Holiday Discounting for eCommerce- Seller’s Guide

Considering the upcoming holiday season, sellers across the globe are trying their best to come with the best discounting strategy, however, as per one of the recent article on DNA, a report by PWC India mentioned that Indian e-commerce companies have estimated a loss Rs. 1,000 crore due to heavy discounting practice.

On the other side- a survey conducted by PWC, out of total 1,005 respondents almost half of them prefer to shop from brands online that allow them with valuable deals and offers. With this, you can understand how discount is important for modern customers, but, blindly offering discounts can kill profit margin and reduce revenue for your ecommerce business.

Smart Discounting for Holiday season 2015


Discounts have been a sales booster for many sellers across the globe since quite a while now, and per eMarkerter– the holiday sales in U.S. saw an increase of 7% sales in 2014 estimating a push of 100 billion. Another report by shows the increase in sales revenue from 2013 to 2014. As per their research the e-commerce spendings between November 1, 2014, and December 31, 2014, at $53.31 billion, compared with $46.55 billion the same period in 2013. The maximum spendings were experienced on Thanksgiving Day (32%) and Black Friday (26%), while Cyber Monday saw a smaller gain of 17%, likely because much activity on this day shifted to mobile.

E-commerce is experiencing a rapid growth year-after-year, however, blindly offering discounts will result to reduced revenue during the most profitable season of the year.

List of upcoming holidays 2015

  1. Thanksgiving(November 26th 2015)
  2. Black Friday(November 27th 2015)
  3. Cyber Monday(November 30th 2015)
  4. Green Monday(December 14th 2015)
  5. Super Saturday(December 19th 2015)
  6. Christmas Eve(December 24th 2015)
  7. Christmas Day(December 25th 2015)
  8. Boxing Day(December 26th 2015)
  9. New Year’s Eve(December 31st 2015)

Facts about holiday shopping behavior that you can consider in your discounting strategy 2015

  1. Holiday season drives 30% more e-commerce revenue than non-holiday days.
  2. Maximum revenue (50%-100%) is experienced by ecommerce sellers during Black Friday and Christmas, compared to any other day of the year.
  3. 48% of holiday shoppers shop the most before Cyber Monday.Source: Google, RJMetrics

Who are the eligible ones to target your discounts?

Discount influences almost every shopper online. But, running the same discount strategy to attract new customers, as well as, encourage existing ones can prove to be an expensive idea. This will no doubt bring increased sales opportunities for your store, however, following customer segmentation can help your run a smarter discount strategy during this holiday season 2015.

For instance:

Targeting new customers during this holiday season

With hundreds and thousands of sellers trying to compete with each other- offering those standard flat discounts to customers may make you disappear in the crowd. Instead coming up some innovative discount offers irrelevant to your product and brand, but, valuable to modern customers will help you increase click-through-rate for your site.

Such discount offers can be a freebie, eatery coupon codes and more.

Targeting new customers during this holiday season

Holiday season is special to all, and considering the same standard discount offer for your existing customers won’t make them feel special. There will be more chances of them jumping to a new site. Your holiday discount offers will be seen by your existing customers when they visit your ecommerce site or social media accounts, however, promoting your holiday discounts in a personalized manner will make them stick to your brand.

With a customer management system in place, identify your loyal customers and individually target them with personalized content and offer.

In the end, you need to consider that your discount offers are attractive and appreciable to new and existing customers, both.

Types of discounts that you can consider

discountAnnouncing large discounts will increase sales order for your site, but, without having a strategy in place can impact the bottom line of your ecommerce business.

So, what can be those effective tactics that can add a value for you and your customers?

1- Special offers on your old inventory and excess of stock

Discounts can help sellers find ways to strategically get rid of their seasonal or perishable products, instead of stocking them for long.

Holiday season is the best time of the year to promote such products by offering them at a discounted price. And, with a number of people going online to look up for the best deals and discount during holidays, such products become easy to gain visibility and sell off easily.

2- Discount on your new product line

Holidays are ideal time of the year to spread awareness about your new product line. Online shoppers are quickly attracted to new products and styles, therefore, announcing one time discount offers for your new collection will surely increase popularity and boost holiday sales fr your online business.

3- Discount coupons as problem-solver

Another effective method, is to offer discounts as sympathy. With an increase in the number of sales during holiday season, you’ll also have many unhappy customers too. Some common concerns include delay in delivery, wrong product delivered, etc. Discounts can be the best way to overcome such challenges, which means, apart from getting the issue resolved; offering discount coupons for the next purchase can help stop them discontinue relationship with your brand.

4- Extra discount to increase sales cycle

Holiday season is time bound, therefore, coming up with time-sensitive discounts will help you earn increased number of sales order throughout the season. For instance: “Buy this weekend and receive an additional 10% discount” can be an effective approach to create excitement, as well as, a fear of losing the deal if not taken action immediately.

5- Discounts to gain a competitive advantage

If you are a startup or medium business, it is very difficult to compete large players discount offers. In such case, you may want to consider strategic discounting for customer retention.

I’m sure with the above you’ll not put your pricing strategy at a risk, however, tracking performance each time will help you practice excellent discounting strategy for ecommerce business.

Happy Holidays:)


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