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{Great Ideas} Effective Multiple Purchase Promotions in a Truckstop

Posted in: Great Ideas, Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators


Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Darren’s Great Ideas! for Independent Operators. The author, Darren Schulte, NATSO’s vice president of membership, brings to NATSO a wealth of knowledge about our industry.

Join Darren here every other Thursday for his biweekly retail column.

{Great Ideas} Effective Multiple Purchase Promotions in a Truckstop

In my last Great Ideas post, we looked at three simple ideas to increase retail sales using product placement and pricing strategy.

As we discussed, a multitude of different strategies exist to increase sales other than raising prices just for the sake of increasing sales.

Today, let’s look at driving sales through effective multiple purchase promotions. Examples of multiple purchase promotions include a buy one get one free (BOGO) promotion and a promotion to buy 3 and get the 4th at a discounted rate. 

Before we get to the good examples, let’s do a fictional analysis of basket items of customers who took advantage of an ineffective multiple purchase promotion. Most likely the analysis would show you:

  • You aren’t offering the customer a real value;
  • You aren’t increasing your sales through multiple purchases; and
  • Lastly, the basket item analysis would also probably illustrate that a large portion of your multiple sales are single purchases. Specifically customers are purchasing a single item of the multiple rather than the two or three offered in the promotion.

It is imperative to either create a value perception or to create the perception of a great savings. The goal is not to deceive the customer by inflating retails but rather ensure they understand the value of the offering.

Here are four examples of effective multiple purchase promotions:

1. 3 for $10.00 DVD
3 for $10.00 DVD is a value. Product will sell in the 3 multiple because of the associated value and/or implied value. Customers perceive DVD to be a “high retail value” thus enabling them to purchase “3” DVD for $10.00 is a deal

2. $6.99 or 3 t-shirts for $10.00
Customers will most likely not take the multiple purchase offers if you were offering 3 t-shirts for $10.00 or $3.99, because the savings is minimal. If the single purchase price was to change, say to $6.99, then you have a SAVINGS and the multiple of 3 will be the largest percentage of sales. What a WINNER!

3. 1 shirt for $11.99 or 2 for $14.99
Purchase a single shirt for $11.99 or 2 for $14.99 is more effective than selling 1 shirt for $7.99 and 2 for $14.99. Again, 99-cents is not enough of an incentive to prompt a multiple purchase.

4. $1.59 single beverage or 2 drinks for $1.98
If your beverage company is offering a promotion on a certain beverage to sell at .99 cents that you sell currently for $1.59, then you could offer the item for $1.59 for 1 or 2 for $1.98. 

In each of these examples, the customer understands you are saving them money (YEAH!) and your operation increases sales by growing the share of wallet through multiple purchases. As I said before, it's a WINNER for everyone!


/// Read more Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators posts here


Join the conversation! What multiple purchase promotional sales have worked for you?

Or have a different retail merchandising, marketing or operations question? Post your question in the comments and Darren will answer it in the next Darren’s Great Ideas! for Independent Operators.


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About the Author

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators.

Schulte also leads NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program. A Profitable Retail Review is a custom assessment of your truckstop, including recommendations for every aspect of your facility, from actionable ideas to improve revenue to tactical ways to improve your net operating costs. Learn about NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program here.

Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for: 

  • Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores,
  • HESS Corporation, 
  • Petro Stopping Centers, and
  • TSC Global/Barjan LLC.