10 Best Discount Strategies for Fashion E-commerce Retailers
What is the most effective way to increase sales within the short period for an online fashion retailer?
It’s offering a discount, one of the most fulfilling selling strategies every business does.
By offering a discount, fashion retailers can not only bring more profit within a certain time period, but they can clear out their stocks.
So, this article brings forth the “10 best discount strategies for fashion e-commerce retailers” and sellers of online fashion marketplaces.
Let’s dive in.
What is a Discount Strategy?
A discount is a pricing strategy where a product seller sells his products at a cut price.
The discount isn’t only limited to pricing, though. Sellers offer discounts not only on the pricing but also on the products as well.
That’s why a discount is always an attractive deal both for product sellers and buyers.
Why Should You Have an E-commerce Discount Strategy?
Statistics for this year reported that during holidays in 2022, purchases increased by nearly 7%. One of the many reasons can be attributed to the discounts offered by the retailers.
The discount strategy has offered many benefits to retailers for their sales. Let’s see the reasons why you should have a discount strategy for your products.
- A fast, effective and proven method to close sales.
- Activates anchoring bias to attract and motivate customers to buy your products.
- Sell excess products that occupy your inventory.
- Increase the chance of stocking new products by liquidating the old ones.
- Chance of boosting more than 2x sales within a certain period.
- Garner more niche-related new clients.
- Turn regular customers into long-term loyal clientele.
10 Winning Discount Strategies for E-commerce Businesses
Among many discount strategies, we have shortlisted the 10 most effective strategies for discounts. Let’s have a look at them.
1. Buy one, Get One (BOGO)
Buy One Get One or BOGO is one of the most popular concepts. This isn’t directly a pricing discount and promotion strategy, but this helps augment e-commerce sales.
Under this method, retailers offer clients one additional product at a discounted price rather than a double price. For example, one product costs $100, but they can buy 2 at $150 rather than $200. As a result, buyers feel convinced of the deal.
It is an effective way for retailers to clear out their outdated or excess inventory within a short time.
For example, Rakuten, Japan’s largest e-commerce marketplace, has several BOGO offers going on.
Tip: Set a deadline. This will activate the ‘FOMO’ (Fear Of Missing Out) among the buyers, and they tend to act sooner.
2. First-time Shopper Discounts
Many retailers offer new customers a discount as a means to attract and acquire new customers.
New customers generally aren’t ready to buy right away; they tend to check several products to compare and come up with the best one that addresses their problems.
Hence, if you offer something to the new buyers, that will work as bait and convince them to think about your products. Having an offer encourages them to purchase your product over the competitors.
Example: Resilient Grace
Tip: Don’t throw any and every discount at them. Make a twist of the transaction. For example, ask them to leave their email address so that they can get a discount or a code.
3. Flash Sales and Limited-Time Offers
Flash sales are an insanely B-I-G discount that is offered on products for a short period of time (starting from a couple of hours). This helps attract buyers and persuade them to buy in a large amount.
By offering flash sales as a retailer, you benefit in many ways, such as:
- Customer loyalty improves
- Lead conversion ensures
- Click-through rate increases
- A brand’s reputation & visibility raises
- Sales and revenue increases
Example: Kay Jewelers
Tip: Target holidays, festivals, and special occasions for implementing the flash sale offer.
4. Membership Discounts
Membership discount is a special custom pricing offer. When a retailer allows membership, the buyers expect that the members will get more advantages than the regular buyers. So, many buyers feel the urge to register for the premium level.
Retailers attract more members into their stores by allowing membership discounts. You can choose various types of discounting methods on different products and choose groups or certain people to receive that, not necessarily one for all.
Example: Unique Vintage
Tip: Use personalized email to invite someone for membership discounts. This will generate more curiosity and traffic.
5. Loyalty Discounts
A loyalty discount is a discount strategy when businesses offer it to their loyal customers at a lower price than the market.
Offering this type of discount will help you to retain the regular customers your business is currently having, maintain the strategic relationship with them and discourage them from switching elsewhere.
Consumer behaviour changes. Previous track record says,
“Over 71% of global consumers switch brands at least once.”
So there’s no guarantee that buyers won’t try some other products. They might switch as well. So, you have to map out the discount in a way not to make a loss while providing the advantage.
Tip: While implementing this discount method, offer something unique, and valuable rather than free stuff.
6. Promotional Discounts
This is a sales strategy rather than a pricing strategy, where retailers minimize the cost of a product for a short time to attract more people and convince them to buy more.
It can include a cut price, multiple purchases, combo deals, coupon codes, referrals, cashback etc. This method works well because retailers boost the product’s demand by creating a scarcity scenario. As a result, customers stock the product, during which the price is reduced.
Tip: You need to consider the reason, time and situation before implementing this strategy. Also, have a CTA with benefits.
7. Bulk Discount
Bulk discount is the one that retailers and e-commerce businesses mostly use. It is also interchangeable with volume discounts.
This is the method where sellers offer affordable pricing for the buyers if they purchase a minimum number of products. For example, a pen costs $5; if anyone purchases 3 they will get them at $12.
By offering bulk discounts, retailers can fulfil the consumer’s needs along with boosting their profit. It also helps drive new sales and increase customer attraction and sales.
Tip: Personalize the discount on different items based on customers’ purchase history.
8. Free Shipping Discounts
To offer a satisfactory purchasing experience to the buyer, you can add a sense of comfort, which is offering ‘free shipping’ or ‘free delivery’ as your strategy of discount.
As this statistic says,
“78% of Amazon Prime members have signed up because of free shipping.”
Having free shipping or delivery removes the hassle of shipping or transportation costs and the method of the buyers, and as a result, it encourages more buyers to click the ‘Add to Cart’ button and not abandon it.
You can use this strategy for a minimum quantity of orders, for a limited-time offer, for the premium level registrants or for combo products.
Example: King of Christmas
Tip: Free shipping/ delivery depends a lot on the customers’ location. So, if you are just starting, don’t offer it for every region.
9. Provide Pre-Order Discounts
Pre-order discount is the discount strategy where buyers pay for the pricing even before the product is in stock.
It’s important to be decisive for pre-orders; for example, not all products will get sold. For limited edition products for already high-demand products, a pre-order discount will work wonders.
Generally, pre-orders take advance payment in small amounts to confirm that the order has been made.
Example: Princess Kaiulani
Tip: Create buzz for your product to get more people aware of your products. Leverage both free and paid campaigns and social platforms as much as you can.
10. Prompt Payment Discount
Prompt payment discount or early payment discount is a payment discount method where retailers deduct an amount from the buyer’s payment in exchange they pay earlier than the scheduled time.
This strategy is most evident in B2B businesses so that they can collect the cash as soon as possible and eliminate any payment-related risks and maintain good relationships and business deals while ensuring smooth transactions.
For example, you probably saw in some invoices have this ‘2/10 net 30’. That means the seller is allowing the buyer a 2% discount if they clear out the payment within 10 days.
There are 2 ways to implement this type of discount. You can choose to set a static discount as we exemplified.
Or you can have tiers like these:
- 2% 10 Net 30: 2% discount on paying within 10 days or full payment in 30 days.
- 1% 20 Net 30: 1% discount on paying within 20 days or full payment in 30 days.
Tip: Be tactical on cash flow, profit, payment period, payment method etc. while applying this method. Also, don’t stick with one method for long. Periodically adjust it.
So, how to Choose the Best Discount Strategy for your Online Fashion Store?
Discount is one of the e-commerce strategies that result in increasing profit and sales.
But, this isn’t a method for use frequently, which might give the buyers a wrong signal of the quality of your products.
Therefore, you ought to be selective and forward-thinker on how and when to choose the discount strategy to reap the benefits.
Here are some ways to choose discount pricing strategies.
Define your purpose. (Generally, discounts offered are given for such reasons):
- Drive fast sales
- Retarget visitors
- Clear out inventory
- Launch a new product etc.
Keeping your business goal in mind, choose the discount strategies and tactics that best serve your purpose.
- Ensure your profit margin. Stick to having a profit margin so that at the end of the sales, you have a gain. This doesn’t always have to be cutting down the price, you can add a meaningful gift along with keeping the pricing structure the same.
- Offer a discount only when you must. If you have some old stuff stored in the inventory or abandoned carts and want to get those reduced; then the best strategy is to offer a discount option; it can be on price or codes. But when you aim to save an abandoned cart or clear your old stock, discounted prices or discount codes are the best tools to do it.
- Create awareness of a brand or product. If you are launching a new brand, a new wing or launching a new product; pricing the same as the competitors won’t get you good results. In this stage, you need to consider reaching people, and discounts can be your good-to-go tool. That way, you will nudge and spark curiosity among the curious people and you may see more interaction.
- Make customers feel special. Got a clientele? Offer them a discount every once in a while. This will have an amazingly positive impact on them. They will turn into your loyal customers and thus, they help bring more referral clients, tend to purchase more from you and always choose you over the competitors. In the end, it’s your gain!
- Choose holidays to make more sales. People buy more on holidays, festivals and different occasions. So, if you want to make more sales within a short time, you should target those seasonal occasions.
Mistakes To Avoid While Applying Discount Strategy
No business knows which strategy will work, that’s why it’s normal to make mistakes.
But, there are some common mistakes which will help you save precious time, cost and resources. Let’s know them.
- Offering discounts too much. For example, you are offering discounts frequently, thinking buyers will flock every time. But it may raise questions about your product quality.
- Discount large amounts. If this is something you can afford within your profit margin, then it’s okay. But if you don’t consider the margin, this strategy might backfire on you.
- Audience selection and targeting. Selling a discount offer to customers who recently bought that product at a regular price is not a clever move of creative discount strategies. This is why you have to study and select audiences beforehand.
- Miscalculating the discount metrics. It mostly includes profits, sales volume, goals etc. This calculation will help you understand the overall strategy’s effectiveness of a discount’s time period.
- Not following different discount methods. Don’t always stick to one type of discount. Use variations like percentage, cash savings or code etc.
Remember the rule of 100 by Dr. Jonah Berger says.
“The Rule of 100 says that under 100 percent, discounts seem larger than absolute ones. But over 100, things reverse. Over 100, absolute discounts seem larger than percentage ones.”
Meaning, products below $100, the percentage proves to have more effect. On the contrary, for products costing over $100, a dollar discount is more effective.
So, there are 10 effective strategies that have a proven track record to bring fruitful solutions for retailers. You can choose to adopt the ones that go best with your current year’s marketing strategy.
Also, for any fashion e-commerce marketing solutions, reach out to us. We’ve helped e-commerce fashion retailers make positive changes and thrive in the industry with our fashion digital marketing services.
We are committed to making things better for you too! Contact Netgains a Top Fashion Digital Marketing Agency today to help you with your online ROI strategy via discounts.
Since 2004 Netgains has been building fashion e-commerce website & running effective fashion digital marketing campaigns for fast-growing as well as established fashion brands. Our expertise in fashion eCommerce ensures that your brand and products are delivered to your customers in a way that makes them buy. Get in touch today!