I love reading stories where big retailers declare that they are going to reduce their reliance on discounting and stop the much talked about “race to the bottom”.
These stories always amuse me, because invariably you will get these same retailers offering big discounts again and again because they simply must react to their competitors.
Right now, we appear to be surfing a wave of discounting in the lead up to Christmas. Yesterday, my local shopping centre held a giant event they called a “VIP” shopping day – but it was simply a chance for every shop in the centre to offer a discount.
Did it work? No idea, but I bet there will be similar discounts stretching all the way to Christmas.
And that’s the problem here – timing. Instead of using discounts as an occasional weapon, retailers have allowed them to become a constant feature of Australia’s retail scene.
Don’t fall into this trap. If you offer a discount, make sure it is targeted (for example, only offer a discount to customers on your database) and limited in such a way that forces people to act.
For example, a discount offer that lasts for one day or one week will prompt customers to buy. An open-ended discount means they know they can wait.
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Use the discount force wisely.
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