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Do You Have a Consistent Store-Wide Ticketing Strategy?

According to a Nielsen Global Survey of New Product Purchase Sentiment, 72% of shoppers are more likely to buy a new product they see advertised in the store. There isn't a retailer in business that doesn't understand the need to have attractive promotional signs and accurate shelf labels. Consistent ticketing across your store networks builds trust with consumers and provides a uniform customer experience. If ticketing holds so much influence, why do so many retailers get it wrong?

Price information stored in multiple places

Creating a single ticket can require data from several different systems including marketing, inventory and POS. You may also need to ensure your ticketing information is consistent with product information displayed on your online store. If these systems don't 'talk' to each other – and they often don't – it's incredibly cumbersome to design and build a ticket. Not only is ticket data stored in multiple places, it's quite possibly stored in different formats. For example, dates could be stored in Julian format in one system and Gregorian in another. Something as basic as finding the correct short description to display on tickets is a challenge for many retailers. To add to the complexity, some of the data needed to write a ticket is created dynamically or calculated in real time. When an operation has hundreds or even thousands of stores, it becomes exponentially difficult to design and print the right ticket, at the right time and in the right place.
High percentage of tickets wasted
Marketing departments are challenged to create more promotions and support expensive catalogues. The creation of promotional signage and appropriate shelf-edge ticketing often impedes an organisation's ability to run promotions. It's not uncommon to have 40% or even more of all promotional ticketing wasted at the store level. In other words, a promotion meant to increase profit margins for a retail organisation can be unnecessarily expensive to run due to inconsistencies in ticketing. Worse, marketing departments are so hampered by ticketing they can't run promotions as often as they'd like.

Ticketing inconsistencies

Sadly, a store manager or a franchisee is often left to their own devices when responding to local stock or special events. While ad hoc ticketing is usually created with the best intentions, it's doesn't always support the corporate brand or comply with pricing policies. Hanging a promotional ticket for a catalogue item not in stock can also be a costly mistake. It's difficult for the head office to know what's happening with signage and ticketing at each store. On the plus side, almost no ad hoc ticketing done at the store level is wasted. What this tells us, good or bad, is ad hoc tickets are here to stay.

Taking all these issues into consideration, it quickly becomes evident that no one can really pinpoint how much promotional signage and ticketing production costs an organisation. But if consumers are making purchasing decisions once they're in the store, what do retailers need to do to improve?

Adopt a single store-wide ticketing system

The big challenge with ticketing revolves around the idea that current ticketing methods are effective or the only viable solution available. This is not true. If the majority of consumers are influenced by promotional signage and store tickets, it's crucial to have a centralised approach to your ticketing. Retailers don't need to worry about technology or re-engineering the ticketing process. The only way to ensure compliance is to put a ticketing strategy in place. To that end, a retailer should require three things.
  1. The marketing department should oversee and "own" the retail ticketing system for their organisation.
  2. Tickets and signs should be consistent across stores and franchises to build trust with the consumer and protect the retailer from compliance issues relating to their brand and consumer protection laws.
  3. Insights into what signs and tickets were printed in each store should be provided to the marketing department. Useful information such as how many tickets were printed and the mix of standard promotions and ad hoc tickets assist marketing in determining the success of each promotion.

What this means for retailers

According to a Deloitte report, the future of retail is upon us. Retailers need excellent ticketing to stay competitive, attract shoppers and ensure compliance for their brand and consumer protection laws. Implementing a consistent network-wide ticketing system doesn't have to be complicated but many retailers currently limp along with home-grown and out-dated ticketing. Savvy retailers know a consistent approach to ticketing and store promotions will improve profit margins and let corporate marketing manage business in the most effective way possible.
If you have questions about how you can improve the consistency of ticketing in your store, why not contact us? We have over 6,000 stores benefitting from a centralised ticketing system every day.
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