By now you’ve probably heard about the ongoing shortage of Canadian electrical supplies.
The fact that many retailers in the country are now offering products at far lower prices than what they were offering a year ago is certainly a story worth telling.
But for those who don’t live in the province where the crisis is centered, what are they doing?
The answer to that question can be found in a new online survey from the University of Waterloo.
The study, which is being presented at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association in Atlanta, Georgia, was conducted by a team of researchers led by Professor Chris Ziegler, a former professor of economics at the University for Women in Winnipeg.
The team surveyed over 5,000 individuals across the country.
In all, the team identified 3,812 electrical supply store locations, ranging from small businesses to large corporations.
The data was then analyzed to identify the most common selling points that retailers were using to attract customers.
The most common was a “one-time” fee of between $25 and $35, or sometimes more.
Other common selling-points included discounts on the price of items, free returns, free shipping and an ability to offer multiple payment options.
The researchers found that most of these selling-point appeals were fairly successful, with the exceptions of the “one time” fee, and discounts on items.
These sales-incentive offers were found to be highly effective at attracting customers to the store.
In addition, most of the stores were also offering discounts on their own products.
For example, the University researchers found two retailers in Manitoba that offered discounts on a number of products and also offered discounts to customers in their store.
They found that the stores offered discounts of up to 25 per cent on a wide range of products, including televisions, microwave ovens, washing machines, dishwashers, microwave equipment, and more.
The University also found that in several stores in Nova Scotia, there was a discount for customers who were willing to spend $10 for a $50 purchase.
These discount offers were also effective at bringing customers to these stores.
In contrast, the majority of stores in Alberta were offering “one to two” discounts.
This meant that customers could pick one of their three “one times” on an item for a nominal price.
For some of the retail stores, these discounts could be as low as 10 per cent.
The “one and two” discount was also found to have a very limited impact on the retention of customers, as only about 25 per a cent of customers who had a discount chose to return it.
The remaining 75 per cent of the customers who returned the product were likely to have been disappointed and not recommend the retailer again.
For these reasons, these retailers had very low retention rates of their customers.
Conclusion The University of Saskatchewan’s study found that it is important to note that these retailers have a strong incentive to encourage their customers to return their purchases, even if the store may not have been offering the discount or offer the discount to other customers.
In fact, the average customer returned less than a third of the items they bought from the store in the year the survey was conducted.
Moreover, the retail store managers often used their ability to attract their customers with a discount or a free shipping offer as a marketing tool to persuade customers to buy their product again.
However, if the retailers were truly providing the best products and services at the lowest prices, it is unlikely that customers would have chosen to return any of their purchases.
The key to making a positive impact on sales is to engage your customers in a conversation about the products and service that you offer.
This conversation can be very effective if you are willing to engage with your customers about their purchasing preferences and give them specific information about the service they can expect.
The next time you are in a store, it may be worthwhile to remind customers of the discount offers that are offered, and remind them that there is a chance that you can provide better service at a lower price.
This can be particularly effective when it comes to a retailer like this one in Manitoba.
For more information, visit the University’s website at www.ucw.ca/electrical-supply-stores.
For an interactive version of the survey, visit this link: www.uhw.utoronto.ca.
Share this story: The U of T Institute for Health and Economic Development’s study of electrical supply retailing, which was published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health, is the first to explore the impact of store-level pricing on retention of retail customers.
This article was first published by the Institute for Research in Public Policy (IRPP) on January 13, 2018.
For a copy of the full paper, contact: Chris Zielinski, Communications Coordinator, 514-292-0303, [email protected], 416-829-2440