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How to Offer Value Without Offering Discounts at the Holidays

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2021 10 28 value alternatives to discounts

[3-minute read]

There’s nothing like a holiday to put people into a shopping frenzy. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no different; to put it into perspective, according to Criteo, 2021 sales during this time in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) countries alone were $117 billion. That’s right, billion! If you own an ecommerce store, you’d be a fool not to capitalise on that. But what if you don’t want to (or can’t afford to) discount your products? Here are some other options that will help you capitalise on the seasonal shopping spree. 

What if you don’t do discounts?

You’re not alone. There are various reasons why seasoned marketers don’t believe in discounting their products or services. Let’s look at a few of them quickly:

  • Some people will see it as a lack of confidence 
  • Once you’ve discounted something it’s difficult to go back to the original pricing model 
  • It lowers the perceived value of your product 
  • Some people might interpret it as untrustworthy 
  • It cuts profits and will definitely exhaust your sales team 
  • Discount hunters often make the most difficult, demanding low-value clients.
Alternatives to discounts 

Ok, so you’ve had a look at all the facts and decided that you’re not going to offer discounts for the upcoming holiday shopping season. What now? The alternative to discounting your products is adding value or offering ‘soft’ benefits instead. Here’s how to do it. 

According to the 2021 Adobe Digital Trends Report, empathy is one of the most influential characteristics a brand can show. Covid had a big hand in it because consumers started seeing which companies care about their employees and clients, and which ones don’t. The report also explores how this has changed the branding landscape and marketing messages. It’s a fascinating phenomenon, and long overdue. Why is this relevant? Well, it highlights the fact that you don’t always have to discount and take away; when you add something of value it’s often more powerful than saving something that isn’t. 

Good customer service 

In a recent interview with BBC 4, Truevo CEO David Liu discusses good old-fashioned customer service in a digital world. Any business that provides great service will retain its customers, sell more, and build a legacy of brand loyalty.

During high-volume traffic periods, great customer service will set you apart from other stores. If a potential buyer wants to find out more about a product or service, they don’t want to scroll through FAQs to find the answers to their questions. A chat service, with a real human behind a computer, will make all the difference. 

Go green

Global trends indicate that care for the environment is at the forefront of people’s minds at the moment. If you’re not keen to discount your products, why don’t you offer to plant a tree every time a customer checks out with purchases over a certain amount? You can give customers a choice among various trees and areas they want to have these trees planted in. 

Don’t worry, you don’t have to get your hands dirty yourself. You can pay a charity or NGO like One Tree Planted, Trees For The Future, or Friends Of Trees to offer this service. Google tree-planting services to find any operating in your area. If you want to see how other companies are implementing this strategy, have a look here.

Printable gift cards 

While you have the advantage of high traffic coming through your online shop, it also makes sense to start selling gift cards and vouchers that people can give to others come Christmas time. There are various sites that offer this service for a small fee. You can design the gift cards yourself from a Canva template or you can use a gift card supplier like Zazzle or Lay Lap.

Loyalty programs, referrals, and VIP offers 

This is the perfect time to reward your loyal customers by giving them access to exclusive deals. Offers can include free delivery or rewards when customers refer other clients to your store. Another powerful way that is often overlooked is to offer loyal customers early access to new products or special offers. It is a tangible way for people to benefit from their loyalty to you. Have a look at how Antavo makes use of this strategy. It comes down to customers being able to buy products before Black Friday and the masses descend, clogging up the bandwidth and buying out everything in your size.

Live streaming 

Although shoppers can avoid the whole experience of busy stores by buying online, they still like the buzz the shopping season creates. You can emulate the brick-and-mortar experience by streaming some content live. An example of content that’s suitable for this is sales staff walking and talking viewers through product features, gifting ideas, or wrapping paper hacks.

Whether you choose to improve your customer service, offer live streaming, gift cards and loyalty programmes or go green one principle remains: you have to get the basics right and keep on innovating in the ever evolving world of ecommerce. 

Speaking of evolution:  Do you have a payments provider that keeps abreast of market trends and continues innovating to walk hand in hand with your growth? Truevo will go the extra mile to ensure you have the best solutions the industry can offer. Have a look at our different product offerings and get in touch. We’d love to grow with you.

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