7 Examples of Companies that Use Transactional Marketing


What is transactional marketing?

Transactional marketing is a little different from the idea of developing a long-term relationship with the client. It involves a basic point of sale system, where the client is buying one product, and the focus of this type of marketing is efficiency and a high volume of sales. Who uses transactional marketing? It is advantageous to small business owners who need to rapidly increase their number of sales. The aim is to list your product at a competitive, affordable price, while at the same time maintaining a reasonable profit for yourself. You can read more about finding the right price here. You can also watch this video for tools to learn pricing strategies. There is a sense of urgency when you use transactional marketing, which convinces the buyer to purchase the item immediately. You must persuade your target audience that your product is the best version they can get. So, what does this look like in real life?


Here are 7 examples of companies that use transactional marketing. 


  • Banks and credit unions
  • Your child’s lemonade stand
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Real Estate Agencies
  • Nordstrom
  • BMW
  • Amazon


1. Banks and Credit Unions

While these are not small businesses, but rather, large companies, they are important models to look at, as they can provide strong examples of transactional marketing. The first example is Bank of America, which uses its mobile apps and online banking site to track their customers’ spending habits, allowing them to know what products to invest in advertising. By knowing exactly what items customers are buying, they can see exactly what will be the most profitable items to boost transactional sales. There are many benefits to personalization in e-commerce. American Express allows its users to link their credit cards to Facebook and Twitter so that when they see something they want to buy, they can immediately click and purchase. Read about the Amex Bot here. This is not just a tool for information about advertising, but actually doubles up for information about purchase history and also increases sales while doing it. Talk about multi-tasking.


lemonade stand


2. Your Child’s Lemonade Stand

Examples of transactional marketing are all around us, often in places we least expect. Your child (or your neighbor’s child) who has the idea to set up a lemonade stand on a hot day is using transactional marketing. He or she must create a sign that informs potential clients of the products available. “Lemonade, 25 cents.” He or she must call out to each person that walks by and convince them that they need a refreshing beverage on a hot day, for a cheap price. Chances are, it won’t be a lasting relationship since the lemonade stand could only be in business for a day or so before the child gets bored and packs everything up. But if he or she is lucky, they will have walked away with a profit in their pocket. So, if this idea of transactional marketing seems to be too complicated or improbable, just start looking all around you and see the examples of such a strategy that make up the current marketing system, as we know it.


3. Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson have been chosen for this example to represent pharmaceutical companies in general. However, this company is a prime example of transactional marketing because they have made the most famous name for themselves of all the competitive companies in the world. When we hear this name, we all know to associate it with baby shampoo, or lotion, or anything from skincare products to contact lenses to everyday medications. The fact is, they make their profit from having a wide variety of one-time selling products, at an inexpensive price, that fills up the majority of the average homes’ drawers and medicine cabinets. See how they market their products online here. Their marketing strategy is not relationship-based, yet, their high volume of inexpensive products has turned them into a household name.

real estate


4. Real Estate Agencies

You may not have known this, but your real estate broker could be a transactional salesman as well. In the past, real estate agents were forbidden by law to help both the buyer and seller of a property; they had to choose one or the other, and then charge a percentage made from the sale. However, transactional brokers are becoming more and more common, as they do not have to choose between a buyer and seller, but can work as a type of personal assistant for both parties, to help them come to a happy agreement. For payment, they charge a flat rate, making this a transactional sale. 


To use the transactional marketing strategy, they now do not have to limit themselves to one type of real estate selling, but rather can expand their sales capacity by almost double. Of course, you may be thinking, but real estate agents have to be so personal and develop relationships with their clients. This is a common misconception about the difference between transactional marketing and relationship-based marketing. Even those who use transactional marketing for advertising have to be personable. They have to make their product desirable and enticing to the buyer, and part of that, especially in real estate, is to have a good repertoire going with the customer. The only difference is that, once the customer has bought the product, there are no more marketing measures that have to be taken. The sale is final and you’re free to keep advertising to more customers.


5. Nordstrom

Of course, probably the first companies you thought of as examples for transactional marketing were shopping malls. Clothing stores like Nordstrom, Abercrombie & Fitch and Anthropologie are classic examples of transactional sales, in that, a customer walks into the store, sees something that catches their eye, and they buy it. You can read more about America’s most profitable shopping malls here. Now, just take a moment to think about all the marketing that goes into stores like this. First of all, the fact that you know exactly what these stores are and what type of clothing they sell tells it all. 


These companies have created a successful brand for themselves by being present in shopping malls all over America and even the world. They have hired salespeople in their stores, just to inform shoppers of discounts and sales and to point them in the direction of an item they think the client will purchase. There are many ways to get your product noticed online, too. Companies like these use a very effective marketing strategy because they have made their product widely available, with a recognizable logo and style, and regular discounts to drive sales even further. Remember, listing optimization is key.


"Examples of transactional marketing are all around us, often in places we  least expect. Your child (or your neighbor’s child) who has the idea to set up  a lemonade stand on a hot day is using transactional marketing."  -Click to Tweet-


6. BMW

Another example of a company pushing beyond the traditional model of commission-based sales is BMW, and other car selling companies. In the past, we all thought of a car salesman as somewhat dishonest and willing to say whatever they could to get a commission. Yet, these days many companies use a transactional marketing approach. They hire consultants to work on the premises of the lot, offering educated advice to anyone coming in for information about a new car. 


They do not pressure the potential customer, but rather help them to make an informed decision about which vehicle could be the best suited to their needs. The salesman is paid a regular salary, and the client pays the determined rate for the new car. This transactional strategy is a good way to build trust from the customer, who feels that they are being assisted to make an intelligent decision about their purchase, and, in the end, it perpetuates a higher, more efficient volume of sales to the company in the long run. You can read more about BMW's approach here.


7. Amazon

Last, but not least, we can’t forget to look at a world-wide favorite example, Amazon in our examples of companies that use transactional marketing. As with most online retail companies, Amazon is an obvious example of transactional sales. We can, however, take a closer look at how they market strategically to point their customers towards more sales. First of all, they offer “Deals of the Day.” Every time you log in to your Amazon account, you are alerted to the deals of the day, which are quite varied in their realm of variety. You can see how they feature them here. 


To read more about diversifying your sphere of products on Amazon, we’ve got a little insight into that as well. Each separate category of products on Amazon has a special discount for that day, drawing the customer’s eye to many items they may not have previously considered searching for. They signed on to look for one product and ended up purchasing a few more, because of the Deal of the Day. 


Another successful feature they use as a marketing technique is their subscription service. At first, you may think this would be a relationship based marketing tool because of its recurring purchasing nature, but the reality is that even a subscription is a one-time purchase. The payments continue, but overall it is still one complete sale. The drawing feature of the subscription service is the discount offered upon the recurring order. So, anyone who pays upfront for a subscription will automatically receive a discount the next time the item is shipped to their home. Learn about the subscription box industry here.

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