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Too Much of a Good Thing – The End of the Road for Beat Any Price?

Peter Reville |

OK, I get it; the way we shop is changing. But when does it end? In an effort to get people in the door or on the screen, retailers are giving away the farm. Think “Extreme Couponing” gone mainstream. Nowadays when we go to buy items, big and small, we start out on the web looking for coupon codes, printable coupons and the like that we can take to the retailer to save a few bucks. Just look at the success of site like retailmenot.com, not to mention price comparisons, reviews and free shipping. Our in-boxes are clogged with offers from retailers every day. There are even websites that identify the best time to buy a particular item to ensure the best deal.

Sounds like a big win for the consumer. Or have retailers created a monster?

Do deals and offers engender loyalty and repeat business? Ask retailers who tried Groupon.

Many report that deal seekers don’t come back after they receive the one time deep discount. They get their deal and move on to the next one.

And how are consumers going to react when deals are pushed to their smartphone, tablet and every other device they own? Likely reactions are overload or shutdown.

Retailers these days already are facing thin margins and extreme competition (think Borders) and the constant demand for deals cannot be helpful to the bottom line. It has been proven that the adage “sell at a loss and make it up in volume”, doesn’t, and will never, work.

It’s all about value. When everything becomes commoditized it is the retailer who provides the value that consumers are willing to pay for, who will come out on top.

I get it, much easier said than done. I’m not saying that deals and offers are bad, I’m advocating the use of information to, judiciously, push/offer relevant discounts to the right customer.  Relevancy and value are key to generating the ever important loyalty that retailers are looking for.

I know I’m asking a lot of questions and providing few answers, but I think this issue is still very open to a lively discussion. What do you think?

Topics: Payments Strategy

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1 Comment

  1. Stanford said on April 15, 2013 at 11:57 am | Reply

    Definitely brain watering (food for thought). Retailers do need to provide more value to generate repeat business; perceived or real, shoppers want to feel valued. Retailers need to stop using one-size-fits all paper vouchers and spam offers. How they do this.. in a recession prone, and as you aptly put it in an ever more commoditised retail space..remains to be seen. Last one to the finish line here will surely cease to exists in the ruthless retail world. Brands like MasterCard have a key role here and fortuitously find themselves in probably the best places to influence the next generation shopping experience…the world is watching.