How far will people go for a good deal?

Customer effort can be a big barrier to sales and promotions – but some consumers might surprise you!

Getting people to engage with a promotion, loyalty offer, or great deal can be difficult. People have a tendency to be a bit on the lazy side at times, and will often only take action when it's convenient, or simply they don’t trust a promotion and aren’t entirely convinced there really is something in it for them.

Of course, there's plenty of dedicated competition enterers that you can trust to enter just about anything, and extreme couponers who'll go to great lengths for the best deal. But they're still a minority – your average human might need a bit of encouragement to get involved.

Barriers to entry

Keeping things simple seems to be the key to get people entering contests.

If there's a high-value prize, you'll need some sort of authentication to make sure people are playing fair, but for smaller promotions, convenience is key.        

The UK is currently sitting on over £6 billion in unclaimed loyalty reward points – just sitting there in accounts and on cards, just waiting to be spent, if only people knew how to claim and felt compelled to.

And while you will find people are willing to click follow, retweet, or even do something creative like make a video, insisting on too many hoops to jump through can really put people off.

Making a video is a fun and interactive entry method – but if you're expecting people to make a video, write an explanation, follow all your social media accounts, and tweet out their entry with a handful of hashtags, you might be asking for a bit too much.

Instant win mechanics, such as entering a unique code onto a website, work so well because they're quick – people can do it in just seconds from their phone.

Is the prize good enough?

Barriers to entry aside, you'd be amazed by just how much effort people will put into winning a competition for a prize that's really worth it. 

Our holiday prize campaign for SCI-MX expected a lot from its competition entrants.

Hopeful competitors had to submit videos of themselves performing amazing physical feats, with the top 10 contenders being chosen for a gruelling set of challenges at a big event in Birmingham, with the winner netting a week's holiday in Ibiza, packed with awesome activities.

The entries did require a lot of effort- literally, but the method of submitting was actually quite simple – and the fact that there were loads of runner up prizes beyond just the grand prize gave people more of a reason to get involved.

Security concerns are still a big issue

Research by Ofcom into media use and attitudes found that there is still plenty of resistance to sharing personal info.

  • 55% of people have concerns about entering their email address, and 12% will refuse to do it as a result.
  • When it comes to giving out a phone number, 73% have concerns, and 28% will refuse.
  • How about the home address? 76% are worried, 21%
  • And finally, 76% are worried about entering credit or debit card details, and 20%

The number of refusals get a lot bigger among people who are considered by Ofcom to be "narrow" internet users – people who use the internet less and engage in a smaller range of activities while online.

For example, 35% of narrow users refuse to give out their email address, and 60% refuse to give out their home address.

data security is always going to be an issue with online customer engagement

But despite their worry, only 50% of users check a website's authenticity before putting in their payment info, so just displaying the correct security credentials might not be enough.

Obviously, a lot of it will come down to the trustworthiness of the brand. If you're a name people recognise, people do generally trust that you'll protect their data – and are particularly willing to part with it if there's something in it for them, such as an awesome prize!

If you don't have that brand recognition, then running promotions through social media platforms – which have third-party complaints procedures that people understand – might help.

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but what about physical distance? 

Not everything happens online – in fact, according to the latest stats, online spending is still just 16% of all retail spending in the UK.

So, how far are people willing to physically travel for the best deal? Research suggests that it's generally not that far – unless it's for something a bit more specialist.

Research from Bight Local found that people will generally travel an average of 16 minutes by car to a food shop, 17 minutes to a restaurant, and 18 minutes for a specialist shop, such as a cycle store.

Wedding shops will encourage journey distances of an average of 23 minutes. 

The fact that online retailing is growing across the world suggests that people are getting less and less willing to travel physical distances for a deal – which shows the importance of making sure you've got excellent coverage when it comes to loyalty programmes, for example.

You need to be giving your loyal customers perks with partners who have locations close by – something we discuss more in our blog on physical location and customer retention.

In the end, value trumps all.

That’s not just cash value. It's all about the personal value to your target consumer.

And how do you work out what your target consumers value?

Well, there are plenty of ways to find out, but it'll need some researching.

Audience segmentation can help you get a far better understanding of your consumers, and what they're looking for in a deal, promotion or loyalty offer.

You can then see how they liked to be communicated with as well – including how often, and which devices they prefer – all important stuff to help you smash your next campaign. 

Want to learn more? Download our free ebook on audience segmentation below, and get stuck in!

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