Like most other retailers, I suspect you are running lots of offers in your store. The thinking goes that the cash-poor, so-called savvy consumer is always looking for a bargain. But, and it’s a big but, new research says that perhaps there are just too many products being promoted which leaves shoppers confused.

This research, by shopper behaviour specialists SBXL, found that the precise nature of a deal was much less important than the actual presentation of the promotion. So, whichever one stands out the most wins, it’s as simple as that.

But some promotions stand out for all the wrong reasons. A friend posted a Tesco offer on Facebook of a half-price pizza reduced from £3 to £3! At least it got people talking, if not in fact buying. And I’ve often seen promotions where the ’two for a price’ price offers no actual saving. It seems some marketing departments are getting a bit carried away.

That said, I’ve had two really good offers recently. I was emailed a deal from Ocado, which was spend £80 and get £20 off plus free delivery. Twenty pounds worth of free stuff great, so I quickly took them up on that. Around the same time, I also got a 10% off card through from Waitrose only valid for a month, but even so. And it’s not just the grocery firms that are dishing out the free stuff. I joined the Pets at Home loyalty club and keep getting ’£10 off a £50 spend’ vouchers with three cats and one dog, £50 is very easy to spend!

How much loyalty this activity generates I’m not actually sure.

In my case I doubt I will use Ocado again, to be honest, and I only go to Waitrose every now and again (when I’m feeling flush). But I am a regular shopper at Pets at Home so their vouchers are very welcome.

So, the question is, what sort of offers/vouchers would your customers most welcome? Some sort of coffee loyalty scheme where you buy so many cups then get one cup free or perhaps a free Danish? Or a deal that’s linked to your car wash perhaps spend so much and get a free wash? These types of schemes won’t cost you a lot to run but can generate goodwill and, hopefully, more loyalty. Every little helps as some firm somewhere is so keen on saying!