When businesses experience a drop in sales or are suffering a sluggish period, it is inevitable that many will attempt to lift themselves out of their slump by discounting their prices. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons for dropping prices, such as clearing stock before it becomes out of date or out of fashion. However, all too often, a price drop is a desperate move for a company, and one that can create bigger problems in the long term.
By all means consider a price drop as one way of boosting sales and increasing interest in your business, but it should not be the solution that you automatically go for. There are a number of other ways that businesses can offer more value to their customers without slashing prices. Cutting prices would indicate that the only aspect your customer cares about price, but this is often not the case. There are many features and aspects that clients can admire about a product or service, which provides more opportunities to increase demand and offer greater value.
• Provide additional packaging options
• Can you give away free items?
• Consider your branding
• Promote loyalty
• Do you deliver and if so, can you deliver for free?
In most cases, businesses should be looking to focus on the benefits that they provide to customers as opposed to always focusing on the price.
If you are a business that deals in clothing, toys, homeware or other products that can often be given as a gift, you should look to offer a gift wrapping service. The actual end product is staying the same but if you wrap or improve the presentation of the products, you can offer clients much greater value when buying from you.
A similar aspect comes in offering a free gift to clients. Some people will say that this is similar to cutting prices but you don’t need to offer gifts that cost you money. In fact, you can offer fantastic free gifts that will strengthen the long term attractiveness of your firm without costing too much money.
Help customers to get more enjoyment from your products
If you sell local food or delicacies in London or Barbados, why not offer a free recipe guide. These guides can be made at a low cost but they will provide your customers with added value. Also, if they have a list of recipes for the sort of food that you sell, they’ll come back more often because they will have more ideas of how to cook this food.
No matter what industry you are in, customers will look up to you as an expert. Offering a free guide on how to best look after their product or how to get most enjoyment from it, will be of considerable value to customers.
This sort of promotion can help you position your firm as an expert in its field. The importance of branding and identity is crucial for many firms. If customers are no longer buying from you, it may not relate to price. It could relate to being overly familiar with you or thinking your product range is old fashioned. A rebranding of your business and the products you offer can help customers to see you in a new light. This can be an ideal way to drive fresh traffic to your firm.
You may want to promote loyalty for customers. The most obvious example is with coffee shops around the world who offer customers a free coffee every time they fill a card with stamps from previous purchases. This is something that can apply for every business. Businesses selling low cost goods can offer fee goods whereas firms selling more expensive products can offer other benefits to reward loyalty. This could be free delivery, free accessories or money off every 5th or 10th purchase. There are plenty of ways to keep customers coming back and they can be tailored to your business and industry.
Ursula Petula Barzey is a Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of Moxee Marketing, a London based digital marketing agency.