In some ways, discounting is a pricing concept but really, it’s a marketing concept too. When thinking about using discounts, consider how this discount compares to other promotional marketing strategies that you could implement, for example; promoting products and services on your blog and social media accounts or offering a free gift with purchases over a certain price bracket.
WHY OFFER A PROMOTION?
A discount or other sales promotion is intended to encourage customers to take action and make an immediate purchase. Many use it to create a sense of urgency and to make customers feel they are getting a special, one-time-only deal. So what are some motivations for offering deals like this to your customer base?
- Extra purchases. We’ve all fallen for the “buy one, get the second half price” deal. This type of discount gives a perceived sense of value as to the customer they are getting a product for less than normal, but in reality, they are actually spending slightly more than they intended by buying a product they weren’t going to purchase originally.
- Volume Purchases. A volume purchase discount is when you save more money the more purchases you make. This is usually limited to one type of product, for example; if you buy ten postcards it costs you £6.95 but if you buy twenty it’s £12. Again, this encourages the customer to spend a little more than they intended for perceived value.
- Rewards. A discount can be used to reward your best customers and many offer top customers a “friends and family” discount on certain products and services to keep them coming back for more.
HOW TO OFFER A SALES PROMOTION?
When you’ve decided to offer a discount, it’s worth taking some time to craft a strategic approach. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Direct price discounting. This is when the normal selling price of a service or product is reduced to a discounted rate. This is a fairly normal strategy but, be aware that the increased sales gained from a price drop are at the expense of your profit, so use this type of promotion with care. Also, don’t use this type of promotion too often as it can have a negative effect on your business and reputation. You don’t want to train your potential customers to buy or book only when there is a deal on. Think of DFS…
- Free shipping. Shipping is an added cost for any customer, so discounting it may encourage customers to impulse buy or fulfil their abandoned shopping carts.
- Gift with purchase. In this method, also sometimes known as a “premium purchase”, the customer receives something in addition to the main purchase. This is commonly associated with makeup counters where you will receive a tester product as a gift when you make a purchase.
Here are some past blog posts that will help you set up your own discount on theimagefile:
- The Discount You Need For January Sales
- Throwback Thursday – Discounts
- Throwback Thursday – Tiered Pricing
GET THE WORD OUT
Your promotion will only be successful if people know about it, so here are a few best practices to keep in mind when trying to get the word out.
- Be sure to promote your discount or sales promotion on social media. Make sure you pin the announcement to the top of your feed, as well as sending out the post a number of times throughout the discount period.
- Include the discount in an email newsletter or set up a unique email campaign just for that promotion.
- Talk about it on your blog.
- Add a “sale” page to your website so that visitors can easily find your promotions.
Used carefully and effectively a discount can help drive sales and acquire new customers.