If you're tired of resorting to using 'percent-off' sale tactics and discounts (i.e., 50% Off, 70% Off Sale, etc.), you're not the only one. These tactics are outdated and often overused in the marketing world, conditioning customers to wait for the sale to hit before making their next purchase. Fortunately, there are alternative ways to generate interest from buyers and encourage more sales.
The key is to get creative with your options, making your target market audience feel like they're getting more value from their purchase than any 70%-off sale has ever given before. After all, discounting your prices can make customers feel like your normal pricing is too high (which is why they wait for a sale) and give the impression that your product isn't worth as much as it is (making your brand look less valuable). More often than not, it can also miss the mark in breaking even, since you have to sell more units to make the price drop worth it.
So, kick discounts to the curb and try some of these alternative sale options.
Price bundling is a great way to ditch the typical discount prices and bring together several products for an all-inclusive reduced price. When you just discount a price, you have to count on consumers still finding value in your more unpopular inventory with the discount. However, when you price bundle a top-rated product with one or more products that are harder to sell (all at a reduced price of their individual values), you bring more purchase intent and excitement to your deal.
When it comes to receiving package deals from a company, consumers get more excited than you'd believe over bundles. This is because they believe they're getting more for their dollar without associating that sale with the products being of less value. For this reason, it would be important to also include popular and unpopular items together as a bundle deal. In fact, Better Marketing magazine reported that studies "found that when promotional items are framed as a bundle, customers perceive the supplementary item, the scarf or the earrings, to be worth more."
Buy one, get one free (BOGO)
Believe it or not, there is also a lot of value in BOGO sales. In fact, it's quickly becoming a customer favourite since consumers feel like they're getting double their worth in value. This can be extremely beneficial for a company looking to clear out inventory, whether that be because the season has ended, new products are coming in, sales have halted for a long period of time, etc. Either way, you won't want to miss out because Shopify reports that more than half (66%) of consumers say BOGO is their favourite type of deal, with 93% of consumers saying they've purchased a BOGO offer at least once.
Buy multiples get one free
If you've noticed a halt in inventory sales, another sale option to consider is offering your customers buy multiple, get one free. This is fast becoming a favourite sales tactic, since recent research has associated reduced return rates with calling one of the items in a bundle a 'gift.' Something about being told you're getting a 'free gift' makes consumers feel more valued and appreciated by brands. This has become more important now that customers prioritise building bonds and relationships with brands over products themselves.
Special packaging offers or add-ons
Believe it or not, even the smallest incentives can encourage more sales and bring more value to your products. Take, for instance, extended warranties. When customers are offered the opportunity to add on an extended warranty, they feel more secure in their decision to purchase from you over the competition. This is because they can count on your brand to be there to repair, replace, and answer their questions when or if the product does not live up to their expectations.
Longer payment plan incentives
Offering longer payment plans as incentives is another creative way to boost sales without doing the same boring sales discounts. This is especially valuable for products that are typically hundreds of dollars or well over a thousand. For instance, Afterpay allows customers to pay in four installments over a six-week period, with no fees or interest to them as long as they pay on time. Converting sales more easily, with only a small fee for the merchant ($0.30 fixed transaction fee plus a commission between 3% and 7%) on each sale. Another example would be sites that partner with companies like Affirm that allow you to pay overtime on big purchases on a brand's site. Either way, using payment plan methods as incentives means the customer is more likely to make purchases they can't otherwise afford.
Offer mini's or lite versions
Mini's and lites are actually becoming quite popular in retail, since they are often viewed as 'cute' or budget-friendly alternatives. They offer customers a taste of items at a more suitable size for their wallets. Even mini beauty and care products are becoming a hit. This is because consumers are more interested in sampling expensive products at a lower cost before committing. Take, for instance, Sephora's Mini Mart that offers skincare snacks, makeup minis, healthcare heroes, and bath and body treats — "bite-size beauty essentials for all occasions."
Limited time products
Limited-time products are an important sales option strategy to consider because they bring more urgency to customer purchasing decisions. This is because they feel more inclined to make a purchase now, when they may have waited it out under other circumstances. With that being said, the thought of missing out on the deal makes them think twice about the wait. In fact, fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) and scarcity bias (low stock becomes more desirable) are very much alive, affecting more than half (56%) of consumers between 18 and 30 the most.
Get Excited About Your Sales Strategy!
Times are changing, meaning you're no longer limited by only a few sales options to choose from. There are dozens of creative opportunities for your brand to stand out from the competition and make an impression on your target audience. You've already learned about a handful of our top alternative sales options, contact our team at Marketing Your Brand for more brand-building tips and tricks specific to your needs.