A couple of weeks ago my PS3 died, the motherboard decided to overheat and so I was faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to buy a new one! As it turned out that was the easiest decision of the whole buying process.
The next step was to research the different offers that were available. I decided to head online to do some research to see what sort of deals were being offered. Determined to find the best possible deal, I was faced with hundreds of different promotions from multiple suppliers all vying to get my business.
The offers that I found online all turned out to be pretty similar and one kept popping up again and again. This offer was from Tesco (and a few other providers) and seemed to be the best deal for my budget. The key point that made me decide to go to Tesco was the Clubcard points I would receive.
So, one lunch time I set off from work to go and buy my shiny new PS3. This is where the process got a lot more complicated. A simple choice actually turned into quite a difficult decision. As I loaded the PS3 into my trolley (this actually did happen!), a couple more deals caught my eye. I was offered a slightly older model for nearly £70 less. Obviously, with such a saving, I was instantly tempted.
Although I had already made my purchasing decision from doing my research at home, the multiple offers in store made me doubt my original choice. This doubt led me to take the PS3 out of my trolley and leave the store with nothing. At that point, Tesco lost a £285 sale, all because they over promoted the same product with too many different offers.
I found my behaviour very interesting when I analysed why I had not made the purchase I was so close to completing. I had simply been faced with too many promotional offers, that I ended up doubting my original research and decided to go home and look at more alternatives.
I actually ended up buying my new PS3 from GAME, with a couple of games that I had been looking at for a while. But GAME would not have had my custom had it not been for the fact that Tesco had presented me with too many offers.
There are a couple of key points that should also be raised. Firstly, why didn't Tesco manage to secure my purchase online? Although I did the research on their site and made a decision to buy this product, I opted to go into a store and buy it. Is this due to the constraints of buying online (security, delivery period etc)?
Another point to raise is I was heavily influenced by the fact I could get loyalty points (and money) from particular companies. When I finally purchased my product from GAME, I earned nearly £8 to spend on my next purchase. I realise I have given away information for them to use for re-marketing purposes, but I still feel I got a better deal!
The main reason I am writing this is to remind all marketers that they have to be very clear with the messages they give to consumers. It is very easy to confuse a customer and lose potential revenue. Make sure that the funnel directs the consumer to the place you want them (whether online or not) and do not dilute the main promotion or you may risk losing the sale altogether.