Valentine’s Day is coming. To business owners, finding ways to attract customers seems to be the top priority on their to-do list. It most likely means making a discount or sending coupon codes to their subscribers via email. The most common way is running a discount even, online or in-store or even both. But is sales discount during holiday season really effective? What if your resources or time are limited, how much is enough to boost your shop’s sales without affecting profit?
Planning Before Discounting
Before you decide to cut down your sales price by a third or fourth with the hope of boosting sales, it’s wise to make some plans to ensure that you can still earn some profit after the coming campaign is over.
Things you need to revise:
- Make a chart of your profit margins, break-even points, and markups.
- Calculate the most profited discount price to apply.
- Arrange a marketing campaign to get attentions of old and new customers.
- Analyze your competitors’ strategy and pricing.
- Review other promotion alternatives without decreasing the sales price.
- Decide to what extent the promotion will be advertised.
- Review your sales records of weeks, months or years to find the lowest season of your business.
Benefits of Discounting
Sales discount during holiday season brings a lot of benefits:
- Attract new customers and may have them signed up to follow your newsletters.
- Encourage customers to buy and buy more by taking advantage of limited-time discount offers.
- Clear old version, outdated models, and last season inventory.
- Advertise for your shop and website.
- Keep old customers come back.
How Much Discount Is Good?
A report indicated that 20 – 40 percent of annual sales in the last two months of the year is the most appropriate sales discount during holiday season for small and middle-sized retailers. Service businesses such as travel agents, caterers, restaurateurs, etc. also rely on brisk business to make profits. It is true that holiday seasons are important periods for small businesses to boost sales and make some profit, so they can survive in this intensely competitive market.
Can Discount Bring Disadvantages?
Everything has two sides, and discount is not an exception:
It Can Reduce Profitability
Even though discount can expand sales, it does not imply that discount is always a good strategy. A good strategy does not hinder long-term profitability but discount, on the other hand, often does.
It Can Reduce Effectiveness
Studies have proved that discounts sometimes actually decrease the attractiveness of whatever is marked discounted. Buyers tend to think that discounted products mean they have something wrong and do not perform well as the full-price products did.
It Can Increase Dissatisfaction
It seems contradictory to say that discount can raise dissatisfaction in your customers. Discounts make customers wonder for what reason the price is being discounted. They think about the expenditure they have made then the discounted price and smell something fishy. They ask why they could not get that offer sooner. In case that some have recently purchased a product for full price then see it being on sale later, they may be angry and feel cheated.
Sales Guide for Holiday Season Without Discount
A great holiday promotion does not need to come with discount all the time. In another hand, you can still run a successful sales campaign with following ideas:
1. Free Wrapping
Some retailers charge their customers some extra money for the package and wrapping service. Free wrapping and send it as if a gift or present to your customer is a nice action that will make them feel surprised and happy.
2. Free Shipping
With the development of technology, more people tend to prefer shopping online. Some of them don’t have time or transportation to visit a store, especially during holiday season. Make your e-commerce service stand out by providing free shipping that makes your customers’ purchases much easier.
3. Tips and Tricks
Everyone love useful, quick and easy-to-use tips and tricks with services, products or anything related. For example, if you are running a spa business, offering a couple of relaxation tips that your customers can apply at home will make them feel appreciate and it is a good way to prove your quality of service as well. These show good reactions especially on social media and channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Moreover, you can send them via email as a way to remain connections with your customers.
If you are a specialist in your business field, why don’t share what you know best to others? No gift is more precious than knowledge! You can make an instructive guide that tells your clients about your services and products, comparisons of products, or industry and post it on Facebook or send via email. In case you are a business retailer, making shopping instructions to help your customers purchase more easily is also a good idea.
You can create some interesting checklists for customers to bring along and follow during the holiday season. Your checklist will help your customers prepare quick, focus on and feel more of the holiday atmosphere. Furthermore, this is fun too! If you are a coffee or restaurant owner, don’t hesitate to mark your name shop as a must-visit on your checklist.
6. Holiday Contest
Running a contest or challenge with a giveaway prize during holiday season is a good way to excite your customers. You can choose a small cute holiday ornament with your brand name on it as free gift bigger such as a friendly-use bags, whatever you feel is appropriate. Get more attention by posting or live streaming it on Facebook. Run advertisements on other channels if you want to attract more of audiences.
7. Holiday Recipes
Giving unique holiday recipes to your customers is also a good way to increase your value instead of discounts. In case you own a restaurant, this is really ideal since you most likely have various wonderful recipes on your hand. You may put into some twist or secret ingredient to make it absolute special.
Tip: You can use holiday image and tools to design a recipe card that is seasonal with your brand name on it.
Whenever it involves money, profit comes first. Sales discount during holiday season is one in many ways that help increase sales and profit. We can advantage of this to add more value of our product and service to give customers but who and when should apply depend on many variables. It’s best to make a profit plan before doing anything. Otherwise, seven ideas without discount above are good choices if you don’t want to take a risk.