Are brands winning?

In an effort to influence shoppers, brands are turning their attention to in-store or retail-specific competitions. The enticement of a ‘chance to win’ can justify price points, and drive increased purchasing frequency.

Competitions reward shoppers for purchasing a specific brand and add value to their basket. ‘Deals’ or ‘discounts’ are often recognised as the language of the retailer – meaning brands may increase in sales, but lose out on potential shopper loyalty.

When it comes to choosing prizes, instant gratification is key, with shoppers favouring data, cash, and vouchers. Local retailers have achieved notable success, with a recorded 70%+ redemption rate on in-store competitions when offering data as a prize within the lower SEM markets. Vouchers follow closely behind as preferred prizes because they allow shoppers to choose exactly how they want to spend their winnings. Grand cash prizes or trips overseas are proving to be less sought after as consumers are becoming more skeptical of their chances at winning.

Listening to your shoppers and what they want can only benefit the success of your competition. A *Council of Women respondent said of Vodacom’s brand competitions: “they always give away something for everyone”. Another respondent chose Spar as her preferred competition brand; “because they have competitions regularly”.

That being said, it isn’t enough to rely solely on enticing prizes. Your competition must be easy to enter. In other words, the entry mechanic must be simple. Shoppers engage the most with competitions housed on Social Media, WhatsApp, and USSD. The chosen mechanic determines the post-campaign value of the competition through data capturing and further communication with shoppers.

The trend to move towards many low-value prizes vs. less high-value prizes is aligned with global movements. This is best demonstrated by ‘winning moments’, the mechanic that has taken global markets by storm. The algorithm-style instant-win promotion allows brands to increase the number of opportunities to win using time-specific moments, “…every entry you [make] has exactly the same odds of being successful. But in a winning moment promotion, the time of your entry affects your chance of a win – so you can increase the odds!” says Di Coke, UK-based competition expert.

“In the retail space you have only a matter of seconds to catch a shopper’s attention. That’s where competitions come in. They offer brands an alternative to price promotions which we know can encourage shoppers to stock up, make a brand compete solely on price, and even cannibalise a brand’s portfolio. Competitions offer an attractive incentive which is often what’s needed at the point of purchase to switch shoppers.” says Grace McMahon–Van Eck, Senior Strategist at 34° Cape Town.

To win in the current economy, brands must reward shoppers with relevant retail competitions and prizes to increase perceived value. The better the chance of winning, the higher the chance of the brand finding itself in the basket.

*Council of Women is one of two 34°-owned research platforms used to engage in open and honest conversations with over 20 000 women and men across South Africa.

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