Disadvantages of Sales Promotion

While sales promotion is a powerful and effective method to produce immediate short term positive results, it is not a cure for a bad product or bad advertising.  In fact, a promotion is speed up the killing of a bad product.

1. Increased price sensitivity

Consumers wait for the promotion deals to be announced and then purchase the product.  This is true even for brands where brand loyalty exists.  Customers wait and time their purchases to coincide with promotional offers on their preferred brands. Thus, the routine sales at the market price are lost and the profit margin is reduced because of the discounts to be offered during sale-season.

‘The Diwali Bonanza Offers’ on electronic goods.

2. Quality image may become tarnished:

If the promotions in a product category have been rare, the promotions could have a negative effect about its quality image. Consumers may start suspecting that perhaps the product has not been selling well, the quality of the product is true compared to the price or the product is likely to be discontinued because it has become outdated.

The Smyle Powder offer of “Buy 1 and get 2 free” went on and on. Ultimately people stopped asking for the product as the on-going sales promotion strategy made the customers perceive it to be a cheap and an inferior product.

3. Merchandising support from dealers is doubtful:

In many cases, the dealers do not cooperate in providing the merchandising support nor do they pass on any benefit to consumers. The retailer might not be willing to give support because he does not have the place, or the product does not sell much in his shop, or may be he thinks the effort required is more than the commission/benefit derived.

4. Short-term orientation:

Sales promotions are generally for a short duration.  This gives a boost to sales for a short period.  This short-term orientation may sometimes have negative effects on long-term future of the organization.  Promotions mostly build short-term sales volume, which is difficult to maintain.  Heavy use of sales promotion, in certain product categories, may be responsible for causing brand quality image dilution.


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