Staking an effective claim in independent retailing involves at least some form of advertising and promotion of the store. Pamphlet and physical voucher distribution are cost-effective ways of spreading the word, and because these methods offers a better return on investment in remote or rural locations, tend to be widely utilised in Southern Africa. UltiSales provides independent retailers with a simple and affordable point of sales solution for tracking existing sales and inventory, allows them to finely measure the effect of advertising and promotions against current performance, and understand their customer better.
Obviously, promotions have to be profitable, but whether to offer smaller price reductions more frequently, or have fewer planned promotions with a bigger discount leaves many a retailer scratching their head. Promotions can also affect other products and general sales for the day for better or for worse, so access to detailed information is essential. UltiSales offers rich reporting functionality, so taking baseline reports such as daily sales and cost of sales to calculate the store’s average figures is simple and quick. Reports can also be drawn against departments, sub-departments and product categories to detect trends for groups of items. Retailers can thus measure the success of their advertising, and promotional sales and activities in greater detail, and derive quality information specific to their store and customers.
Examining and revising products and pricing to see that it stays relevant to the market is a critical and ongoing activity. UltiSales’ reporting indicates where sales decline, so retailers can consider a promotional sale to generate interest, introducing a more cost-effective line of products, carrying less stock, or discontinuing a line temporarily or permanently. As the system supports making pricing changes quickly, retailers can make speedy adaptations to analyse which products sell best at which price, and when they sell best. It’s crucial to identify items that aren’t selling well or that are dead stock because inventory that isn’t moving costs the business. Retailers can take steps to move slow sellers at a steeper discount sooner, which recoups costs and adds to the business’s ability to trade. Alternatively, seeing what similar stores price these items at and pricing more aggressively can help spur growth across these product lines.
Advertising is a key part of gaining and retaining customers, and research shows that both new and return customers like different sorts of promotions across different products. Daily use items sell well on a ‘3 for 2’ promotion, whereas products that are used less frequently are best promoted through discounting, or bundling it together with a popular product to add value. UltiSales’ flexibility allows for setting up of quick specials, and retailers can access key information to see which promotions hold the best win-win proposition for their customers and their store.
Price promotions are a tried and trusted solution to lifting sales in the short term. Ensuring sales growth, however, requires carefully measuring how prices and promotions drive footfall to the store, and making sure that the store uses the most effective and popular promotions to entice new and existing customers and to keep them coming back.
UltiSales’ proven track record over 30 years throughout Southern Africa is supplemented by ongoing development configured to retailers’ needs. UltiSales is an industry leading retail management and point of sale solution that supports retailers, from single-user stations through to large multi-lane installations. UltiSales is developed by UCS Technology Services and sold and supported through their Channel partners.
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