4P's of Marketing: Price

Understanding the role of price in marketing:

How to select a retail product group that works for your customer group is always a challenge for retailers. Price point makes a difference – a day hiker may have a limited budget, but a week-long guest visiting with a 7-day park pass may be more likely to spend a little over a few days, or cap their visit to the area with a single trip to your retail store. Souvenir stores have unique challenges and opportunities. Most people come in looking for a memento of their experiences, and they are more likely to spend on something they don’t need. Impulse purchases are higher for souvenir shops than traditional retailers.

Pricing is more science than art, as most retailers know. Product and price mix is more important for store sales as a whole

Pricing is more science than art, as most retailers know. Product and price mix is more important for store sales as a whole

The product mix at a typical souvenir store looks like this:

·      High-end souvenirs

·      Mid-range souvenirs

·      Sundries

·      Trinket souvenirs

High-end souvenirs are centered around useful and experiential gifts. This might be a useful item like hiking or camping gear or a piece of equipment like binoculars or a camera.

Guides, hiking sticks, apparel, hats and plush all fit into the mid-range souvenir category.  Mid-range is not necessarily a price point, but a customer value perception. What the customers think about the relative value of the item depends on where they are and how closely they align with the item’s interpretive value.

Sundries such as snacks, backpacking meals, medical and first aid supplies are always bigger sellers for souvenir shops. Visitors to an area rarely fuel themselves with everything they need, and impulse purchases on sundries, even pricier ones like camera storage cards, are easy for them to make. Gaining margin here involves selecting more exclusive products – gourmet snacks and branded electronic gear versus generic trail mix. Locally made products do well in sundries sections because they cross over between a necessary item and a luxury splurge, and often have higher margins for retailers.

Trinket souvenirs are the easiest sell of all, appealing across a wide range of customers and hitting a sweet spot of “let’s just get it!” spur-of-the-moment price point. Items that are ‘personalized’ with names are always great selling lines at almost every location. Trinket souvenirs run the gamut from useful-and-fun to just plain fun.

Price depends largely on the value that the customer places on the item. On a rainy day, umbrellas could be sold at a premium, whereas they won’t move an inch off the display rack on a sunny summer day. Retailers understand this and position products and move displays to take advantage of weather, season and popularity. But there are a few things that you may not already know about selling smaller items like pendants or jewelry. These items often do well in with other product groupings such as a wildlife books and jewelry or an apparel line or even by Made in the USA status. There, a even a higher price point item will not be noticeable to the customer, as they compare the relative cost of items in the same area.