Since marketers and advertisers are in the business of telling customers what they need and want, retailers have gotten into the practice of making products attainable now, in order to pull up a customer’s purchase rather than waiting for the customer to buy on their own timeline. Out of fear they’ll find a comparable product elsewhere, they default to discounting the product and brand, in order to secure the sale.
Along with tactics like financing, instalments, layaway plans for more considered purchases or large ticket items, retailers turn to promotions to churn more purchases through. And the best/worst promotions are those that drive down price and hurt retail margins.
Build it and they will come; discount it and they will buy
While a marketing calendar might have previously allowed retailers to plan events and communications to sell their wares, promotional calendars have become retailers’ default play book. Products are featured and marked down, categories are specially priced, site-wide discounts are advertised periodically. And the periodical flyer has trained the customer to purchase at discounted prices, so that they only think of brands in association with the lowest prices the brand can offer, diluting the brand value and hurting not just their margins but also their brand profile.
Artificially yours, the customer
What these promotions have done is created artificial experiences that can only be sustained with continuous discounting rather than a meaningful relationship with the brand. Customers are willing to follow the discount, rather than follow the brand and appreciate the value.
With heavy discounts, retailers have made it easier for customers to have to buy, with the barrier to purchase being lowered as prices continually decrease. Rather than hold the brand with value, their first consideration becomes whether or not the retailer can continue to give them the lowest prices, with no regard to the sustainability of this practice and what it could lead to when a retailer has to sacrifice its margins by being overly generous with discounts.
Get to the heart of intent
Instead of discounting to pull up purchases, which doesn’t necessarily attract the best customers, why not focus on understanding and responding to true customer intent? You’re confident that your offering is the best out there. You know you’ve priced it well. You know that it’s needed/wanted by the market. You can just focus on making sure your customers’ interactions when they come to your site are as seamless as possible and that they can come back for a consistent experience.
Are you intrigued about how we’ve helped retailers understand, respond to and capitalize on their customers’ intent? Talk to us today.