In recent articles in Business Week, Retail Customer Experience, and elsewhere, the experts are weighing in on when, where and how to discount. There’s great retail advice out there. Kate Newlin’s recent article for Retail Customer Experience offers advice about the antidote to price-based competition. How do we kick our own addiction to price promotion? She asserts “We have to return our focus to the shopping (not buying) process, enhancing, entrancing, and engaging the customer and the salesperson in the dance.”
Kate advises clients on how to avoid discounting and how to contain the damage if/when they do by:
- Hiring front line people with a passion for the merchandise
- Branding the experience, differentiating on elements of style and design
- Changing the tone, acknowledging that the customer knows the economy is in free-fall and expects a deal
I have one more tip. Retailers have the data to know which merchandise drives the sale of additional items, but still take across-the-board discounts. When they have to discount, smart retailers promote the items they know will lead to increased units per transaction at full or close to full price. This allows them to continue positioning themselves as the leader in their core driver categories and reinforces the brand for better days ahead.
Do you know which items or subcategories drive basket size? How well does your promotional strategy line up?