There are blogs popping up left and right, claiming to have the freshest, most juicy information on making money in the marketing world. How are we to know which links are worth our while? How many times have you clicked on something promising, just to have to sift through a bunch of blabber and jokes that aren’t funny in order to get what you need? OR, maybe you’re the type that enjoys a little humor with your info! Continue reading “10 Retail Marketing Blogs You Need to Read”
Pricing. It’s the part of running any business that has professionals facing sleepless nights and constantly second-guessing themselves. After all, how can anyone ever truly be certain that its approach to pricing is the most effective means of delivering products and/or services to willing customers? In the ultra-competitive world of eCommerce, this pressure to optimize is even greater, given the ever-evolving online marketplace. What will work best for your specific niche may vary, but let’s go over a few fundamental pricing mistakes that you’re better off avoiding completely.
Pricing Mistakes to Avoid Like the Plague
1. Assuming that lower prices deliver the best results
Common sense dictates that the lowest prices are bound to connect with your target audience, but believe it or not, this isn’t always the case. In fact, lowering the prices of your products too drastically can cheapen the perceived value they carry for consumers. Rather than sacrificing too much of your bottom line in a desperate bid to win sales, aim to price your products based on what they offer to your customers. Find your product’s sweet spot on the price quality matrix to determine how it’s viewed by your customer base.
2. Not featuring a variety of options
Today’s consumers are accustomed to numerous options whenever they make a purchase. So be sure to offer multiple price points for various versions of your products as well as customizable shipping and delivery selections for customers to choose from. This allows them to personalize their checkout process and offers a whole different level of engagement that ultimately makes them feel more instrumental in shaping their purchase.
3. Not practicing customer segmentation
Because every customer brings his or her own needs and desires, it’s best to treat them as such. Break your customer base into different types of individuals through customer segmentation. Once you’ve defined the kinds of people who buy your products, you can tailor your approach to include everything from how you package and present your product to (naturally) the price point you use. This enables you to take full control of the perceived value various groups have of what your company is offering.
4. Overcomplicating your offer
In keeping with the integral role that presentation plays in shaping your pricing, you should remember to keep things as simple as possible. This oftentimes includes such minute details as not including unnecessary decimal points and other punctuation in how your prices are displayed to how many syllables they take to pronounce aloud. The smoother and easier it is for customers to comprehend your price points, the faster they’ll be able to move through the purchase decision phase and on to checkout.
5. Postponing the embrace of automation
One of the most prominent trends in retail right now is the integration of automated systems to help optimize pricing. Using a variety of key data points, this more fluid approach to setting your price points removes the guesswork of how high or low your prices should be. Moreover, it makes it far easier to determine the best way to target certain segments of your customer base.
6. Not testing new approaches
Without trying new approaches to pricing, your business is certain to wither and die over time. That’s why consistent testing needs to be a part of how you do business, if it isn’t already. New pricing strategies are being developed and discovered all the time, but your business won’t be able to benefit from them unless you’re willing to give new pricing techniques a legitimate shot. Try some A/B tests to see how new types of pricing compare to your tried-and-true methods. Then you can simply implement those tactics that demonstrate worthwhile performance.
7. Not focusing on the customer experience
As stated above, perceived value should be the paramount determining factor in how you price your products, more so even than what your competitors are doing or what you feel may offer the best deal to your customers. This is because perceived value puts you squarely in the position of your target audience, keeping the customer experience front and center. Rather than too strictly adhering to your company’s own costs, follow your customers’ perspective, and you’re bound to be better off.
For more invaluable insights into how you should approach your company’s pricing, check out our Comprehensive Guide to Competitive Online Retail Pricing Strategies.
In any business, strategy is often the difference between a soaring success and a futile effort to connect with the customers you crave. However, with its continuing evolution and increasing competition in recent years, the eCommerce space might be even more reliant on the strength of retail sales strategies in order to capture business.
After all, the way you price, present and market your online products defines the way in which consumers perceive the value you offer and guides their decision to make a purchase or wait for one of your competitors to scoop up the opportunity.
The Pricing Is Right
The most obvious obstacle standing in the way of more sales is often the pricing. Customers are rightfully discerning of how they spend their hard-earned money, and it’s up to you to decide how best to convince them that your product is worth a try. Here are a few must-have pricing strategies you should be using to entice customers.
- Loss-leader pricing: Selling your product below market value may initially seem like a no-win scenario. Yet, conventional wisdom isn’t always useful when it comes to the sales game. This approach, known as loss-leader pricing, opens up the potential for future marketing to customers and presents the chance to boost the average revenue per user, encouraging customers to add more items to their carts. (Find out how you can automate this process.)
- Bundle pricing: One of the most widely used pricing formats, this one simply relies on grouping related items together to jointly persuade customers to make a purchase. By combining multiple products into a simple bundle, you’re able to streamline the decision to buy and create the perception of increased collective value.
- Personalized pricing: Because of all the data out there, you may very well be able todetermine optimal prices for each specific user. Using a number of different factors, this system creates a real-time understanding of a customer’s purchase history, product searches and customer loyalty. Personalized pricing is often best employed with regular customers or in concert with newly available products.
Offers They Can’t Refuse
Though the pricing associated with a specific product could ultimately make or break a potential purchase, don’t forget to finetune the offers themselves. How you present a product to consumers can be just as instrumental in closing a purchase as pricing. So let’s review some tips you can incorporate into your product offers as soon as possible.
- Free shipping: Companies like Amazon have set the tone within the industry, and now customers all but expect free shipping to be on the table. Perhaps it’s a blanket offer, or it might be one that only applies when users hit a certain minimum purchase price. Regardless, shipping options like this one are among the biggest incentives to buy from one site over another. It’s not an area that your business can afford to ignore.
- Featured products: When you present too many options to consumers, the result can overwhelm them to the point that a purchase decision actually becomes more difficult to achieve. By focusing in on just a single product on your homepage, you’ll have more space to highlight its benefits and be able to more successfully guide consumers through to checkout.
- Urgent offer: There’s a reason that so many retailers rely on impulse purchases to boost their bottom line. No matter what your product is, urgency sells. The very fact that a limited-time offer might slip past consumers is enough to drive sales up, especially if you have done your homework from a marketing and pricing standpoint. Act now to make this technique part of your regular strategy.
Revisit the Marketing
Long before customers can ever even be presented with your products (no matter the pricing), you must first establish a sense of trust and confidence with them. Customer relationships have to start somewhere, and luckily, several key strategies can help you boost awareness and spread word about your business and the products you provide.
- Customer connections: Although social media should be a key part of your marketing efforts, it’s even more essential that all of your communications with customers centers on engaging them in a conversation. Today’s consumers are too savvy for cold sales pitches to remain effective. Get to know your customers, and hone in on the benefits your products can offer them.
- The omnichannel approach: Mobile technology has necessitated the importance of a more multifaceted way to tackle your marketing. Tapping into the current omnichannel philosophy, you can unite your desktop website, mobile-optimized site, mobile application and other venues customers use to engage with your business. The possibilities for boosting sales and cross-promoting are limitless.
- Content marketing: We can’t say enough about the advantages of implementing content marketing into your business. The internet is so often used as a free source of information that creating blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, videos and endless other forms of content is undoubtedly one of the best ways to hook consumers and keep them with you for the long haul.
For more details about how you can tailor your retail sales approach to optimize the success and reach of your business, check out our eBook, “A Comprehensive Guide to Competitive Online Retail Pricing Strategies.”
As the dust settles, we scrutinize the live streaming of Apple’s much-awaited launch event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco frame by frame to bring you the salient aspects of the new iPhone 7’s launch strategy. Here’s what most people may have missed or overlooked amidst all the reviews, live comments, and the brouhaha:
Something bigger in store for the future.
Needless to say, most of us were expecting a more dramatic update to the iPhone considering it has been three years since the last redesign, but Apple seems to have a more long-sighted plan. Next year marks the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone. In hindsight, it is more apparent now that Apple would be saving its big new launch for 2017, and according to rumors, it’s indeed going to be big. So instead of fulfilling on a redesign overdue, they launched flashy updates like Airpods and a double-lensed camera which have received fairly polarized reactions.
People always resist change, this isn’t terribly surprising. But here’s the thing: Strategically, now is the perfect time to make this huge change and wait another year before launching a redesigned iPhone.
The pricing strategy is weirdly genius.
So the iPhone 7 begins at $649 and the iPhone 7 Plus at $769. Apple claims they haven’t changed the price from iPhone 6 and 6s. What’s new is the elimination of the 16GB phone- both iPhones are offered in three configurations (32GB, 128GB,256 GB) with an update on previous iPhones, now starting only from 32GB. So the older phones aren’t getting cheaper. A misleading price assortment if you’re looking for the ‘best value’ iPhone.
Walk into an Apple store from next Friday with $649 in your pocket, and you could walk out with either a 128GB iPhone 6s, a 32GB iPhone 6s Plus or a 32GB iPhone 7- the best and obvious choice being iPhone7.
Also, the highlight of the launch is the new Jet Black finish. So you still have to pay $100 more to get the ‘It’ phone. So what may look confusing and senseless will actually be driving people to at least get the latest entry level option and desire more. Retailers, please take notes.
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have clear demarcations in offerings. With half of the promising new camera updates only in the Plus, which won’t be offered right away, Apple may have set a smart anticipatory differential between the two.
Apple embraces Retail’s new favorite model: Subscription Commerce.
While this is not a new initiative by Apple( it started with 6S), it is even more successfully complementing this launch’s objectives. As discussed above Apple will surely want 6S users to upgrade, late adopters to grab the 7S edition and the unconvinced lot to look forward to the bigger launch in 2017. The Apple Upgrade Program gets customer loyalty and maintains a continuous interest. With $27 and $32 monthly installment plans, it will get people opting for the subscription-based upgrade more than ever before. For higher-capacity phones, and especially for a phone that costs $969(iPhone 7 plus 256GB), a contract buy might be your most sensible option after all.
Can this be inspiring and inspired from one of 2015-2016’s biggest trends in retail strategies? We believe so.
Of course we’ll talk about Fashion and Retail.
Apple Inc. is more fashion savvy than one might think. Remember rose gold? That was a major jewelry trend that started in 2013, embraced by Apple making its widespread in 2014, preceding Pantone’s Color of the Year announcement of rose quartz being one the two predominant colors last year.
Could it be a coincidence with the ultra glossy Jet Black? We think not.
Black was buzzing as an unorthodox summer color trend in 2015 and with the introduction and hype around Vantablack, the blackest black material discovered last year, it would make an obvious choice for reintroduction in iPhone’s offerings.
One of spring season’s hottest selling item is the slinky satin black slip dress. From Alexander Wang to Zara, the style in a dull gloss, not unlike the blasted ‘Black’ finish in iPhone 7 and 7S, has been a clear winner everywhere. Fall 2016 fashion runways were dominated by the ‘Vinyl’ look- high-gloss patent leather and PVC, particularly in black.
From MAC’s 2016 Liptensity shade Stallion black to the high gloss beauty looks on the runways, the prevalence of Jet Black did not evade the Beauty sector. Apple seems to know what’s up.
While it may not really be Apple’s ‘best iPhone ever created’, they have managed to make all the right noise and we don’t see the popularity dipping as yet. They are playing the long game and it may just pan out right for their sales.
There are a few major expectations unmatched-like shatter-proof glass and waterproof body (it’s only water resistant now) and of course a new design, Apple may need to get some extra legwork done. And it’s not very comforting knowing Apple still provides products that charge almost $1.00 per gigabyte in 2016. But then again, if we paid less (read: reasonable) for memory we might not have as much pride in ownership.
Anyone who’s been in the retail business knows how important capitalizing on the shopping wave during the back-to-school, or BTS, season is. Depending upon which expert you ask, this potential boom in sales is the 2nd, or 3rd, biggest one during a calendar year.
As summer camps draw to an end, parents start a frenzy of last-minute shopping for school, which, combined with back-to-college shopping, translates to a whopping $68 billion spent. This means that merchandising and marketing strategies, and the ever-important multi-channel shopping experience at retails chain, all need to be tweaked.
Let’s take a closer look and delve deeper into seasonal retailer and e-tailer techniques for riding the back-to-school wave, and what exactly BTS and BTC mean for retailers.
Understanding the Significance of Back-to-School Shopping
The BTS season is a little different from the boost in sales during ‘normal’ holiday seasons. In a nutshell, it’s longer than these other ‘boosted sales’ periods.
Parents may begin their research on products, prices, and promotional offers — usually online — as early as July. They compare the collected data and make their decisions by the month of August, making the purchase around the same period. Last-minute frazzled trips are usually done and dusted by September. This means that retailers have a longer window of potential sales compared to other big sales days, such as (say) Black Friday.
Products that receive a boost during the BTS shopping window include office supplies, apparel, electronics, and books. This long list of products, and the relatively longer sales window, make strategies a little more complicated during the BTS season.
Brick-And-Mortar Stores Rejoice!
As more and more e-tailers take over territory originally occupied by brick-and-mortar retail outlets, you could be forgiven for assuming that retail stores won’t be doing much business. To the contrary, though, it’s these stores that will see more traffic than their online counterparts. While parents will head to their laptops to buy devices and wearables for their kids, all other purchases will get them walking into brick-and-mortar stores.
School supplies such as notebooks, textbooks, and writing materials drive parents to stores, with kids in tow. Stores are the primary choice for parents buying writing materials and books (87%). These are followed — in terms of brick-and-mortar store demand — by shoes (80%), jewelry and accessories (64%), and clothes (64%).
Even as store-based retailers gear up for wars with e-tailers during the upcoming holiday season, they are set to receive a boost in sales from BTS parents.
It’s easy to see why: parents need to shop with their kids to accommodate their preferences, and most feel this is best done at a store, rather than online.
Tailoring Your Strategies Accordingly
Since we’ve already discussed the massive potential of this season, let’s take a look at marketing — and merchandising — strategies designed to help you achieve optimal returns.
First, you’ll need to understand that customers are primarily concerned with who offers the best deals. As a retailer, your first priority would be to think along those lines, and come up with a strategy that helps you put your brand right there. Even Apple — not a brand known for offering sales — caves in during the BTS season, offering discounted ‘student’ and ‘education’ prices.
Clothing giants such as Urban Outfitters and H&M target children from middle-school through college age with carefully planned ads. Take a closer look at textile e-tailer websites, and you’ll probably see smiling school and college kids, with huge blurbs advertising discounts up to 70%.
Take a look at your competitors, and make sure you stay ahead of the game. Build marketing strategies around the BTS shoppers, and you’ll see your sales numbers rise.
E-Commerce-Specific Strategies, Techniques, and Ideas
With so many consumers spending so much of their time online, the retail industry today — while still relying on in-store interactions — has grown to depend on big data and online transactions.
If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to embrace social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. In fact, that last tweet-broadcasting platform now has a ‘buy’ button, letting you sell products right off your Twitter timeline. If you aren’t aware of what the ‘Twitter’ timeline is, your brand’s social media game is in need of some serious updates this BTS season.
Seeing as 41% of college-goers base their buying decisions on smartphone-based research, M-commerce is another concept that needs to be embraced in order to ride the BTC wave.
Wherever your potential customers spend their smartphone browsing time is where your brand needs to be front and center. For instance, the humor app ‘9GAG’ had 164 million visitors in December 2015 alone. Considering that most of these users are college students on their phones, this is a great place to advertise.
You can use retail analytics software providers such as Intelligence Node to help you build strategies based on big data and competitor trends.
Embracing concepts like new social media platforms and big data, and understanding the significance of a strategy tailored to buyer trends in the BTS season, you’ll be able to capitalize on the buying trends of parents scurrying to stores with school-going kids close on their heels.
Competition is a universal fact of business. Regardless of what your industry is, chances are that you always have one eye on others in your field. When it comes to marketing your eCommerce business, this vigilance may be even more justified, seeing as this particular niche has grown exponentially in the past few years. The explosion of mobile technology has only complicated matters, and as such, you would be wise to gather all the eCommerce competitor intel you can muster — within ethical means, of course — if you hope to keep your business on the front lines.
Pricing psychology is more essential than ever to position your business for success in the marketplace. In fact, its use dates back at least to the late 19th century, as newspapers battled for readership supremacy. Nowadays, consumers are inundated with sales offers at every turn, and while today’s technology makes it easier than ever to reach prospective customers, it also means that your message is more likely to get lost in the shuffle. Yet, the key to distinguishing your product or service from your competitors lies in how well you grasp the conscious and subconscious thought processes that governs the decision-making of your target customer base. Continue reading “Pricing Psychology Tricks: How and Why They Work”
Price is generally driven by three external factors: the market, demand, and supply. A deep understanding of how these factors impact pricing is critical to developing a pricing strategy that will move units at scale and with a desirable profit margin. Generally, organizations staff teams of analysts to study the market, identify trends, estimate demand, and gauge supply levels. This model, however, comes with substantial costs and risks, especially as it pertains to accuracy and timeliness of strategic pricing initiatives. If you want to avoid the costs of staffing a team to ensure a successful pricing strategy, yet still want to optimize your pricing, consider implementing a price optimization platform instead.
KNOW THE BENEFITS OF HASHTAGS
It was back in 2007 that the concept of the hashtag was first proposed. Twitter received a suggestion to use the hashtag for tagging group conversations. Initially Twitter rejected the idea, perceiving that the idea was too complicated for the fun-loving and fast-moving social media users. Over the span of a few short years, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have evolved and are no longer platforms for simply for peer-to-peer communication and funny cat videos. They are engines for commercial success – for brand growth and development along with marketing and promotional activity.
In times of old- all fashion was custom. Apparel had to be designed or sewn by hand. It was only when social disparities started blurring that businesses started selling mass produced apparel; and people started buying it.
The industrial revolution brought standardization to the apparel markets. From gathering raw materials to creating standard fits- the industry has scaled new highs every year. The global fashion industry revenue, circa February 2015, has gone up to USD 1.2 trillion.
With such phenomenal growth, and disruptive technologies sprouting up to augment it even further, it is no wonder that the fashion industry stands as a statement of the society it thrives in. At IntelligenceNODE, we are associated with many apparel etailers who take their work to the next level with intelligent insights and innovative ideas.
E tail is no longer about being a formidable online presence; now it is about innovation, reinventing and rediscovering favorites that rule the hearts of people. And as they say, with changing times, one has to adapt, or perish.
In this highly competitive market therefore, we are excited to see the famous online fashion retail portal Myntra shutting its website and going mobile. What a great way to be progressive! Myntra is on course to complete Rs 2,000 crore in sales or gross merchandise value (GMV) for the current financial year. And then, go mobile!