The Guide to Retail Promotions: What, Why and How

Discounts and promotions play a significant role in attracting customers to make their buying decision. Various forms of promotions exist which suit diverse needs and occasions. There are line discounts, total discounts, BOGO offers, price multiples, accelerated discounts based on quantity offtake, free shipping, lucky coupons, repeat visit coupons, loyalty points and modified or integrated forms. Customer attraction is based on her/his personal choice of how much such a discount or promotion is sounding lucrative to influence a buying decision.

What types of Promotions

Some of the promotion types adopted by Retailers are:

1. Double Discount: Double discounts provide ultimate happiness to the customer, and he/she may purchase more quantity compared to what he/she intended to buy. This process is called two-for-one, which works as a bonus discount. Double discounts happen when the quantity of a product is being offered to a consumer at the same price it was being sold at before the offer.

2. Percent Discount: Here, the consumer is given a discount of percent of his/her entire purchase amount.

3. Category Discount: Sometimes, a specific category of products are put under discount to make customers buy more of those category items.

4. Value Discount: A fixed value is offered as a discount on items purchased, with a minimum purchase value indicated.

5. BOGO Offer: Buy-one-get-one offer is an attractive one and is offered in various forms like Buy-one-get-one at half price or Buy-one-from-category A and get one free in Category B or Buy five for the price of 3 or Buy Item A and get x% of discount on item B.

6. Discounted Price Multiple: Here, a discount is offered on a graded scale depending on quantity like 2 for $30, 3 for $42 on the concept of Buy More Save More.

7. Line Discount: Here, specific items are identified for discount and those line items get a discount in the invoice.

8. Free Coupons: Free Coupons are issued based on total purchase value with a specific validity date to woo the customer to come back to the shop for more purchases.

9. Free Shipping: When invoice value is higher, free shipping is offered as a discount.

10. Loyalty points: Sometimes, when a specific category of items are purchased, bonus loyalty points are credited to the customer’s account.

Why do a promotion

Promotions or Sales Discounts are a necessary part of the sales growth strategy. They act as a trigger or motivator to the customers to buy your product on impulse. A compelling discount coupled with a personalized offer that reinforces your brand message and also incentivises the existing and potential customers to make the purchase might attract them to leap in your sales funnel. An attractive promotional offer has the chance of converting the sale more than the average. Increasing revenues or keeping your place as a competitive retail destination, Retailers needs to use discounts in various forms for sale events, big and small, keeping in view the impact of the discount on the store’s sales.

ERP for retail stores

How to make customers get attracted to a promotion

Customers often decide while browsing through the merchandise. Online shoppers tend to consider different parameters such as brands in the competitor’s list before deciding, availability of discount, the value proposition of the purchase, the physical and logical usability of the product, shipping cost or cost of traveling to shop, and service standards of the Brand or the Retailer. Hence, a Retailer must focus on all of the above in their online communication to make that informed decision quickly in one glace to get all answers. Making a smooth online browsing experience coupled with buying-decision informative will help the customer to make that decision soon. A conscious effort for acquiring customers is often to make sure that the inbound traffic is already convinced that your offer will be attractive and prompt them to make a buying decision.


In today’s online world, promoting offers has become very easy as there are options to reach customers on various digital mediums. If you intend to use promotions and discount strategies to increase the sales of your products and services, then do consider the options mentioned above, techniques, and knowledge to increase your sales. We hope that as a Retailer, you will develop marketing strategies and techniques which will benefit your brand and hence, increase your profit margins. Retail ViVA has got all the above promotions or discounts configured in its Point-of-Sales module giving Retailers the power to personalize promotions depending on seasons or customer types.

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(Ragu)nathan Kannan

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The Bright Ideas: In Whose Mind It Is

Humanity has always creatively risen to prove the maxim that “necessity is the mother of invention” through its problem-solving abilities. The network of cells in our human brain stir up great ideas motivating all of us into action immediately. This enduring optimism has made humans improve continually and create a better world by setting new standards than what is possible today. The COVID pandemic made humans discover the shortest way to produce a new vaccine cutting short time by about seven years. How do bright innovation ideas come up, and where and when they prosper?

Bright Innovation Ideas: What is it?

Bright innovation Ideas are ideas, particularly new ones, in various fields that have brought significant improvements to everyday life. It can be very short- or long-term projects to apply new technology for the benefit of humanity. It is about imagining the unimagined or proving the unpractised so far, through the articulation of tangible benefit that we can obtain than what we are used to currently. It has the novelty value of something never seen or thought or experienced or proved or practiced. Some of them are very simple ideas, and a few complex as well. One great way of building bright innovative ideas is to think continuously one after other, improving your previous idea in building blocks over time. Constant quest for the next level of creativity drives this continual innovation

In Whose Mind It Is?

The scientific basis of an idea-producing living being was first elucidated in 1959 by Leon M. Lederman at the University of California. He further refined it in a seminal book, “Beyond the Horizon: What Our Brains Do at Night.” Scientists have discovered that our unconscious mind is constantly doing the day-to-day work of filtering most of the information contained in every minute. The amount of data that reaches the conscious mind is compressed down by mind into a few important elements that we can process and hence become active. The product of this interpretation is that our unconscious mind, the lowest level, contains much more or better information than the conscious mind, the highest level.

Where & When Innovation Ideas Prosper?

An idea takes root when it appears to be effective in achieving a goal. Today, ideas can come from any source- either personal or from society. For example, an idea that helps people deal with stress and anxiety can come from a person’s professional life; it may be from a professor’s classroom, or it may be from a colleague at work. When we hear an idea that seems like it can have an enormous impact, it’s easier to believe it is possible. However, ideas that fail frequently outnumber those that succeed, but intriguing the human mind to think differently to overcome the failure.

How did we innovate continuously to build Retail ViVA

Our strong innovation culture at Sathguru propelled us into a continuous innovation mindset, setting neurons in our brains to constantly bring up new novelties to delight our customers. This incremental innovation culture started in 2007 ended up building one of the most advanced Retail ERP products titled Retail ViVA. The sheer innovation that has gone into modeling processes with end-to-end integration resulted from collective and open innovation. We listened, learned, thought, modeled, built, delivered, validated, re-learned, and re-built in a feedback loop. To say, the innovation was in the unconscious minds of every employee of ours, basking and bathing in it in every moment of their work. After all, building a 26-module integrated Retail ERP is nothing but sheer brave success at perpetual innovation.


For bright innovation ideas to thrive, the prime most factor is organizational culture. If the organization’s DNA echoes innovation, everyone who comes in will get addicted to it and starts performing to novelty. Organisations must make innovation culture contagious through systemic models so that it spreads in the organisation and motivates everyone to strive for it. We achieved it not with ease but with organized planning brick-by-brick and scaled it to sky scrapper levels. We dreamt, we dreamt, and we dreamt, but every subsequent dream was for the next level after achieving the previous dream. Every success motivated us to dream for the next bright innovation. Innovation is in everyone’s mind, and organizational culture can manifest it to success.

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(Ragu)nathan Kannan

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What Is Retail Transformation and Why Is It Important?

Modern Retailers need to be ever ready to respond to changing preferences of customers. Retailers must evolve the right strategies so that they can capitalize on consumer buying preferences. Retailers must be able to spot the right opportunities and respond quickly to customer demands. Retailers need to evolve agile processes that make shopping easy and convenient to shoppers through the right mix of automation and physical interventions. Retailers must strive to digitally optimize the entire customer journey with embedded analytical data for an actionable feedback loop.

What is retail transformation?

Retail transformation is a process in which a chain of activities is modelled to increase sales, boost customer satisfaction, and minimise the cost involved in operations. This is achieved through extensive digital transformation and a thorough understanding of the customer journey to success.

The importance of retail transformation

The retail industry is undergoing significant changes, and digital transformation is the critical driver for the retail sector to remain a competitive marketplace. Modern retail brands use a mix of automation and personal attention to delight the customers and keep them coming back. Retailers need to leverage customer data to analyze customer behavior and make the marketing impactful. Retailers need to use the latest technology to optimize the value chain of their business. Retailers must also use data to avoid costly mistakes. The modern retailer needs to focus on long-term digital transformation plans to remain relevant and set new benchmarks of success.

The four key pillars of retail transformation

Electronic data capture, E-commerce, In-store Shopping, and motivated employees are four key pillars of retail transformation. Understanding how consumers live, buy, and interact with brands and knowing the preferences of the consumer would allow retailers to predict, connect with, and engage with them. The retail organization’s culture and data points connect here to get complete insights. Retailers must understand their customers’ buying behavior so that they can improve the offering to the customer on a personalized basis. Retailers need to understand customers in ways that help them give tailored shopping experiences to the consumers. A connected experience where customers can see the inventory, pick the product, pay for the product on their phones, and at the store would help shoppers who have limited time and money to make their purchases. Agile processes designed with high efficiency in mind is needed to achieve the above objectives. Finally, employees who make the magic happen are trained to integrate themselves into these four pillars of transformation. In a nutshell, Retailer’s organizational culture, Retailers Customer success journey, Retailer’s business model, and Retailer’s employee engagement would matter the most to achieve a perfect retail transformation.

Retail transformation strategy

Retailers are fighting the battle between brick-and-mortar and online commerce. Young customers are shifting to a more digital experience and self-service platforms. Most retailers have already started to deploy AR and VR technologies to improve customer experience. Moreover, shoppers spend 5 to 6 minutes in each store visit, and at least half of the purchases are not made offline. This is set to drive the demand for visual merchandising and help the retailers improve the overall shopping experience. Visual merchandising helps in delivering an enhanced shopping experience for customers through deploying AR technologies such as beacons and digital display screens. In the online commerce space, various mobile and e-commerce technologies are being tried to impress customers and lure them into coming back again and again. After all, both experiences are connected to create long-term customer value and build continuing loyalty with the customers. Retail ViVA, our Retail ERP, is made with the objective of agile retail transformation in an integrated manner.


Retailers can move forward with the right strategies, which are guided by three simple vital points. First, assess the current strategy; then look at future trends that customers and suppliers expect from you; then shift strategy to align it to customer and supplier expectations. This is a continuous improvement cycle, and thus, the evaluation must be perennial.

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(Ragu)nathan Kannan

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Why Online Shopping is More Popular Than Physical Shopping

Online shopping has become a habit due to its ease and convenience of shopping. One can browse various online shopping sites much like visiting multiple physical stores and make a buying decision without any movement. The time to shop is much shorter and facilitates easy price comparison. The value that online shopping provides for standard items is simply outstanding. With the advanced digital era unleashing in every front of human life, online shopping has occupied the prime spot in digital evolution. Consumers have embraced it with confidence due to superior experience and convenience.

How online shopping has changed the way we shop

One of the primary reasons why people are inclined towards online shopping is the fact that prices online are the same or slightly cheaper than those in physical stores. Thus, there is much less to worry about bargain or price comparison. Also, several businesses provide discounts online. This includes coupons, discount codes, and vouchers. Discount offers are one of the reasons why people buy more when they buy online. It is simply amazing to see the way people buy items online. Sometimes, they are prepared with the best offers such as cashback and points. People can get amazing discounts on their food and shopping items such as t-shirts, sneakers, gym sets, electronic items, groceries among other things.

Why online shopping is popular

Online shopping provides customers with highly personalized services at their doorstep. Because of changing lifestyles and seeking convenient shopping methods customers opt for online shopping. Online shopping fulfills a wide range of choices like variety, affordability, and personalization. Online shopping provides customers the unique opportunity to select from different colors, sizes, and preferences that are specific to their needs. Additional options make the shopping experience more delightful. There are lots of shopping platforms that give a wide choice of choices and convenience for customers. Another reason is ease. The ease of downloading and configuring mobile applications makes online shopping a lot easier. We help our customers white-label mobile app and their customers can download the Retail ViVA mobile app from the play store or app store in minutes to start shopping. Retail ViVA comes with ready-to-use e-commerce and m-commerce modules that can be rolled out within hours/days.


Online shopping not only improves the physical shopping experience but also helps one to understand the product offerings better. Online shopping is an entirely delightful experience and will continue to win the hearts of the people who enjoy and love this treasure trove.

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(Ragu)nathan Kannan

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Defining Brand Identity through the 4S Approach

4S, our embedded self-service analytics tool, is an easy to use charting tool that every user of our ERP can use to create their charts and analytics. The simplicity of its design merits attention. 4S is so intuitive that a user can learn to do graphs in less than three minutes and can do a chart in less than thirty seconds. We wanted to empower every user to self-perform their analytics, and that is how the bottom-up design was born. The 4S logo was designed by us to represent four steps that user does to make a chart.

The logo is a simple combination of number 4, and alphabet S. S stands for steps, and in total, the logo indicates four steps. The four sequences of steps involved in making a chart depict the letter “4” with four different icons. Each icon represents one step.

In Retail ViVA, a user can easily prepare a view of their focussed data set in any InfoGrid through a simple drag & drop of relevant columns to a group. Users can also use advanced filters to narrow further their focussed data set through filters. Users keep creating several InfoGrid views for various use case needs. Retail ViVA stores all the InfoGrid configurations into its database. Our 4S analytics tool takes user-created InfoGrid views as the base.

Step 1 is selecting the right InfoGrid for chart preparation. The top limp of the vertical slide of letter 4 represents this indicating the selection of InfoGrid from the Retail ViVA database.

Just below that top limb, Step 2 is the selection of an appropriate chart that suits the right visualization of selected InfoGrid. The bar chart icon in the lower limb of the vertical side of letter 4 represents this.

Step 3 is about completing all settings relevant to the selected chart, like titles, labels, orientation, grids, data labels, and the like. The second icon, which is horizontally next to step 2 icon, represents this.

Step 4 is about saving the prepared chart for publishing in the presentation layer for user consumption. The downward vertical limb below step 3 icon represents this.

The 4S brand identity represents simplicity with which users can prepare charts and enjoy analytics of their data without any IT knowledge. The video below clearly depicts the simplicity of 4S tool and how users can make charts within 30 seconds.

Our 4S tool is simple to learn and use hiding all the ingenuity of its sophisticated design away from the user. It is a real example of design thinking and making complexity a simplicity to the absolute pleasure of a citizen user. Our 4S is a pleasurable experience for every user and appreciated by many for its ease of use and power of analytics. Like the simplicity of the tool, we created a simple brand logo to represent this grand design of ours.

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(Ragu)nathan Kannan

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Is BOPIS emerging as the future of Retail?

3 min read

BOPIS (Buying online and picking up in-store) is becoming a new trend. Brick-and-mortar stores that also offer e-commerce or m-commerce are actively promoting BOPIS, which works to best of the combination of online cum brick-and-mortar existence. BOPIS also gives the unique advantage of providing the customer the choice of his channel and thus customer feels empowered when he chooses BOPIS. Older generation customers feel the benefit of the combination of traditional and digital experience, something that soaks into their acceptance easily

BOPIS calls for a real-time stock update and online visibility of stocks to customers across a retail enterprise and swift movement of stock replenishment in an automated manner. Most legacy retail ERP systems have end-of-day batch run to update stock balances and are not suitable for BOPIS enablement. Customers demand service, would like to shop online, and desire to pick-up in the next two hours. Retailers would not be able to service customers confidently if their stock update is not in real-time and cannot guarantee stock delivery to a customer due to poor visibility of stock at store or warehouse at any moment. Further, legacy retail ERP do not practice stock reservation for ordered but undelivered. Stock reservation is one of the fundamental business processes for omnichannel readiness for a retailer. Fundamentally, BOPIS to be successful, online stock visibility is a must, as echoed by Gartner in Retail CIO new year resolutions, 2020.

COVI-19 pandemic initially put the logistics and supply chain in disarray for two reasons; firstly, they were all diverted to serve emergency medical supplies; and secondly, they were unable to operate at one hundred percent efficiency due to lockdown conditions. Hence, customers opted for BOPIS as an alternate strategy. Further, customers find BOPIS as an effective way to shop due to the saving of shipping costs. Customers found park-in or curbside pick-up as a natural and time-saving option while giving them the comfort of contactless payment options. Since safety also played a predominant role as to how customers shop, BOPIS became one of the apparent choices for items that customers required immediately for consumption or use.

Customers can be given the best experience in BOPIS by giving them clear instructions about their parking lot at park-in or curbside slots and can gain a no-wait experience which otherwise they experience by standing in the line at brick-mortar. BOPIS experience so far had proven that more than 75% of BOPIS customers also shopped more items when they came for pick-up, thus providing an opportunity for cross-selling and up-sell.

While designing Retail ViVA, we provided BOPIS right from the beginning of its launch and giving flexibility to the customer to pick up from any store of her/his choice, truly to omnichannel customer experience. Retail ViVA Mobile APP offers customers the choice of a store for pick-up in person at the time of check-out.

Technology is making a difference and is driving the future of customer engagement and experience in the retail world. Retailers who are adopting omnichannel solutions will be far ahead of the competition, and all early adopters will reap the advantage of pandemic and post-pandemic business growth. E-commerce is here to stay, so is Brick-and-mortar, so is BOPIS as well. BOPIS may well turn out to be the new normal of retail, soon graduate to the normal-normal of retail and thus be the future of retail. Retailers will innovate with BOPIS to make a customer do the impulsive shopping at park-in or curbside through the adoption of augmented reality techniques to create a physical walk-through of stores towards business growth. BOPIS is certainly turning out to be the smart choice of retailers as well as customers and thus a win-win for both.

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(Ragu)nathan Kannan

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The success of Retail Retailing is in the real tail?

4 min read

The 21st century Retailing has moved beyond Brick & Mortar to omnichannel mode since the internet, digital infrastructure, and mobile phones propelled at the hands of consumers. The Digital Era allowed Retailers to closely tail (follow) their customer’s digital movements and thus understand their choices and preferences. As a second step, Customers got inducement offers to convert their preferences to buying choice, either online or at a shop, thereby converting an aspiration into real commerce. Some consumers, in this journey of induced buying, made wise choices of fulfilling their dreams, while others made an impulsive choice of buying, only to repent later

The art of tailing a customer closely emerged as a 21st-century practice amid digital traceability, privacy, personal data concerns, and security. However, since data is the new oil, every data of real or potential customers was crunched, and several dots connected to understand the customer’s mind and thinking. The creation of personalized choices of offers or promotions was easy then and targeted against a specific customer of choice, inducing them to make the buying choice.

While data collection and privacy are the hot debate on the questionable side, customization, or personalization is the welcome development from the customer experience angle. Personalization made customer jobs easy in most cases, saving good amount of time for the customer. Predictable models of “what next” for a customer’s desires got developed and probably, made customer decision-making easier of curated choices presented. While customer derived value out of personalization, Retailers derived benefit of knowing customer behaviour and predicting their next behaviour or sometimes influencing their future behaviour to their advantage.

Retailing is the business of fulfilling customer demand for goods through multiple channels of customer convenience and often giving the customer similar or same experience across those channels. However, modern retail places more reliance on digital, and thus data becomes the backbone of every decision-making. Modern Retail ERP software is omnichannel ready and can present a 360-degree view of customer data combining customer actions across the various channel, including customer non-actions

Retail ViVA, our retail ERP, comes with embedded e-commerce and m-commerce modules along with digital marketing tool that can tail digital customer behaviour in Retailer’s eco-system and creates a personalized offer or promotion targeted at that customer without any privacy intrusion automatically. This personalization is the key to the conversion of a customer’s desire to demand to successful sale.

Tailing (following) consumers give us data, and data give us options. Options give us thoughts for customized content and content connects with customers. Customers make a choice, and more data gets generated. Thus, the cycle goes on to target customers again and again with personalization

We have slowly moved to a Customer Experience economy, and thus personalized offers become most critical to creating the best of customer experience. The more personalized a Retailer can target its customers; the more customer experience gets created and more positive buying actions get triggered by the customers. With more digital and more data, this is sure to scale to newer heights in the years to come!

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(Ragu)nathan Kannan

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Tetra: Brand identity

Tetra, our embedded collaboration tool, auto-creates groups and thus facilitates seamless collaboration. The intelligent grouping which ERP does when creating new grouped collaboration threads is one of the hallmarks of our ERP embedded collaboration tool. The collaboration is so native that it understands the whole context of transactions to crate the right grouping and unify communication for effective decision making. The Tetra logo was designed by us to portray this unique intuitive communication and collaboration invisibly created by our ERP.

Tetra fishes school together in unison and instantly changes direction without colliding is always a sight to watch in any aquarium. They move so seamlessly as if they all have one single mind. In this unison approach, they never collide with each other. What a way they perform their act of schooling and moving. This marvellous piece of their movement is the inspiration of our logo and name of our collaboration tool.

Our Tetra favours one(same) way of thinking and one(same) way of doing and one(same) way of communicating. This one way of doing, without any collision of mind, favours utmost business collaboration and paves the way for grouped people to achieve that one purpose. In the 21st century designed flat organization structure, our Tetra facilitates all of them moving in unison as if there is one commandant, but they are more controlled as self-commandants in the same tandem to achieve that one purpose.

No one has ever figured out the complexity of how Tetra fishes move in unison without colliding, leaving the impressive unison movement as a treatise to your eyes. Similarly, our ERP handles the complexity of grouping or schooling relevant people to facilitate collaboration, making it simple and awesome to use and achieve the purpose.

Our Tetra is a pleasurable experience for every user, leaving all the complexity handling within Retail ViVA ERP. Enjoy the flow of our Tetra when you use our Retail ViVA ERP

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Workflows: Defining process-person relationship

Workflows in software help to define the route a process would follow and how exchanges (of data or governance or control) would happen. It primarily defines the process-person relationship and the process flow under a defined pathway. Workflows perform the most important function of sequencing, scheduling, and consummation of a transaction flow. It is generally customary for ERP software to have defined workflows.

Workflows can also be routed depending on conditional aspects, and thus, it can take multi-route depending on previous action results. Workflows help to prevent frauds, improve efficiency, and push action by people. Workflow can push things in an inbox or push an e-mail notification or push a notification in any collaboration software enterprise uses. A well-structured workflow provides visibility to know where the bottlenecks are, and who is overloaded with several workflow approvals. This analysis helps in improving process efficiency and thus improve process completion time with the aim of better customer satisfaction

Because of the dynamic business needs of modern enterprises, workflows often need to be tied to conditions that users want to impose. Workflow designs need to be flexible enough for users to add or delete conditions and point to the human resource hierarchy for escalations. Timeliness is a customer efficiency concept and workflows can monitor process time by triggering escalations for inordinate delays

In our Retail ViVA ERP, we have left workflow configuration at user levels with plain English like commands for conditional workflow definition. More intelligently, workflow understands human resource hierarchy and can point to better governance management. Workflows can be immediately triggered, scheduled in summary, or escalated push, and users will be able to configure them on their own, maintain them and achieve governance and regulatory compliances.

Does your ERP have a flexible workflow definition linked to the HR hierarchy?

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(Ragu)nathan Kannan

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Do you want your Retail company to be one connected community driving towards the purpose?

Businesses run better when people are connected.  It is, even more, better when they connect to the relevant group to achieve a common purpose.  Companywide instant communication is becoming an important tool to leverage better and quicker results

Millennials today desire quick communication and feel very easy to connect with anyone to achieve their purpose.  Often, in an organization, we see silos of human hierarchy, which functions in a not so connected manner, frustrating the Millennials.  Instant communication tools have become the torchbearer to solve this important cultural issue and help businesses flourish.  After all, time lost is customer lost or profits lost.

If you are a dispersed organization by geographies, it is also important that we connect them closely to bridge the geographical distances.  The use of instant communication tools makes and feels everyone is connected, and distance gets buried.  You see an inclusive organization and inclusiveness is very important to drive that one purpose for which the organization is striving for.

There are external communication tools that organizations use to get this connected community culture in an organization.  What if it is embedded into your ERP auto triggering group communication for action and allow the community to address that instantly.  Rather than using a general instant collaboration tool, it is better to use an ERP embedded tools that senses and auto groups people to communicate, avoiding all the pollutive overload that these types of tools can create.  Get the alerts in-group community form, exchange ideas quickly by way of chat, act, and flourish is the norm these tools set, and it works, and it works to efficiency!

Social communication tools have become a habit for people in their personal lives, so will be corporate and ERP embedded communication tools as well.  Employees, who see them as one community through these tools, will want to use them, rather than seeing it as something they are forced to use.

We embedded our “Tetra” tool in our Retail ViVA ERP precisely for this reason so that the whole organization can see, feel and act as one community, driven to one purpose

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(Ragu)nathan Kannan

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