Oftentimes when we’re discussing sales and promotions strategies, we’re grounding our analysis in retail holidays. It’s a no-brainer to plan promotions surrounding events like Christmas, where we know buyers are going to be clamoring to make purchases as gifts (or utilizing their own gift cards). In this focus on retail and CPG, however, we can lose sight of the seasonality of sales, particularly in less-discussed markets like medication.
Allergy season represents a major opportunity for brands in 2021. Particularly as vaccinations are being dispersed and Americans begin leaving their homes again after winters spent inside, coupled with a public focus on health and wellness in the post-pandemic era, the demand for over-the-counter allergy treatments is going to be particularly high this year.
Seasonal sales for allergy medications have been skyrocketing in recent years as well, with global sales of around $25 billion in 2017, and expectations of a market that can exceed $40 billion by 2026. As more formerly prescription allergy medications become genericized, the number of options available for over-the-counter purchase is a major boon to consumers, particularly those who are looking to avoid doctor's visits because of potential COVID-19 exposure.
2021 may very well be a gain leader for pharmaceutical CPGs that focus their promotional efforts towards allergy season. It may be hard to visualize the sales potential for spring now as half the country is under a foot of snow, but early signs point to a more aggressive allergy season in the spring. Planning for the change in weather could yield major sales revenue that can carry through the summer.
Maximizing Margins and Focusing Targeting to Make the Most of Allergy Season
After a year of uncertainty, brands may have given mandates to their marketing and promotions departments to maximize sales at all costs—and by “all costs,” we mean that literally—in the push to sell as many units as possible, brands may be sacrificing millions in revenue by not considering margins. Selling a thousand units at half price isn’t really doing anything to move the needle for sales if the alternative is selling 750 units at full price. Brands have become so inured to leaving money on the table that it’s basically baked into sales strategies at this point.
Part of the issue with large-scale promotions is it doesn’t take into account an individual customer’s price sensitivity. Especially when it comes to tried-and-true OTC allergy medications, a large percentage of customers who know that a specific medication works for them will be willing to pay full price for the efficacy of the drug. Even in a crowded market with multiple similar options, brand loyalty for medications can be much higher than other items. Offering a blanket discount to a new customer that a brand is trying to convert in addition to a loyal customer is leaving money on the table. By dynamically targeting customers using Predictive Purchase Data—data that is generated based on a customer’s past activity and used to predict future habits—brands are able to pinpoint which customers will be motivated by deep discounts and which ones would be willing to purchase at full price. Bucketing these customers enables brands to more smartly target promotions to maximize margins.
These predictive insights are also particularly effective in targeting OTC medication sales since purchase habits of these products are cyclical. If a customer is converting on an antihistamine with 24 tablets in a pack, it stands to reason that targeting promotions efforts three weeks after the conversion could be a successful strategy. The AI-enabled dynamic discounting tools like those available in RevTrax’s Offer Management Platform can be the X factor that turns a hum-drum allergy season into one that blossoms with opportunity.
Are you ready to see your sales strategies spring to life this allergy season? Get in touch with a RevTrax expert today to discuss the game-changing potential of our Offer Management Platform.