Slashing prices and massive, red “sale” billboards are the number one tactic all shops use for each holiday season. Every year the holiday sales start sooner and sooner in order to attract, most probably, one-time buyers.
Are holiday sales the best approach a business can take?
The strategy everyone jumps to use, price discounts, is actually the one which will only help you short term. You gain profits now, but come January, and you’ll have an empty shop. Do you know why? Because customers who only look for discounted prices, do not see the value of your products, nor do they even know about your brand.
More than that, customers who only come when you put on the big discount sign, are not your desired customers. They are the ones who will always go for the cheapest provider, no matter the actual quality of the product or service. Chances are, after the holiday buzz, these customers won’t even remember you to return.
What do your clients check before deciding on a purchase?
I looked at this infographic about Holiday Trends Marketers Can’t Ignore, which focuses on the purchase of tablets. But these numbers ring true for many other products, and especially for online products, such as booking a hotel room or buying a travel app.
Almost 90% of people are looking at peer consumer reviews before buying a tablet. And 7 out of 10 are taking into consideration the brand’s reputation before making a purchase. That’s your brand the great majority of potential buyers is searching for. Not what sales you’ve got this week.
To go even further with my point, also taken from the study: only 61% of people care about discounts on your products.
So, to put them in order of importance, your prospective customers look first at: consumer reviews, then at free shipping (if applicable to your product or service), then at your brand’s reputation and only after all that at any discounts you may have.
So, if your #1 strategy this holiday season is Sales! Sales! Sales!, you are overlooking 3 much more important features your potential customers check before buying your product or service.
My advice to you, for each of the 3 most looked at reasons, would be:
- Customer reviews: monitor those online customer reviews, which come not only through your website, but more through social media channels, like Twitter and Facebook. And also engage with the customers, thanking them or compensating them if they are not satisfied with your product.
- Free shipping: you should make customer service as your central business strategy. Whether it’s free shipping, or a free trial of a web product, a gift or any other strategy, it is all in order to best serve your clients.
- Brand reputation: work at this every single day of the year, by offering informative content on your publishing platforms, have your best employees take speaking engagements and connect with your customers and visitors in the same way you’d like them to talk about your brand.
Now, over to you! What are you doing for your brand, not your products’ prices, this holiday season? Or, if you think discounted prices is the best approach, how does it work for you? Share with us your thoughts!