Retailers are dealing with increasingly bold customers who aren’t shy about asking for deals. The practice has become so mainstream that Time magazine even wrote a story about it. And Melissa Biggs Bradley covered it from a luxury standpoint on indagare.com.
I was speaking with a managing director of a popular Southern California resort this morning and they have refused to haggle with customers about price. Instead, they’re offering up significant value-added deals instead like free spa services, free breakfast, etc. Retailers could take a page out of this book and apply it to their business.
One of the big problems for retailers is the web as customers can find a better deal online most of the time if the products you’re selling are available. That’s tough to compete with.
So what do you do?
Offer value added instead – a complimentary gift, a complimentary service both work. So does a bounce back offering them xx percent off on their next visit.
Match price only if absolutely necessary – Better to get a 30 percent margin versus no margin at all. Owner beware: once you go down this dirt road, it’s going to be a long drive to get back to interstate. Meaning, by offering a discount every time a customer asks, you’re going to teach them not to shop unless there is a deal. Perhaps you still want to hold price as much as possible and offer a lesser discount than what they can get online (after all, they are in your store and chances are, they’ll be happy with that).
How are consumers haggling you and how are you responding?
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