The phrase, “Limited Time Only” has a strong influence over consumers. Starbuck’s seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte, McDonald’s McRib, and Bed, Bath & Beyond’s famous 20% off coupons all have one thing in common; their flavors and deals won’t last for long.
Starbucks takes the crown for the most popular limited time offer with their fall Pumpkin Spice Latte. More than 200 million Pumpkin Spice Lattes have been sold since 2013, and Forbes estimated that Starbucks made $100 million from the drink last fall.
So are LTO’s really worth it? If you have a product you’d like to showcase, excess inventory, or just want to attract new customers then the answer is yes. We’ve taken a closer look at the impact of limited time offers and how they can boost your business.
Drive Impulse Shoppers
When shoppers hear that a great deal won’t last for long the importance of that purchase increases. Thanks to technology, shoppers can order online, overnight their purchase, and have their new toy the next day. Create urgency by advertising your deals where your customers spend the most time, on their mobile phones. Try using banners ads that feature an upcoming flash sale to drive shoppers to your website.
Create New Customers
In the last five years, fast food restaurants have reinvented themselves by using premium ingredients in their limited time offer deals. By catering to a certain niche, restaurants like Wendy’s and McDonald's have tapped into a new pool of customers that will return for their favorite LTO. This tactic doesn’t just work in the food and beverage industry, it can be applied to any business. Try adding unique products to your inventory to drive customers to your business that wouldn’t shop with you otherwise.
Think Outside of Products
Limited time offers can showcase more than products. Auto dealers frequently use this tactic by temporarily offering lower down payments or interest rates. When products come with payments plans or seem more affordable, word-of-mouth spreads and business increases. Try offering deals that will equally benefit your business and customers. Doing so will create loyal customers that only want to work with YOU.