When ecommerce sellers seek advice on pushing products and closing sales, the common refrain is to “give ‘em a deal they can’t refuse.”
But is that really the best strategy?
Deep discounts can really cut into a company’s profits and they don’t always lead to more revenue. Research shows that while price discounting might result in top line growth, it does little to increase your bottom line. In other words, you might make more sales, but the amount of money you actually earn is negligible.
Price variance is described later in that same article. It reads, “The higher the price variance, the more likely it is that the brand is relying heavily on price promotions. In most categories, the stronger the brand power, the less likely the brand is to rely on price promotion to drive volume.”
So, while healthy ecommerce brands certainly offer sales here and there, weaker e-stores tend to experiment more with volatile price variances. It’s clear that deep discounts aren’t enough to keep ecommerce stores afloat. So, what’s a better alternative?
Below, we’ll share a short list of suggestions to help ecommerce sellers to push products and close sales without needlessly sacrificing profits.
Regularly Introduce New Products
One of the reasons sellers (and customers) get so excited about clearance sales is it feels like something is happening. In a way, it’s newsworthy, it’s time and it’s time sensitive. In other words, it’s an easy way to motivate customers to visit your site and add items to their carts.
But if your ecommerce site is pulling back on sales and discounts, how else can you keep consumers on the line?
One way is to regularly introduce new products.
For the sake of argument, imagine you sell your furniture online via Shopify. While you usually promote your “Spring Clearance” sale in March and April, consider something a little different this year.
Instead, try introducing new products to your summer line. Is your target audience made up of wealthy suburbanites? Try offering a new line of patio furniture, perfect for lounging in the sun with a frosty “Arnold Palmer” in hand. Is your consumer base made up of thrifty 20-somethings? Think about pushing inexpensive and compact furniture and home décor for dorm rooms and studio apartments.
The key is to excite shoppers by expanding offerings, as opposed to attracting shoppers with run-of-the-mill discounts.
Focus on Engaging Your Online Community
As mentioned earlier, ecommerce marketers often use sales as a way to stay top of mind with consumers. But it’s not the only way to remain relevant. Instead, do your best to stay engaged with your online community via social media.
Today’s shoppers appreciate brands that are active online. Posting relevant and attractive content will keep customers engaged with your products.
Need an example?
Ecommerce websites selling cosmetics do well to post makeup tutorials and guides to interested followers. The same thing can be said for kitchenware companies that post recipes and how-to videos on Instagram using their own products.
Adapt these techniques to keep shoppers interested in your merchandise.
Start a Loyalty Program
Rather than offering deep discounts to one-off buyers, reward your most loyal customers with specials. After all, these are the folks that keep you in business year after year.
How you set up your loyalty program is totally up to you. Maybe it’s an open secret that when a shopper hits a certain number of orders in a month, they are automatically included in the loyalty program; or perhaps it’s something shoppers apply for; or maybe it’s a price point consumers must hit every six months.
Whatever the case may be, the goal is to drive your most loyal customers to make purchases in exchange for coupon codes, free shipping, bundle deals and the like.
Discounts aren’t always bad. However, ecommerce stores would do well to expand their strategies for motivating and retaining customers.