Show Love to Consumers on Valentine's, But Not Through Discounts

13th Feb 2013
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V-Day Gala, Load your closet with upto 90% discounts
Enter the amazing world of discounts this Valentine’s Day

Do these lines sound familiar? Many of you must already have deleted a few of these from you inbox in the last few days. Most of us receive loads of such mails around every special day. If we look closer at the phenomena of discounts, these are used as carrots to attract shoppers who would otherwise not open their wallets on the site. This also helps them score over competition who may not be offering any discounts at the same time.

Valentine's Day

But special occasion discounts is a different game. This time around it is to encourage the customer who is more ready to buy. It is more of a push to buy now instead of later (sometimes also to clear inventories) but the customer in most cases has his wallet open.

Dr. Sai Gaddam, computational neuroscientist, data geek and the author of ‘A Billion Wicked Thoughts’ shared his thoughts on the special discount phenomenon. “Special occasion discounts are equivalent to multiple vendors shouting out discounts to a customer who has already set foot inside the bazaar. The race to the bottom for merchants is only quicker when all the stores are a mere click away,” says Dr. Sai.

A much better strategy, in Dr Sai’s opinion would be to attract shoppers by offering quality advice on choosing the right gifts. This is especially true for an occasion like Valentine's Day when there are many young and eager-to-please shoppers with only the faintest notion of what their girlfriends (or boyfriends) might appreciate.

Unlike brick and mortar stores, online stores have a great opportunity of enhancing their product offerings with blogs, vlogs or live-chats with experts. It is possible to compete on signals other than price, but unfortunately thinking in the eCommerce space is still anchored around the conventional. Reaffirming this thought, Pravin Jadhav, co-founder of Wishberg and an avid online buyer agrees about the herd mentality. “I browsed through ten-plus of the Valentine day online shops but they all look the same,” he says.

In a space mired by price wars, special occasion discounts (from everyone) isn’t solving any problem. The idea at work seems to be similar to why so many vendors selling the same thing setup shops side-by-side and the hope that customer would give in to the temptation and follow what other customers in the marketplace are doing. So, this Valentine’s day, it would be prudent to break the discount heart because even if you acquire customers, they’re not really yours.

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