E-Commerce: To Discount or Not to Discount

Is e-commerce really all about the now omnipresent discount? If you’re considering or already have an e-commerce enabled site, how often do you discount or offer promotional codes? And is it helping or hurting your business in the long run?

Who Do You Offer Discounts To?

When you woke up today, how many online exclusive offers, today only and other such promotions had flooded your inbox. Every time we buy something online or even give our email address to a retailer, we know we’re going to be on the receiving end of ‘online exclusive’ promotions. But why? We’re proven customers, you’ve probably even bought something from the retailer at full price, but they’re now sending us a different sales message – ‘don’t buy full price, because very soon we’ll send you a coupon or an offer giving you a discount’.

Discount Without Discounting

Giving discounts to consumers who are likely to buy without them, rather than to those consumers who haven’t decided where they want to shop, makes promotions less likely to generate profits in the short or long term. You’re only conditioning your best customers to wait for an offer. You need to provide an obvious and attractive reason why someone should buy from your online store (at full price) rather than any one of your competitors who are promising deep discounts. One way is to offer not only free shipping (and if you’re not already offering free shipping- then start right now), but free overnight and return shipping.

Legitimate Online Sales

Everyone loves a sale – but when product is constantly on sale via codes, coupons and friends and family offers, you lose credibility. After all, if a piece is selling –why discount it? So, instead of taking the short-term perspective, wait and offer legitimate bi-annual sales events. Make a sale what it should be – a true sale, offering big savings on items that aren’t moving.

In The End It’s All Down To…..

The most financially rewarding and long-term sustainable strategy to sell more, is to offer the right product mix, at the right price, in the right environment. If you can increase traffic to your site and convert more browsers to buyers by tweaking the site design, features and content, then there’s a good chance that consumers will see you for what you are – a purveyor of a luxury product.

Next week: June’s top ten tips will help you stay at the top of your game when it comes to the online state of play. From tips to making your site e-commerce excellent – to insider advice on finding the right affiliate program that will help you sell more product…..at the right price. It’s all just a click (and a week) away.