RetailMeNot's recent promotions index.

Digital savings web site RetailMeNot Inc. launched a new online tool that can help retailers and brands improve their promotional cadence by leveraging the site’s massive database.

The RetailMeNot Promotions Index uses the average retail promotions from the site’s top 500 U.S. retailers while also weighing the consumer engagement level of those deals. The online tool can be accessed here.

Marissa Tarleton, chief marketing officer of North America for RetailMeNot, explained that “many retailers’ promotional plans are based on a variety of factors unrelated to market indicators or competitive data. As a strategic partner to retailers, RetailMeNot created the index to provide insights into the promotions landscape that will help retailers become more successful with their investments.”

Tarleton described the index and tool as “a starting point for retailers to become more strategic in what is now a large, sub-optimized part of their business.”

“Retailers now have the ability to examine aggregated average promotions in their category over a specified amount of time, essentially helping them decide what’s competitive and how to optimize their promotions,” the company said in a statement. “In addition, the index provides insights into consumer engagement and whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market.”

Users can peruse 19 retail categories and analysis engagement over time. For example, looking at apparel’s promotional activity over the past year revealed index measures that place clothing as a “stable market” in regard to consumer engagement and promotional level. The index was born out of ongoing dialogue within the company and its retail partners, Tarleton said.

“We continue the conversation on a one-to-one basis between our internal retail experts and our retail partners for a deeper dive into competitive insights and category performance data,” the cmo added. “When retailers achieve an optimal promotional strategy versus customer demand, they can more effectively balance margin and growth.”

Simultaneous to the launch, RetailMeNot worked with TechValidate to poll 110 retail marketing decision makers from the top 750 retailers in the U.S. market. The survey found that 16 percent of “retail marketers say their promotional plans are highly strategic.” And 74 percent of respondents “admit to either repeating the same promotions each year with minor adjustments or devising new plans using old performance data.”

However, those polled acknowledge the need to be strategic with promotions. And 75 percent said “it is just as important to be strategic with promotions as other aspects of their marketing.” Tarleton said the index can help inform efforts to develop better promotional strategies, which can bolster sales and profits.