Problem with discounts

Discounts and Marketing Strategy

Let’s face it, everyone loves a good deal right?

As an online store owner, your bottom line is your biggest priority. We get it, the formula is attractive. Input discount, increase sales. Pretty sweet deal right?
“Discounting is to online business what Marketers should find alternatives to simply discounting as your brand is your most valuable asset.

Everytime you lower your price point, you’re telling your audience that you’re product isn’t really worth its original ticketed price. Just like in anything marketing related, repetition is the key. Keep repeating a “flash sale” or a “store wide” blowout long enough, your clients will begin to wait for these sales. The term blowout is ironic to me. Stores use it all the time and that’s literally what they’re doing to their brands. A brand only lives in the mindset of your customers; you are simply the author of its story.

A few examples from some of the world’s biggest companies who have devalued their brand’s? Think Michael Kors by making his name synonymous with discounts, Coach which operates more outlet stores then regular stores or how Tommy became a ambiguous symbol of the rapid rise and fall of a brand in the 90’s.


Solutions to the discounting problem?


If you need to give a short term boost to your sales, I’m all in favor of adding value as opposed to taking it away. What does that mean? Find ways to entice consumers to buy by giving them an incentive in the form of a free-bee or a reward. “Buy within the next 2 days and receive a free gift with purchase” has become a staple of the cosmetics industry. The free gift has a greater value to the consumer then what he/she would be getting in terms of a discount and this same gift is a loss at cost-price for the retailer. Offering a gift card is also a great strategy to get clients returning to your store and allows them to choose an item of their choice. I personally love offering gift cards, but more on this in another entry.

In essence, your brand is your intangible asset which cannot be copied. It must be protected at all cost. When planning your promotions schedule for the year, do include discounts, simply make sure they aren’t the focal point of your strategy.


By Eric Martineau

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