Author, Sarah Kelly
Everybody loves a good discount. Price breaks, coupons, daily deals, flash sales, special offers—however you frame it, if it translates to a customer paying less at checkout, they’re interested. Although consumers in APAC haven’t historically been as coupon-crazy as the American crowd, a good deal is a significant purchase motivator across the region. For example, according to Accenture:
- More than half of Malaysian shoppers consider discounts an important factor in their decision-making.
- 74.1 percent of Indonesian shoppers say low prices or substantial discounts trigger their impulse digital purchases.
- 77 percent of consumers in the Philippines are attracted to online shopping because of the availability of discounts and lower prices.
- 53 percent of Vietnamese shoppers enrol in loyalty programs to get discounts.
- 32 percent of Indian consumers say competitive prices and special discounts and offers influence their buying decisions offline.
From a retailer’s perspective, this obsession with discounting can be challenging. While sales and special offers can help attract new customers and drive volume, it can take a toll on the bottom line over time. The trick is to be strategic in when you offer special deals, and to whom. Let’s examine a few strategies for appealing to value-driven consumers without over-discounting.
Offer Tailored Deals Where They Make the Most Sense
We’re living in an increasingly personalised digital world, where messaging and advertising is able to be tailored at the individual level. Discounting strategies need to follow suit. Rather than one-size-fits-all promotions, intelligent discounting systems can enable retailers to analyse shopper histories to determine which offers are most likely to convert each individual shopper. Based on these insights, retailers can tailor promotions accordingly. As a bonus, tailored offers deepen the relationship with the consumer by demonstrating personal knowledge of the person’s needs, thereby improving loyalty and lifetime value.
Leverage Influencers and Content Partners
Cashback and coupon sites play a vital role in many brands’ partner strategies. However, there are other categories of partnerships that can yield incredible sales boosts without being so heavily focused on pricing strategies.
Influencers and content publishers tend to put a consumer’s focus on style and utility rather than price, which means they represent excellent partner candidates for brands looking to connect with new audiences without needing to push a deep discount on the initial purchase. When these individuals endorse your product, they throw a halo around your brand that can help you to command a more premium price. The key to success is ensuring that the influencers and publishers you’re working with align naturally with your brand and its core values. Make no mistake: Consumers can spot inauthenticity a mile away.
Boost Purchase Sizes with Strategic Discounts
Many retailers today smartly scale their discounts according to a customer’s purchase size. For example, instead of offering a flat-rate discount on certain items, the store might offer $10 off a purchase of $100, and $50 off when the purchase value climbs to $300. In this way, retailers recover some of their lost margins through higher volumes.
When retailers structure their discounting strategies wisely, they can often increase not only purchase volumes but also lifetime value. In encouraging customers to reach new spending thresholds—perhaps, say, a threshold that’s just above the standard average order value—retailers can reestablish the notion of what a “normal” shopping engagement looks like with the brand. This sort of reorienting can pay dividends over time and help take the pressure off the margins too.
Avoid the Default Discount
Above all, it’s important for retailers to not let themselves get stuck in the discounting rut. After all, it can be a hard rut to break out of when your customers come to expect deep price cuts every time they shop with your brand. Instead of opting for default discounts all year round, try focusing on key shopping days such as 9/9 or Singles’ Day, where shoppers are ready to purchase more if the discount is right.
Remember that there are many ways to deliver value to your customers, such as insider emails, season previews and high-profile, on-brand partnerships. Discounts should only be one of the tools within your marketing arsenal. So think strategically, partner wisely and—when you do discount—do so strategically.