Businesses use sales promotions to increase sales during a particular time frame. For example, a business might have a "Summer Sales Event" during the summer months. Marketing professionals group different types of sales promotions in broad categories. For customer-focused promotions, common types include price reductions and product sampling promotions. You can create sales promotions and ideas for a coin laundry business based on any of the common types of promotion. It is helpful to understand the benefits and drawbacks of sales promotions before you begin one, and to know how to evaluate a promotion's success after you have conducted one.
Pros and Cons
The key benefit of a sales promotion is to increase sales quickly. Because promotions are by definition activities that last a specific amount of time you can easily set objectives for them. For example, you might set an aggressive goal for a two-week promotion to double the amount of laundry customers during the promotion compared to sales during the same time period without a promotion. Certain types of promotions, such as incentive-based promotions, allow you to target specific sets of customers.
Despite the many benefits, there also are disadvantages to sales promotions. The first is that the increase in sales from a promotion may only be temporary. Some types of promotions--such as price reductions--may create confusion for your customers. For example, a customer who uses a machine at a lower promotional price may think that the low price is standard and expect it even after the promotion has ended. For similar reasons, a customer who knows that you often lower prices for promotions might postpone his visit and wait for a promotion to be in place; this is called the postponement effect.
A coin laundry business might use a reduced price approach by offering a discount during a slow time of the day. For example, if you have fewer customers between 1 and 3 p.m. you could reduce the price per machine during those hours by offering to put a coin in with the customers' coins for every machine use.
If your laundry business is located where it could receive repeat customers, you could try a frequent customer incentive promotion. You could offer a card that gets stamped during every visit during a given time period that can be redeemed later for laundry services based on the number of stamps.
Sampling ideas may seem better suited to foods at a grocery store, but sampling could be useful for acquiring customers, especially for a new laundry business or one that has recently been updated. You could hold a promotional period during which you offer a free sample of your product, which in this case would be a free machine washing or drying, so that the customer could experience the quality of your business.
A related promotion is a free-product type of promotion. For this, you could offer laundry customers who use your business during a specific time period free use of a service your laundry offers, such as a clothes-folding service. The idea would be to encourage customers to come in when they otherwise might wait ,and also to let them see the value of the service.
Since each sales promotion should last for a set amount of time, you can evaluate the effectiveness of the promotion once it has ended. The goal you set for sales is directly measurable based on prior sales figures.
You can measure the effectiveness of some types of long-term promotions if your promotion involved issuing customers stamp-cards or similar redeemable items. These increases in sales must offset the cost of the promotion, such as the cost of labor if you offered free services or the future cost of operations if you offered redeemable items. The success of each promotion type varies widely, so it is best to try to evaluate more than one type.