When did things change? When did it become the norm to only buy something when it was drastically reduced in price? A lot of it was most likely the result of the recession of course. That debacle started people running for cover and counting their pennies. A consequence now is that all of a sudden it has become cool to buy only discounted items, shop at second hand stores, scan the Groupon sites (there are so many now) and step foot in a dollar store, regularly! While in principal I am not against any of these (in fact I believe we also live in too much of a consumerism-oriented culture) I also believe businesses have a right to make money. They take all the risk, hire employees and pay a lot of taxes. There needs to be an upside!
The harsh reality is that retailers have created the discounting monster and now they can’t get rid of it. Also, I don’t believe retailers actually make much money during these types of big discount days. It seems that many consumers practice something called “mission shopping” where they will only purchase items deeply discounted and not be swayed to purchase add-ons. And millennials appear to be the worst for this – brand loyalty is of no interest to them, but getting something at the best price is the goal. This is what we have to look forward to in the years to come? What happened to the adage, you get what you pay for?
Ultimately it will be up to retailers to change all this. This is challenging of course to any retailer or anyone selling anything really. But there are solutions! Retailers will have to start to invest in things that will make them stand out from the hordes of discounters. Focusing on quality, customer service, training and sound marketing aimed at building brand awareness and loyalty, while delivering value to customers would be really sound ways to build and grow a business.
Let’s get the public interested again in true retail and service so we can forget about discounting!