Everyone loves to get a deal. It’s a fact of life. But what’s the best way to capitalise on this, as a marketer? Offers can be a double edged sword for any business, with an increase in sales or traffic but a lowering in individual revenue; it’s critical to find a balance to keep your company profitable.

There are a few different key ways to capitalise on this aspect of human nature, with their own pros and cons. Firstly is the one seen most often; discounted prices for a certain timeframe. Now this can be a given holiday, such as Christmas or Black Friday sales , or simply ‘next two weeks’, but the result is the same. These offers are best suited to physical stores rather than online, as the aim is to get people into the store. Once they are in, they’re more likely to purchase ‘accessory products’, which is where the main earnings come with offers. If you go to a store to buy a half price jumper, and you see a nice scarf, you are more likely to buy both as you have already saved money. These offers can also be a great way to get rid of excess stock, such as leftover seasonal stock such as summer shorts in autumn.

Another way to capitalise on exclusivity is through offers and coupons, as loyalty rewards or in other media such as newspaper offers. These have to be carefully planned, as though it does increase traffic, they also run a risk of losing money. For example, say you are selling a scarf for £10, and your total costs are £5 for the item (store space, manufacturing, shipping etc.) then you can potentially run a 50% off or buy-one-get-one-free offer, without losing money. But what about when the customer has another 10% off as a part of another offer, or with uniformed services discount or similar, then you will operate at a loss. In the UK at least, most companies get around this by including an adage to the coupon such as ‘cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer’. This is not the place in places such as America, where coupon use is much more prevalent.

Having an offer which is exclusive to a certain group of people adds urgency to the offer, meaning people are much more likely to shop there. People love to feel special, and individual tailored offers are a great way to use this mentality to increase sales.

Price matching is a relatively recent addition to the offer repertoire, with certain companies claiming to sell a certain item cheaper than anywhere else, or they’ll match the price. Now obviously this can go extremely wrong in certain cases, but a small loss can sometimes mean a large gain. For instance, if a company is selling a TV with price matching on Amazon, then there is nothing to stop someone creating an Amazon account and selling one of that TV for a lower price, and cheating the system by getting the TVs at a lower price. This can cost companies alot of money, but fortunately there are a few ways around this. Many companies manufacture certain models exclusively for a certain store, meaning the model number does not match between companies. The customer may feel cheated if this happens, but at least you do not lose money, and the person is still in the store. The other way around this can create a small loss; pricing lower than the competition, but only getting a few models in. It’s easy to understand that an amazing offer like this has sold out, and in the end the customer is still shopping in your store. Exclusivity is the key to event marketing, and can increase sales year round if used correctly.

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