inspire consumer shopping
. The words “free” or “better” are obvious examples.
Goal framing places pressure on buyers to act swiftly or miss out on a definite price reduction; these are promotions for a “limited time only.”

Outside Forces

When looking at promotions, service or product can be viewed negatively because of previous consumers’ past experiences and expectations that are shared in reviews.
People are also put off if details of the product are misleading. There is a myriad of personal reasons why a sales promotion may not work, one of which is financial constraints, as an inability to afford an item, discounted or not, cannot entice a customer.
Fortunately, most countries also have regulations relating to sales promotions to ensure that unfair business practices are barred and that controls for permissible types of promotions are adhered to.

Dates for the biggest promotions

There are particular times of the year when you can be sure that there will be sales promotions of one sort or another from most businesses, including peak shopping times and e-commerce events.
These promotions are usually available a few weeks before the actual date and worth looking out for. The dates are:

Third Monday in January: Blue Monday

Blue Monday has been recorded as the most depressing day of the year as Christmas is over, payday has not yet arrived, but the credit card bills are still there. Retail businesses and travel agents use this day with marketing campaigns designed to spread cheer among despondent consumers.
Fitness and well-being brands often offer deals to those with a New Year's resolution to get fit.

14 February: Valentine's Day

a couple drinking wine

Valentines can be a big day for your getting a bargain if what you are looking for could be considered in any way romantic.
Most shopping for Valentine’s day happens about nine days before the date itself, with promotions available at least two weeks before.

February: New York & London Fashion Week

London Fashion week runs in both February and September, and there are often offers on some similarly styled catwalk trends, promoted during the week to encourage customers to join in the celebrations of fashion.

March / May: Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is celebrated by a big demographic and whether you are in the UK (March) or elsewhere in the world (May) you will find many promotions around this time, with not just email marketing, but also wide use of social media accounts offering special deals for the day.

March / April - Easter Weekend

Other than being a religious event, Easter also celebrates the end of winter and the start of spring. At this time, there are many promotions, especially on items for children and items to help prepare for the warmer weather.
An online Easter egg hunt on websites and blogs offer prizes, such as a discount, a gift, or a promotion code.

May – July: Wedding Season

Wedding gifts, as well as online searching for all things wedding related from lingerie to dresses, and engagement rings to usher outfits, are seeing more and more customers shunning the more traditional bespoke wedding services for an alternative online experience and many offers in an emerging market are available following the theme of romance.

June: Father’s Day

Businesses create targeted marketing for this day, which usually includes discount codes promoted at the beginning of June, though sometimes only on selected products promoted for the day of celebration.

June – September: Festival Season

The summer festival season is a popular and often busy time of year for many music lovers.
The world’s most famous music festival, Glastonbury, invites 153,000 people, many of whom will be stocking up on their camping equipment, festival wardrobe, and wellington boots, due to the unpredictable British weather.
Wherever you are in the world if you are looking for camping equipment and waterproofs for a festival, bundles of goods for a discounted price are often available.

Early September: Back to School

Second, in importance only to Christmas for businesses, the return to school is a time for big spends.
There are many promotions offering items needed in preparation for a successful first day back. Most popular are discount codes and free shipping.

31 October - Halloween

Becoming increasingly popular, Halloween is a time to purchase costumes, food, and decorations, and many businesses will be adding some Halloween-themed offers, even if their sector is not typically related to the day.

29 November: Black Friday

woman holding bags, window shopping

Originally a US shopping holiday, Black Friday has spread to become an international event.
Typically seen as the start of the Christmas shopping season, this important date for businesses sees a vast number of offers being made available leading up to the day, covering all sectors and all types of sales promotions

2 December: Cyber Monday

A by-product of America's Thanksgiving holiday, businesses offer Cyber Monday deals, including free shipping, usually with a minimum spend threshold.

December: Small Business Saturday

On the first Saturday of December, Small Business Saturday puts the focus on small businesses ahead of the big corporations.
As awareness of this date is rising, more people are becoming involved with an increased number of more unusual deals available.

14 December: Free Shipping Day

If you have an item that is going to cost to ship, look out for Free Shipping Day on 14 December, which came about when it became clear customers were still shopping for their gifts so close to Christmas. This day sees companies guarantee free shipping before Christmas Eve.

25 December: Christmas

a bunch of gift boxes

The busiest time of year for commerce, businesses are organized and prepared with compelling sales campaigns and promotions to draw in customers.
These sales promotions are usually available six weeks before Christmas.

26 December: Boxing Day Sales

Sales are starting earlier and earlier, but Boxing Day is still a big deal, particularly for those who received vouchers on Christmas Day.
Boxing Day may be dwarfed by Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions, but look out for offers on new products and lines.

Beware when using promotion

It is easy to be persuaded by a large discount, particularly with online shopping as payment is just one click away. If this is an item that you have wanted for a while, and you can afford it, then go ahead.
However, do not be swayed into buying something just because an item is available at a large discount. Even if the discount is big, it does not guarantee that this is the cheapest available.
This is where Cucalu can help since it reviews offers and can let you know if there is a better offer somewhere else local to you.
It is also worth looking at other offers since the offer of free shipping, particularly on bulky items, can bring the overall cost lower than another seeming lower offer, but where shipping is billed.
Of course, the most important question you can ask yourself when using a promotion is whether you will use it, and will the purchase be worth it. Perhaps your money could be better used better, maybe on something more practical.

How global promotion events have changed mobile shopping

With constant connectivity, online and offline shopping has been changing with digital and in-store experiences blurring boundaries, so that today, both are just seen together as ‘shopping,’ whether the search is on a phone, in a mall, or on a high street.
This means that combining classic retail knowledge with digital shrewdness can help retailers serve their customers better. Now, when people go shopping, there is less reliance on the knowledge of a salesperson.
Today, online research provides prior knowledge that gives customers confidence in the purchase they are making. This power shift means that retailers and service providers need to be there when inspiration strikes consumers and as they start researching purchases online.
This means up-to-the-minute information about stock items, availability, quality of goods and also the quality of customer service. Innovative retailers have already embraced this new reality, using digital to extend their storefronts and using specific dates in the calendar to adapt to the retail revolution.
This is most clearly seen with global promotional events such as Christmas, but also with “Black Friday” promotions, which are a much more recent event and highly successful, if hectic.
These big promotional events have changed mobile shopping as they have given retailers access to knowledge of their customers’ needs and preferences, with devices providing context, enabling companies to find out what matters to a consumer in a particular location, at a particular time.
All this information helps retailers deliver relevant suggestions, essentially recreating shopkeeper conversations at scale. The right message at the right moment is the next level in customer service, which is more likely to lead to a sale.
People are constantly looking for product information, deals, local availability and local discounts online, and retailers who are not there to supply the right information when people raise their virtual hand will lose out. Information needs to be there and be current.
Mobile devices drive foot traffic to stores, with retailers integrating mobile into their brick-and-mortar store experience, adding the store name or category with a map and directions, a phone number that they can easily click-to-call together with any offers.
Even when you are physically in a store, the mobile phone or device can take you to the offer, be your personal shopper and your product finder too.
Opinions carry more weight than ever before. People are sharing opinions online, not just with friends, but with millions of people.
Cucalu will also incorporate reviews and shortlists with the potential for retailers to zero in and speak directly with the individuals, or communities of fans, who love their products most.
Interactive video and 360-degree views are just a couple of additional options bringing products alive in on-screen imaging.
It is now possible to have virtual try-ons, from clothes to spectacles, this ability to interact with products on an emotional level, heightens the desire to make a purchase.
Ultimately, devices provide context, helping sellers learn what matters to a consumer in a particular location and at a particular time.

Different types of sales promotions

When shopping we have all come across sales promotions. Sales promotions attempt to provide incentives to and make a sale. These include advertising, personal selling, direct marketing, and public relations.
Promotions usually happen over a limited period of time to stimulate interest in a product or service to increase consumer demand or improve product availability.
This can be done through contests, coupons, giveaways, loss leaders, prizes, product samples, point-of-sales (POS) displays, discounts, and raffles.
Sales promotions attract new customers, retain present customers and counteract competition, with most taking advantage of opportunities that have been revealed by market research.

Consumer sales promotion types

Sale promotions often come in the form of discounts. Discounts impact the way consumers think and behave when shopping.
The type of savings and its location can affect the way consumers view a product and affect their purchase decision. The two most common discounts are price discounts and bonus packs in which the consumer receives more for the original price.
Many companies present different forms of discounts in advertisements, hoping to convince consumers to buy their products. Loyalty reward programs: Consumers collect points, miles, or credits for purchases and redeem them for rewards.
Discount deal: Offers an item at a lower price, with a price reduction usually marked as a percentage on the packaging. The reduction in prices stimulates the sale of goods.
Bonus packs deal: Offers a certain percentage (such as 25 percent) more of the product for the same price. This is the same idea as offering two products for the price of one.
Coupons: coupons have become a standard mechanism for sales promotions. Mobile couponing is where coupons are available on a mobile phone that can simply be shown on the phone to a salesperson for redemption.
They are usually used to introduce a new product, promote the sale of an established product or to encourage repeat sales or for customers to switch brands.

Loss leader: the price of a popular product is temporarily reduced below cost in order to stimulate other profitable sales Checkout dispensers: At checkout online or offline the customer is given a coupon based on products purchased.
Online interactive promotion game: Consumers play interactive games associated with the promoted product.
Contests/raffles/games: Contests are created to attract new customers. They can also introduce a new product by asking the prospects to state the reasons for the purchase of the product, with the consumer automatically entered into the event by purchasing the product.
A raffle calls for consumers to submit their names for a draw. Lots are drawn, and the winners get prizes. Kids eat free specials: Offers a discount on the total dining bill by offering 1 free child’s meal with each regular meal purchased.
Sampling: Consumers get one sample for free, and after trial can decide whether to buy or not.
Samples can be sent by mail or given to customers in stores. Sometimes, samples are attached to another product.