Pete Barnsley explains the ins and outs of STL’s online offers…
Thanks for your observations on the website. I am sorry that you have experienced a few difficulties due to our confusing offer set-up.
We have spent a significant amount of time improving the search engine on the website to ensure it is convenient and easy to us [sic], and more importantly; so that you can find what you are looking for!
As a consequence this also highlights where we have errors. Since we moved from our legacy website system to the new site we are becoming increasingly aware that there are some rogue offers lying about the place, which are not being promoted under the radar but are there by mistake. To fix this we will be running a program over night (by Saturday at the latest) [Editor’s Note: This has now been done] where we will be able to remove all existing offers on the site.
There is a scenario where we run offers that are online only and I will explain why:
We have had increasing requests for shops to receive a visit from one of our Area Sales Managers (ASM); it is not always possible for the ASMs to visit every shop so we created an online section:
This is where things become complicated – The type of offers our sales team run with (eg 5+1 or a sliding discount scale) are too complicated for our main computer system, but the website and the ASM’s software can run these offers and overwrite the system. So to be able to reach as many people as possible we run the offers online or through our ASM.
On the page where there is a set of ASM offers (and each offer page as you drill down) communicates that this offer is online or ASM only.
Where we still have further complications is when we do a money-off promotion (through the ASMs). Anyone will see this if they search for a product that’s on offer (as the offer appears on the product page). To fix this we are exploring making the offer available to all on or offline – watch this space!
We will also place an animated gif on the left (so it appears on every web page) to explain that offers are only available online and to check with our customer service before ordering offline.
All offers via the online ASM are promoted via our STLD weekly emails, with an explanation communicated.
In conclusion, the offers that you find from the Promotions tab at the top or through the publisher list on the left are online and ASM only (due to complexity of the offer system). Where a money-off offer appears on a product page (via the search); this will be available online and we are working on making it available offline. If you want to be guaranteed of receiving the offer please make the order online.
I hope this helps clarify things, and please don’t hesitate to ring me if you would like further explanation and feel free to update your blog.
[Phone numbers removed: if you’re an STL Account Holder, please contact their Customer Services dept]