Without healthy and consistent sales, there is no sustaining a business. Companies often explore every marketing and pricing technique they can, until they find what works best for their business model and their consumer markets.
One very useful way to boost sales for many industries is by offering complimentary products or services. It may seem counter-intuitive to give away product for free as a way to build revenue, but it can work very well when done effectively. Think about the last time you went to see a new movie. Did you buy your tickets, popcorn and drink together as a package or separately? By combining products that are compliments to each other a retailer can increase sales revenue and provide consumers with a deal.
Giving away free samples has been proven time and again to work in customer acquisition. It’s used in every industry from software to dairy products. Preparing a limited or small version of your product costs relatively little, and most people jump at the chance to get something for nothing. If they like it, they’re much more apt to look for and purchase the real thing.
If you’re selling software, you can make a demo version for free download. If you’re selling a book, make a chapter or a selection of highlights available to generate interest. If you offer a service like roofing, offer a free estimate. Once people see your product as a benefit, and become familiar with your company, they’ll see you in a positive way and have much greater confidence in making a purchase. This practice can generate more sales, faster and often more cheaply than conventional advertising.
A complimentary product or service may also be included that is related to the main product. For instance, you’ll see automobiles advertised as coming with a full tank of gas, free oil changes, or an AAA membership. Restaurants may offer a complimentary container of coleslaw with an order of fried chicken. E-commerce sites will offer free shipping. These are all lower-cost but related benefits that increase the perceived value of the main product.
The demand for the complimentary goods can drive demand for the main purchase. For example, bundling a very popular app with a cell phone or computer purchase. Determining what goods will work as complimentary goods helps businesses understand the economic decisions made by their customer base. Offering a complimentary product is something that can be evaluated easily in revenue estimates.
Add Different Complementary Goods for Different Clients
Marketing a variety of free extras can appeal to a wider variety of clients. For instance, a retreat offering a destination vacation package could offer some complimentary services. A ranch-style vacation might include complements like trail guides, riding lessons, and horse rental discounts. It could even be included with a list of other free services to create the idea of a ranch vacation package with many other attractive non-equine perks, like free breakfast bars or room service. This increases the appeal for both horse lovers and vacationers in general.
There are times when a complimentary product can create a larger impact as an incentive, For example, in bad economic times people will be eating less expensive foods like lobster. Adding a package of fresh lobster meat as a complement to a $30 grocery purchase may be particularly enticing. Making a specific product or service complimentary is also dependent on supply and demand. An incentive that experiences a price hike may no longer be economically sound to provide in volume if the sales aren’t there.
Successful businesses are able to adjust to consumer demands. Offering a freebie that no one wants costs money and achieves nothing. It takes careful evaluation, but either the cheapest or most costly giveaways can drive the most sales – if it appeals to your target market.