Do The Deals Ever End?

Peter Weedfald, President of Gen One Ventures
Close every sale with new online and mobile initiatives

The power of the Internet’s always-on connectivity has reduced product prices, shuttered brick-and-mortar retailers and decimated MSRPs. Barcode reader apps, like Red Laser, offer instant access to the lowest price and special deals from a multitude of competitors. Consumers have opted into thousands of brand-exclusive networks and social groups for instant discounts.

If that’s not enough to strike a sense of hopelessness into the hearts of CE retailers, all types of specialdeals are pushed around the clock to mobile devices and then spread with viral intensity to social networks and other empires populated with millions of “friends.” On top of that, Showrooming pushes the lowest price to consumers at the last three feet of the sale, forcing retailers to try and match whatever deal the cloud offers at that particular moment. Shackled with hefty SG&As, retailers must find new ways to compete, increase margin, elevate customer satisfaction and draw traffic.

Increasingly, purse-proud consumers will continue to seek out and embrace smartly pulled and pushed prices offered at the cash register clouds. At the same time, though, CE retailers, e-tailers and brand vendors are busy exploring new sales and marketing opportunities to leverage this paradigm shift.

Here are some of the competitive push-pull pricing initiatives independent and regional retailers face today. While these strategies may seem daunting, retailers of almost any size can adopt pieces of them to fit their budgets and resources.

Group Buying: Millions of consumers now exercise their collective buying power through a host of cloud and social networks like Groupon, Living Social, GoNabit and DailyDeal. Even Walmart uses Facebook to run group buying deals, gathering tens of thousands of “likes” to make sales happen within 24 hours.

Flash Sales: These are all about time-limited offers and are mainly focused on dumping excess inventory. Many companies have successfully garnered instant sales and profits using Twitter or Facebook flash sales programs. Flash sales are a shiny starter key that canturn over the revenue and profit engine again and again.

Related story: Connect, Never Neglect A Valuable Relationship

Peter Weedfald is President of Gen One Ventures, a sales, marketing and brand-product consulting company. He has served as SVP, Chief Marketing Officer of Circuit City, SVP of Sales and Marketing in North America for Samsung, and SVP of global marketing and EEVP, GM & Chief Marketing Officer for ViewSonic.
Related Content
  • Ray Windsor

    In some measure I agree with Robert that a retailer must be in a position to "offer a deal". On the other hand what if the deal was comprised of a great product. A fair price. And superior consumer sevice from the retailer. Delivered in a business environment where the consumer is not encouraged to find a $5 lower price from every Internet site and discounter that he is accustomed to purchasing from after he learns what to buy. This CAN BE DONE. I note that most of the business articles available to retailers suggest "acquiesce and cope" solutions. I would like to humbly suggest that retailers are strong enough. They have the power to create demand. They must simply seek out suppliers who understand the specialty retailer advantage and do business in a manner consistent with such advantage. Is it possible for journalists and contributors to retailer focused trade publications to address the issue from this angle?

    Embracing change is generally a healthy idea. BUT not just for change’s sake. I contend it is important for a business person to lead and define himself to his target consumer as opposed to following and being defined by his competition.

    Ray Windsor
    German Maestro

  • Robert Heiblim

    Thank you once again Peter for even more clear and sound advice. What many may not realize is just how affordable some of these options are. Many retailers or other businesses think that this kind of deployment or action is for "big guys" or others "not like us". That is simply not true as many of the fine actions you commend can be done at any level including some of the most sophisticated through use of others tools as an eBay, Groupon, Amazon or other commerce channels and services provide. One really can "do it yourself" too with some effort.It is striking how many technology resellers do not use technology themselves. As with all things caused by change, embrace them and prosper, deny them and the results will not be to your liking.

  • Mike Cannon

    Geo-demographic Selling/advertising… this is Google’s new revenue model. Delivering a coupon or deal offer to a consumer’s smart phone as they pass or enter a business is great , but knowing who that consumer is, what her buying patterns are, her "likes", allows not only localized offerings but localized offerings targeted at a unique individual based on data about what she is most likely to buy.

    Talk about targeted ad spend!

  • eDeal Summit

    That sounds really interesting. The eCommerce industry is still growing and there are new developments all the time. Let’s see where it ends up!

    To discuss more stuff like this and other current topics of the e-commerce deals industry come to the eDeal Summit 2013 on 5th and 6th of March in London.

    It’s Europe’s only event for the e-commerce deals industry. Focusing on the future of Social Commerce, Flash Sales, Daily Deals & Group Buying, Coupons and more.

    Check it out.