For those who haven’t noticed, the price war in which eCommerce is submerged does not stop. Price monitoring by all involved is inevitably necessary and finding the link between an attractive price to the customer, the benefits of the brand, and the competitiveness of the market is like looking for the holy grail. However, the path is becoming well-beaten and successful formulas that work, maybe just for some, are tested, fine-tuned, and perfected for others while also being adapted to their specific business needs.
However, there is one more factor that affects this task: the mid-season sales. Beyond the battle to continually offer the lowest price, the most attractive price, the one that generates more sales or better brand imagery, the continuous offers make a dent in the pricing strategies of online stores as well as in market perceptions by the users themselves. But let's look at this in more detail.
First, let's define what the mid-season sales actually are. These offers correspond to a period of discounts and promotions that take place during the season. These, a priori, do not respond to any criterion of tradition or to an outstanding date within the commercial scope. In fact, they emerge as an opportunity for dealers to get rid of the genre that will soon expire and from which they probably can get improved benefits now, rather than wait until the end of season. This is a phenomenon that is replicated, especially in consumer goods like fashion, jewellery and cosmetics. All products that are subject to trends.
This new season of 'imposed' discounts, by product evolution, makes markdowns practically merge with each other and is clearly noticeable in any autumn campaign. After the summer (with their unbeatable sales), new products reach the catalogues. Taking advantage of the month of September, discounts for the return to school encourage purchases. Later on, in October, the first mid-season sales appear. Subsequently, on November 11th, bachelor's day, the great Chinese shopping festival that in recent times has devastated the online market. And then what? Black Friday, which is now typically followed up by Cyber Monday. Then, right after, we’re into Christmas shopping, in which promotions are key to encourage the purchase of just one more gift. Of course, once finished, the rebates return, and the cycle begins again with the January sales, spring discounts, and then back to the summer sales where we started.
At this pace, eCommerce has practically no time to establish fixed prices for its products. Although the real price of each product must be engraved with fire in the mind of the seller (and in his pricing strategy), which sometimes makes it a very complicated process to transmit its true value to the user.
Any user who is accustomed to buy everything at a discount, practically never acquires a product for its real value in accordance with its costs of production, distribution and sale. In the same way, moving away from the perception of the true value of the product, it is the user himself who considers whether a product really is worth its cost. Could it be that its value is not what the brand indicates?
Establishing a price calendar, within your strategy, is vital for the eCommerce to be placed within the market dynamics. However, you should not lose the focus that which places you in front of your potential client, and while purchases are more and more social, it is important to feel close to the brand, promoting their safety and confidence to the seller.
According to many experts, the moral that eCommerce can extract from this imperious struggle for prices and discounts is that not that everything is worth sacrificing the brand. The pricing strategy of each online store must reflect its identity, its role in the market and its relationship with the user.