Partnerize CMO Jim Nichols has written a new article in Forbes that explores ways to drive more revenue by offering smaller discounts to consumers. It may seem counterintuitive, but this excerpt from Jim’s article will help explain.
We live in a discount-obsessed world, where consumers have been trained to expect savings of some kind on virtually every purchase. The holiday season always sparks aggressive discounting, and according to Deloitte, “promotions are likely to influence 82% of shoppers; price discounts, free shipping and free gifts are viewed as the most appealing.”
With a steep discount, the sales lift can be astounding. But it often also means declining margins and profit. Some retailers lament today’s culture of ever-deeper discounting and fear that it creates an environment where steep price cuts become a price of entry rather than an occasional strategy. But these deep discounts don’t have to be your future.
Although there is some correlation between the size of an offer and sales lift, it’s also true that many companies have developed approaches in which more modest deals can deliver outstanding results. I have found that such strategies can be particularly useful within the partnerships channel, where discounts are a nearly ubiquitous part of how affiliates and other partners provide real consumer value. The key is to think strategically about how and when you discount and to whom.
If you are looking for new approaches to driving bigger sales with smaller discounts, consider these five simple ideas.
1. Don’t always default to discounts.
Discounts can be almost addictive, and that’s not just on the consumer side. It’s the same for sales and marketing teams. That’s why retailers need to actively focus on getting out of the vicious circle of deep discounting.
Task your team in finding new ways to stimulate consumer attention and sales. Although these can have a discounting component, they should have other elements as well. In general, discounts should be just one tool in your customer relationship management (CRM) arsenal. It shouldn’t be the subject of every communication you send. If you think strategically about other value you can provide, you won’t get trapped in a cycle of having to escalate offers to get needed volume.
Be creative with your concepts. For example, I know of a luxury retailer that gets some of its best response metrics with insider and season preview emails — even if there’s no discount included. I also know of a mass retailer that launched a Wednesday “retail therapy” email series that drove millions in incremental purchases — all based on the simple notion that people sometimes need a pick-me-up on what feels like the workweek’s longest day.
2. Leverage influencers and content partners.
Although cash-back and coupon sites play a central role in many brands’ partner strategies, there are also entire classes of partners for which price is, at most, a secondary factor in their appeal. Influencers and content publishers can help your brand put the focus back on style or utility rather than discounting and price comparison.
After all, people don’t expect rock-bottom prices when they’re buying the “it” bag. In these cases, an endorsement from a trusted name, plus a small discount, should provide lift. The key is to seek out the right partners who speak to your customers — or desired customers — in authentic ways and can do so about your brand.
Read the rest of the article in PerformanceIn.