By Tate Handy, Outreach Manager at Digital Third Coast Internet Marketing
A blowout sale can be tempting for online businesses. You might think that a sale automatically means a significant increase in revenue as you watch customers make a beeline for the discount rack. For consumers, there’s nothing better than snagging a pricey piece of electronics for 30 percent its normal cost. And for retailers, offering discounts seems like a no-brainer. If your customers are happy, then your sales go up, right?
Not so fast.
Retailers should think long and hard before setting their discount strategies. According to research, there’s a direct correlation between price, discounts and consumer perception of an item’s value — the more an item is discounted, the lower its perceived value by consumers. This means while it may seem like a temporary bonus, discounting your products could potentially damage your brand reputation in the long run.
So, instead of using discounts and sales as a Band-Aid, online businesses need to find the root of their low sales problem. Research shows that customers abandon shopping carts due to shipping costs, not being ready to buy, slow website speed and a seemingly unsafe website. By addressing these issues with solutions such as free shipping, retargeting, improved website speed and security logos, retailers can easily increase online sales without ever having to offer huge discounts.
You can also boost ecommerce sales by encouraging customer reviews, integrating social buttons and offering customer loyalty programs. Reviews increase average sales by 18 percent and are trusted almost 12 times more than manufacturer product descriptions. Also, adding “buy” buttons to your business’s social media pages will allow you to sell natively through social media. Lastly, loyalty program customers spend 13 percent more than average customers. Just make sure to target your loyalty program toward your business development goals, whether it’s gaining new customers or improving lifetime value.
By offering large, frequent discounts, you’re unintentionally telling your customers that your product isn’t worth as much as you originally said it was. Drop your discounting practices and take a more proactive approach to increase online sales, and keep customers coming back.
Check out the infographic below for more insight.
About the Author:
Tate Handy is an Outreach Manager at Digital Third Coast, a SEO Company based in Chicago. He works with journalists and publications to help bring stories and insights to the world. You can find Tate on Google+, and LinkedIn.