business-strategy-sales-discountsThis year, I’m working diligently to decorate my home. Many of you likely believe that sentence should say redecorate my home, but that means I would have had to have mindfully decorated it at some point in the past.

Now that it is the end of July, I have made a lot of progress decorating this house and almost – almost – have come to enjoy it. But, decorating an entire house is a balancing act. Not only must everything match and fit your style, it must also be something you actually need AND be on budget. Which is why I’d never undergone this endeavor in full before. We had furniture and paint and that was that. I had no desire to perform this balancing act which was why it was put off for so long.

Still, it occurred to me that we’re adults and should not be living in what was essentially a large dorm room. So, I started planning out which rooms needed updates, what I thought I wanted, and what I was willing to pay for it.

Simple!

A plan!

Right?

No, not quite. Because there’s one more piece to this puzzle.

Sales.

In order to do all this without breaking the bank, I shop sales quite diligently. Once, I got $160 of brand new frames for only $14. It was quite an epic win. Most recently, I used a combination of store credit and a 50% off sale to get $120 of towels for $8.96. I am not a true shopper but goodness knows, I love a good strategic plan.

Bragging aside, why does this actually matter to your business? Because I regularly get emails from companies offering me 10-15% off products. I’ll admit, I sometimes take those deals if it’s a piece we particularly need at that time. However, a 10% off coupon has never – not once – inspired me to purchase something I was not already planning to buy.

Offering 10% off is unlikely to tempt someone who has never tried your product or service to take the plunge. It’s unlikely 15% will make someone buy that extra shirt they like but don’t really need.

These discount percentages are not inspiring.

These discounts may engage clients who were on the fence and already planning to make a purchase. They can be a tipping point offering that nudges someone into finally pulling the trigger and making a purchase.

My point is, not all discounts are created equally. If you’re looking to pull in some new customers who were already likely to buy or encouraging repeat business at a low price point, offering a discount that starts with a “1” can be a good strategy. These are customers who already trust with your business. However, if you need to move a product that you have overstocked or inspire new customers to try something they might not otherwise try, the discounts you offer need to be at a higher level – think 25-40%.

I recently bought an impulse ottoman. I had not planned to purchase this ottoman and I certainly didn’t need it. But I got a lovely email from a company offering me 40% off plus free shipping. And it inspired me to take a chance on an ottoman I didn’t already have in my plan. It’s my favorite piece in our house right now. A little inspiration never hurt anyone.

How do you determine your discount strategy?

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