Standing out from the competition in the Asian retail market is increasingly tough for sales and marketing teams.
Although confidence has picked up after the prolonged economic slump, consumers are more determined than ever to get value for their money. Tactically, it is important that an offer is refreshingly different and appeals to the shopper’s nose for a good deal that cannot be found elsewhere.
A key piece of research by OnePoll has revealed the direction in which any team grappling with these challenges should be heading.
The survey of 1,000 consumers, commissioned by Opia, found huge untapped potential for money-back offers – particularly in the Asian consumer electronics market, along with cashback and trade-in offers.
One of the most striking findings of the research was that while 80% of respondents had never seen any sort of money-back deal, the great majority (71%) chose a 100% money-back offer as their favourite from a list of ten different types of promotion.
In particular, 90 per cent of respondents said they would be more likely to buy a new mobile phone if it came with a 60-day, 100% money-back guarantee, should they not be satisfied.
In another finding, nearly a quarter (24%) said a money-back guarantee would be the most important factor influencing their choice when buying a smartphone.
A third of respondents also said they were ready to provide personal details by filling in forms online or on paper, in order to receive their refund, giving retailers the chance to build up an important set of consumer data including demographics.
However, despite showing how Asian consumers are enthusiastic about money-back offers, the research also showed how teams using these promotions will first have to build confidence.
Many consumers (74%) said they might be put off by such deals because of doubts about the length of time it would take to get their money back. Models are available, however, which address this and ensure consumers are paid as quickly as possible and importantly, are proactively informed on the progress of their claim through to the money landing in their account. By providing this level of reassurance and communication, brands will find they are the first-to-market with a proposition that consumers are known to find very attractive.
The research also showed how few customers in Asia have experience of cashback deals in which purchasers of new devices receive a set amount of cash if they apply within a time limit. More than three-quarters (81%) of respondents had never encountered or taken up such deals.
Trade-in offers, in which the customer receives an agreed value for their current laptop or smartphone, had never been seen or used by 64%.
The foundations of success
Overall, the research indicates how the Asian market is ready for the kind of innovative sales promotions that it has never seen at close quarters. The introduction of such promotions in a first-to-market initiative holds out the chance of achieving high impact. The key is to ensure promotions are fully managed for risk, underpinned by reliable data and underwritten with solid insurance.
Good customer service is also fundamental. It does not matter how good the offer is, consumers will always expect organisations to deliver on their promises and the surest way to build engagement is to have promotions managed by experts with a proven track record who are capable of guaranteeing full execution and a fault-free customer-experience.
Using a risk-managed promotion, sales and marketing teams can gain access to the scale of offers that their company’s P&L could never normally support, potentially leading to a highly rewarding return on investment.
By Andrew Marwick, Managing Director, Opia.