Whether all dealers get the same promotional program depends on the manufacturer’s policies. Panasonic declined to disclose its policy. Sony runs its instant-rebate/STA promotions on a model-by-model basis, giving every dealer carrying the model access to the promotions.
But some independent dealers that watch competitor prices in Sunday circulars question whether national chains, with their long advertising lead times, get earlier notification of vendor promotions. Ailawadi recommends that retailers advertise the sales to bring shoppers into the store. “If consumers only become aware of the deal in the store, odds are you aren’t making an incremental sale,” she said.
Advertising scan-down/IR promotions to consumers is not always easy, or possible, since many of them are announced only days before they begin. Internet retailers like Amazon.com, with their quicksilver flexibility in pricing and advertising and state-of-the-art back-end systems, are in the strongest position to leverage a scan-down/instant rebate promotion announced on short notice. Brick-and-mortar retailers, if they don’t have internal systems and flexible advertising deals in place, can be caught flat-footed, unable to promote the deal.