Black Friday. Another commercial gimmick or a business opportunity not to turn your nose up at. We never did a sale for this last year, nor did we do a Christmas or New Year sale or end of summer clearance. The key to sales, is offering a discount that doesn’t undermine the integrity of your original price. I used to work in a clothes shop ‘back in the day’, and when the shop closed on Christmas Eve, the whole team would spend the next three hours marking everything at half price. Because the mark-up was 200% they were still winning, and come Boxing Day (26th December) they had people lined up outside the door at 8am ready to fight for these ‘amazing deals’. I felt it was a gimmick and a cop-out, and unsurprisingly, I don’t buy my clothes from this clothes chain now.
As a wholesaler, our mark-up is not as great so a 25% sale from us equates to a 60% sale in a high street shop. Last weekend, I was offering some stock at cost price, because I’m keen to promote products few people use (like the OEKO Pastels) and even keener to reduce the amount of SKU variations I have (think bears, elephants, Dumbles).
This is the first big sale we have done, and I don’t think I will do one like it again. As I said in my previous blog “What’s in store for 2017” I mentioned I was not ordering as many lines again and reducing the offering by around 50%. I also believe that a sale is only genuine if not done regularly. If I was to do a sale every two months, you wouldn’t order until you see the SALE sign go up. It’s the same thing for your customers. They wouldn’t pay your regular price knowing that it’s ‘real’ value is when you put it on sale at the end of the season.
Finally, the other problem with sales is disgruntled buyers who feel they have been duped into paying for the regular price. That’s not what I want my customers to feel, nor do you. I did specify in my sale that the discounts cannot be backdated; if so, you would end up losing money on a sale and there would be no point.
Our Black Friday sale at Cubbies was a great success. I’d like to thank everyone for their support and I’m glad so many people were thrilled at the ‘bargains’ on offer. I hope that this does not detour you from ordering again at our standard pricing, as we don’t milk it like other retailers do.
I found an interesting read on 14 ways to target a sale: 14 Ways to Use Offers, Coupons, Discounts and Deals to Drive Revenue and Customer Loyalty