Are Discounts Hurting Your Business's Profitability?

by James Bulger

Running a sale to attract customers is a time-honored marketing strategy, but is it one you should be using in your business? Learn why discounting can erode your profits even as it stimulates sales and find out what you can do to avoid having to discount prices to compete.

big discountsPrice tag markdowns, sales promotion, and vouchers perform an important part in most retail firms, in spite of size. They stimulate curiosity and product sales, which in turn generates a noticeable lift in revenue.

Furthermore, cost reductions reach customers who may in any other case choose not to buy certain items. The trouble is, little retailers who rely heavily on customer and brand loyalty may be tempted to reduce costs whenever they are overstocked, or sales are unexpectedly sluggish. The instant increase in product sales conceals a number of drawbacks.

Below, we are going to clarify the reasons a business model developed on continual price markdowns is fraught with limitations. We'll also explain why discounting may still make good sense for your retail shop in particular circumstances.

Understanding The Limitations Of Discounts

Discounting has always been an effective strategy to lift sales. Retail stores in every area of interest have decreased costs to create more business. Over the past number of years, however, continuing price discounts have become a veritable business plan with many merchants rarely selling merchandise at 'typical' prices. For instance, coupon engagement rates are at their highest levels. In addition, discount campaigns, once offered on an occasional cycle, have become perpetual for many merchants. As earlier noted, this strategy genuinely does promote sales. However it is important to be aware of its disadvantages.



First, clients who purchase items when prices are decreased provide no comprehension of their future purchasing behavior. For example, a half-gallon of frozen treats usually marked at $5, but discounted to $2.50 for a promotion, may produce product sales; but the store is going to get no insight into its buyers' long term buying decisions.

Second, unless of course discounting has been included in a retailer's long-term pricing plan, it demonstrates an erosion in margins. The retail store owner will endure a decrease in earnings together with the drop in costs.

Continual Price Deductions and the Lessening of Customer Devotion

In addition to eroding margins and a lack of insight relating to future customer tendencies, regular reductions may well also cause your buyers' devotion to diminishIn the same way your customers are faithful to particular brand names, so too are they devoted to your shop; but if you aren't the low-cost leader in your specific niche market, your pricing strategy is unlikely to be the origin of their devotion. They stop by for some other good reasons, such as the level of support they get, or the breadth of assortments your store provides in certain product categories. If you reduce your prices often, you might begin to attract low-cost buyers. This could be positive if your retail model is based on selling goods in high volume. If this isn't the condition, you may tarnish your shop's "brand," and thereby lose your existing clients' devotion.

Does Discounting Still Make Sense For Your Store?

Despite the troubles imposed by on-going price cutbacks, they may from time to time be useful for modest retailers; as mentioned, marking down items may stimulate sales, hence getting rid of slow-moving products.The big-box merchants can steer clear of being trapped with stagnant stock. Most of them keep contracts with their vendors that allow them to give back products that don't sell. Small merchants don't have this protection on the majority of their stock; merchandise that continues to be on their floors and shelves cannot be returned. Markdowns become essential in order to move the goods.

How to Avoid Discounting Your Store's Merchandise

Self-sufficient retailers who end up consistently discounting their stock may prevent these kinds of situations with a little upfront planning.

First, they have to create a reasonable sales strategy for each season (or quarter). The strategy ought to be based on sales statistics generated during previous years. It ought to steer clear of overoptimism with regards to sales growth throughout the upcoming period.

Modest retailers should additionally keep slim stocks, even if their suppliers offer attractive prices for bulk orders. Large stocks frequently grow to be flat, leaving the vendor with merchandise she is not able to sell without applying extreme markdowns. Keeping stocks small gives self-sufficient store owners much more flexibility with regard to their cash flow. This permits them to leverage new possibilities when they arise.

To summarize, discounts represent a beneficial retailing technique; they bring customers to your store; they encourage them to make purchases; and they help to sell through goods that fail to sell at their normal prices.

But be skeptical of using discounting as a crutch for short-term profitability.

Get more information about running store promotional sales at your location. Find more at www.gawrightsales.com.

 
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