Define: Sales Promotion

UK Accounting Glossary

Definition: Sales Promotion



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Full Definition of Sales Promotion


In marketing, sales promotion is one of the four aspects of promotion. The other three parts of the promotional mix are advertising, personal selling, and publicity/public relations. Sales promotions are non-personal promotional efforts that are designed to have an immediate impact on sales. Sales promotion is media and non-media marketing communications employed for a pre-determined, limited time to increase consumer demand, stimulate market demand or improve product availability.

Examples include:

  • coupons
  • discounts and sales
  • contests
  • point of purchase displays
  • rebates

Sales promotions can be directed at either the customer, your sales staff, or distribution channel members (such as retailers). Sales promotions targeted at the consumer are called consumer sales promotions. Sales promotions targeted at retailers and wholesalers are called trade sales promotions.

Consumer sales promotion techniques include:

  • Price deal: A temporary reduction in the price; this includes a happy hour
  • cents-off deal: offers a brand at a lower price. Price reduction may be a percentage marked on the package
  • price-pack deal: The packaging offers a consumer a certain percentage more of the product for the same price (eg: 25% more free)
  • Coupons: coupons have become a standard mechanism for sales promotions.
  • Free Standing Insert (FSI). A coupon booklet is inserted into the local newspaper for delivery
  • on-shelf couponing: Coupons are present at the shelf where the product is available.
  • checkout dispensers: On checkout, the customer is given a coupon based on products purchased
  • online couponing: Coupons are available online. Consumers print them out and take them to the store.
  • Rebates: Consumers are offered money back if the receipt and packaging is mailed to the producer.contests/sweepstakes/games: The consumer is automatically entered into the event by purchasing the product.
  • Point-of-Sales displays:
    • Aisle interrupter: A sign the juts into the aisle from the shelf
    • Dangler: A sign that sways when a consumer walks by it
    • Dump Bin: A bin full of products dumped inside
    • Glorifier: A small stage that elevates a product above other products
    • Wobbler: A sign that jiggles
    • Lipstick Board: A board on which messages are written in crayon
    • Necker: A coupon placed on the ‘neck’ of a bottle
    • Y.E.S unit: Your Extra Salesperson is a pull out fact sheet.

Trade Sales Promotion Techniques include:

  • Trade Allowances: short term incentive offered to induce a retailer to stock up on a product.
  • Dealer Loader: An incentive given to induce a retailer to purchase and display a product.
  • Trade Contest: A contest to reward retailers that sell the most product
  • Point-of-purchase displays: Extra sales tools given to retailers to boost sales
  • Training Programs: dealer employees are trained in selling the product
  • Push Money: also known as spiffs. An extra commission paid to retailer employees to push products.

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Definition Sources


Definitions for Sales Promotion are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 20th February 2020.