Why Circular Ads Are Valuable and How Your Retail Chain Can Simplify the Production Process

Today’s savvy retail chains are choosy – as they should be – when it comes to allocating their advertising dollars. Whether printed or digital, circular ads are still one of the most valuable and reliable ways to reach consumers.

Why are circulars so valuable for retail chains?

Research shows that weekly circulars are still a key driver of shopping decisions. In fact, according to a Brandspark 2020 U.S. Shopper Study:

  • 66% of consumers study circulars, promotions, and discounts before they go shopping
  • In 2020, 87% of shoppers read circular the same amount or more than they did in 2019
  • 74% of shoppers consulted their grocery print circulars in search of lower-priced specials

According to the September 2020 Shopper Behavior Monitor Survey of 1,000 primary household grocery shoppers:

  • 30% of respondents were using digital store sales flyers ad digital coupons even more than they were earlier in the pandemic
  • 27% of respondents said they used store sales flyers more often than during the pandemic
  • 28% said they were using digital coupons more often

The circular production process

When it comes to creating the most compelling, accurate, consumer-friendly circulars, execution is critical. In addition, retailers who produce circulars with numerous products with multiple versions have many more factors to consider during an already complicated process.

For example, at a large grocery chain, the production process begins with the marketing department, which is in charge of the high-level planning of the circular. Then, category managers locate offers and determine whether an advertisement should be available, globally, nationally, or in a specific region.

Next, the design team lays out the circular, including copy and pricing, to create the regionalized variants from global and national offers. Once complete, the digital files go back to the category managers to review the ads and identify any necessary corrections. The design team implements the corrections and then sends them back to the marketing team for approval.

This entire process can be particularly hectic when creating multiple versions for different regions, languages, and other demographics or if the team needs to pull product assets from various data sources

Simplifying circular production

LAGO retail circular production software makes the entire process effortless, from concept to production. Here’s an example of how LAGO can simplify every step of print or online circular creation:

  • At the beginning of the process, LAGO Whiteboard helps the marketing department determine how much space to allocate for each page
  • The marketing department can send the pages to the category managers through its workflow engine, where they can use LAGO Whiteboard to search for each offer and then drag and drop them directly onto the page.
  • At the same time, category management can select whether an offer should be global or local. LAGO’s version optimization automatically synchronizes global offers while taking regional differences into account.
  • Once planning and version optimization is complete, LAGO automatically converts the planning into an Adobe InDesign file using its exclusive LAGO Layout InDesign plugin.
  • Designers receive a pre-planned InDesign file with all necessary information from the LAGO PIM and DAM, allowing them to create pages more efficiently and avoid errors. Once layout is complete, a proofing document is generated and passed to category management for review via the workflow engine.
  • In LAGO’s integrated proof module, all correction requests from category management and marketing are noted directly in the proof document and passed back to the design team. The design team can see the requested changes as soon as they open the pages in InDesign and implement the correction requests.
  • The implemented corrections are displayed via the workflow engine to marketing and category management for review of the executed corrections in LAGO Proof.
  • With a few simple clicks in LAGO Proof, category managers can review all executed changes.
  • Any price or text updates are automatically imported, so last-minute corrections don’t cause unnecessary stress or chaos.
  • Finally, the pages go back to the marketing team for final approval!