If you're not sure what a GWP is, then this post probably isn't for you. For those of you who frequently offer a Gift With Purchase, this might help you see how to better leverage these types of programs.
A GWP is a great way to promote products and drive incremental sales without discounting. The most common GWP promotions are 1) buy product XYZ and get an xyz at no charge 2) buy a certain amount of XYZ products and get a free xyz or 3) spend a certain amount of money and get a xyz. Most GWP promotions come from manufacturers, although retailers would do well to consider doing them on a regular basis.
There are many ways to use a GWP.
1. Use the GWP as a way to engage the customer. I'm not a big fan of using the GWP as the way to initially engage a customer. "Welcome to ABC. We have a great gift with purchase promotion today." While the GWP definitely makes it easier to approach customers, I think the effectiveness is diminished when it's the first thing you tell your customer.
I would rather tell a customer about the GWP after establishing a personal connection with him/her. This way you can personalize and use the GWP to add even more value to the person's visit and purchase. "Since you own a lot of XYZ, today is the perfect day to add to it with our Gift With Purchase offer." It's also an effective way to reengage a customer you couldn't connect with on the first attempt.
2. Delight the customer who would be purchasing the product anyway by telling him/her about the GWP after the fact. While I'm all in favor of exceeding a customer's expectations, this doesn't leverage the GWP.
3. Use the GWP to increase the store or brand's average sale. This uses the GWP as a "carrot" for the customer to spend more. The key is to use the GWP as appropriate with every customer.
Say something like, "If you spend another $30 you'll get the xyz at no charge. It's almost like the extra $30 is free!" (Notice how we make the additional sale "free" rather than the GWP.) Most of our clients see a nice bump in their ADS during a GWP promotion.
4. Use the GWP to increase conversion. Since the GWP is either limited in time or inventory, it can be used to motivate the customer to buy now rather than wait. I find it's best to not to talk about the ending date or limited supplies until you can use that information to help motivate your customer to take action now.
5. Use the GWP to create incremental sales. A GWP will often create purchase intent in the customers. The GWP often gives the customer the motivation to buy something they normally wouldn't buy. The key is to create value in the free gift. Some associates put too much focus on what the customer has to buy rather than the gift itself.
6. Use the GWP as an opportunity to communicate with your customer. This should be a given. Every GWP should be communicated in your newsletter, on social media, and possibly cards and postcards.
While all of the above methods except the first two are great ways to use a GWP, this last one is my favorite and leverages the GWP.
7. Create incremental visits from your VIPs with your GWP. A GWP is the perfect opportunity to call your very best customers and schedule a personalized shopping experience to take advantage of the gift with purchase offer.
As you can see, when used well the GWP is so much more than just a free gift. It's a great way to drive higher performance.
So let me ask, are you taking advantage of the many ways to maximize a gift with purchase promotion?
Doug Fleener is a proven retail and customer experience expert that helps companies dramatically improve their customer experience and their results. Visit our website or call Doug at 866-535-6331 to discuss how he can help you create an extraordinary experience and results.