Maybe you love them, or maybe you don’t, but most consumers enjoy coupons.? Sales are great, too, but they pale compared to the value we get from the almighty coupon. that’s because a coupon feels like the ultimate deal?it might even be used on top of an advertised sales price. And not everyone gets that price. You have to have the coupon! Plus, it has an expiration date on it, meaning you can’t procrastinate and wait for the next sale because they might not issue those coupons again (or so you’re made to believe).
J.C. Penney, the retail giant, learned the hard way that people like coupons and sale prices. With lowering sales figures in 2010, the chain changed strategy in 2011, hoping to attract customers with simplified shopping. Shoppers wouldn?t have to wait for sales or clip coupons out of the newspaper to get the best price at Penney?s, they said. Instead, consumers were told, the price tag reflects the lowest price possible. No gimmicks, they said, just straightforward good prices.
In theory, this sounded wonderful. In reality, it bombed. Despite increased advertising, sales plummeted. Why’ I think it’s because they took the fun out of shopping. We like to window shop. We enjoy ?recreational? shopping (when we have the time to do it). And we all like an obvious get-it-now deal. If it’s an ?everyday? price, we know we can get it anytime, tHere’s no urgency.
So, if equine manufacturers want to increase their sales, I think they need to make things more ?fun,? to entice us to buy more than the basics we need. If you had a coupon in your hand for that pretty new halter hanging near the cash register, you might be tempted to add it to the thrush medicine and fly spray you walked into the store to buy.
I’d like to see local tack stores offer occasional ?10% off of everything? sales, provided you have the coupon that was advertised in ?Local Horse Publication.? (Sorry, tack store owners, I don’t think anything under 10% will attract buyers.)
National chains and manufacturers could hit national publications with coupon ads that readers could bring to their local store or a coupon code for online shopping. Many catalogs do that now, and I peruse those sections carefully. Unfortunately, they’re often only on close-outs and off-season items. For heaven?s sake, just put those ?old things? on sale and give us coupons for the current stuff!
I sometimes see these types of coupons on manufacturer websites, but you have to go looking for them. Because consumer issues are part of my job, I regularly check manufacturers like www.farnamhorse.com and www.absorbine.com for coupons, but who really has time to check all the possible sites every week or month’
We need the offers in front of us in magazines, so we can rip it out when we’re reading that page (remember, Horse Journal does not accept advertising, so it’s not an issue for us). They?d be good on non-manufacturer websites we frequently visit, too, with a ?click here for the printable coupon? link. We don’t have time to search every equine manufacturer?s website for coupons. But if they?d dangle those darn things in front of us, on magazine pages and on informational sites like www.EquiSearch.com (yes, this is a sister site), I think many of us would bite.
We’re all going to buy what we need to take proper care of our horses, but?with money as tight as it is for all of us?we’re not as likely to make that extra or ?recreational? purchase that we don’t really need, unless we have an incentive.? I know I have my eyes on a pair of breeches I’d love but don’t need and a halter that my mare would look peachy in. If I see that sale or coupon, well . . . I probably won?t be able resist. Otherwise, they?ll stay on my ?someday? list.