Tip of the Week October 15, 2012
Volume: 2 | Issue: 41

Promotional Sales Items

We've been hearing from many of our stores gearing up for pre-holiday sales events taking place in the month of November. This is always a great plan to get a lot of new faces into your store and wow them with your great customer service and stellar stock. Many of our stores are also talking about using coupons, gift cards, and other incentives to have those same customers return to their store in the month of December.

Mosaic Books has an annual sale every November to celebrate our birthday (44 years this year WOWZA!). We do 20% off almost our entire store which include new books, cards, magazines, cd's, gift etc. (Bargain Books are usually 3 for the price of 2). We try to get as many of our suppliers to share the costs with a shared markdown using our co-op credits, and almost all of them do. We also pop a coupon for $5 off their next purchase of $15 or more if they return between December 1st and December 24th.

For those of your putting the whole store, or a group of classes on sale, this can be done easily through the F4 class file. You can edit a class line and add a discount to one specific class (i.e. Fiction). If you want to put the whole store on sale, use the X for extra command will pop up a "Discount All" box for you to discount everything (including product on your website once a new onhand file is sent).

For some of you, you may be wanting to only discount a small portion of stock from a flyer, newsletter or perhaps the BFE Winter catalogue. If this is the case, using the promotional items setup in BookManager will be your best friend...

Access Promotional Items through 2) Inventory, Xtra and P) Promotional sale items (build/review) ] This area is an easy way to compile a list of the sale items, and have the sale prices or discounts applied. At this stage of the game, you can enter items here two ways - by either using a text file, or simply by scanning the items in.

1. Using a text file: Using your own, or even a Custom Inventory report of ISBN's is the most efficient way to enter in a large number of product. Say you have a list of seasonal items, or even just really old non-returnable ISBNs - this is a good opportunity to clear out that stock and apply discounts fast.

The text file can be either tab-delimited or comma-separated and should be ISBN's only. From the Promotional area, simply hit Batch and type in the name of this "event" - so lets use the example of seasonal/Xmas books and call this event XMAS. You will need to enter in the default discount you want applied to all items in this "event" and then just type in the name/location of the ISBN text file. Once all the ISBN's are imported you should see them on the screen, with the "event" name and the other information you entered earlier. To apply the desired discount to this "event" hit Update and select option a) Mark inventory items with sale price/disc. If you scroll through, you should now see the //%XX in the notes field of these items, where XX is the discount. You can remove the discount by accessing the same Update screen and selecting the second option, b) Remove sale price/discount from inventory items.

2. Hitting N for New and scanning the ISBNs in: Simply scan in an item and fill in the fields accordingly. Once you add a discount, event name, for the first item, you will notice that BookManager remembers this and fills it in for the next items you scan into this file. Once you've scanned all your items in, type Update and select a) Mark inventory items with sale price/disc in order for the discounts to be applied. And of course, to remove the discounts, use Update and b) Remove sale price/discount from inventory items.

A Couple things to keep in mind...

  • Events can be created days or even weeks before the sales event takes place in your store.
  • To delete an item or even an entire "event" from the Promotional area, simply hit Delete and chose either Yes for the one specific ISBN, or ALL_xxx , where xxx is the event name.
  • The commands Apply and Remove affect only the currently highlighted ISBN. You will need to use the Update command in order to apply/remove discounts en masse.
  • If you are using the Cognitive Advantage thermal label printer, you can actually print out "SALE" labels for your promotional items, assuming you want to make that extra effort to sticker them. This function is hidden, but can be accessed simply by hitting Xtra when you are on an item belonging to the "event" you want labels for. A red prompt pops up asking, "Xtra Option: Do you want to print thermal sale labels for all items in stock (max 20 per title) on this promotion? " and simply select Yes . This will print out the correct number of labels for all the items you have on hand, in this particular event. Definitely a time saver so you don't have to manually hit L for Label on a bunch of individual items!


Headache-reducing tip
: Are you one of the lucky stores that receives a phone call from us every Monday morning asking for your Sales Report? If so, please read on ...

As you know, we collect and compile sales numbers from you lovely folks every Monday afternoon and then send out these cute emails with your sales comparisons attached. There is a weekly routine built into your Scheduler which sends this file to us, but sometimes, and for a number of different reasons, the routine doesn't run - which means some of you get to receive our cheery Monday morning phone call pleading for the report. Some stores are not open on Sundays, or other times the computer isn't left on, or the routine is accidentally shut off/deleted or ... our favourite excuse, the dog ate your homework. [insert winky face here!]

So, long story short, we are asking some of you to revaluate the time/date of your current routine. The report can be sent NO EARLIER than Saturday evenings at 6pm Pacific Standard Time, and NO LATER than Monday mornings at 12:00 noon PST. You should ensure the routine is scheduled anywhere in that time period. Assuming all goes well and no screen savers have popped on that kick your BookManager out, the sales report file should have been sent off to us at some point during the weekend.

To check on the status of your routine, go to your "server" computer, or whichever station you have designated to run your nightly/weekly routines. Type S for Scheduler and you should now see a big ol' listing of your scheduled events/routines.

Look for the routine that says "Send sales report to TBM via BMTools [or WebLink]" - first off, ensure that the routine is even in there, and if so, is it turned on? Look at the time, is it scheduled any time after 6pm PST on Saturdays? Or any time before Mondays 12:00 noon PST? If you need to make a change, simple arrow down to the routine, so the line is highlighted and type E to Edit - your cursor should now be active, so you just need to enter over to the frequency/time fields to make the necessary changes.

As most of you know, we encourage stores to leave their servers on overnight as this hopefully ensures that no disruptions occur, but understandably some of you may not be able to - perhaps you are located in a college or university, or even a church where you are unable to leave your computers on overnight. In these cases, we just ask that you ensure the routine goes out Monday mornings. It's a really dead simple process to send the file manually. Simply access your scheduler and look for the sales routine, arrow down, hit S for Start and Y for Yes.

We thank you for taking the time to have a quick peek at your current settings, and as always, please don't hesitate to give us a call if you need a hand with anything!