Price War – Don’t get left behind !

Online selling is growing. Everyone wants a piece of the pie. Everyone wants maximum reach, maximum customer loyalty, maximum brand image, and maximum of everything else. What’s the easiest way for that? Slash down the prices, which has triggered the so-called price war!

Right now, the Indian consumer has been conditioned to go with deals and discounts. Till the scenario changes and they want something else, you need to stay afloat in the war and ensure you are giving quality products at the best prices.

Consumers are more aware now, they have more technology in their hands, they can search and browse and compare before they decide on buying. One cannot deny that lower price is definitely more tempting. As a seller, you cannot think of operating your online selling business without considering the price factor.

But, if you cut down on prices will you win the war? NO.

The Key is ..

.. to define your winning point. And you win when you have enough sales at proper margins. Just to make sales, if you slash prices your returns will get affected, in turn affecting your growth.

Although lower prices are tempting for consumers, sometimes you can get to their better senses to push your products without compromising on price.

Here’s how ..

  • Store recommendations. Some customers are lazy to explore sellers and other options available. Their first search result is what they tend to go for, as long as the price is not too high compared to other sellers. This could be because they perceive the first result to be the best or preferred by marketplace/store (for whatever reason). Or maybe it is due to plain laziness! For example, Amazon displays a Buy Now box with price of one seller. Sellers get featured in the Buy Now box depending on price, efficiency of dispatch, positive feedback amongst other factors. So a seller with a higher price can get featured provided he is ahead of others in the above factors while providing value to customers. Guess what, customers actually just go for this option without checking up on others.
  • Product listings. In theory, one product is entitled to one listing only. Lazy sellers tend to stick to this. But there’s no harm in being a bit clever, list the same item in different relevant categories at appropriate prices. Ensure that they are linked to relevant keywords so that they show up on customer search results.
  • Inventory management. If you are selling through a marketplace, signing up for their fulfilment service might be better as the benefits involved translate into smoother operations leading to higher profits. if you have your own store, it would be ideal to have monthly estimates of required inventory and store them accordingly. This way, even if there is a sudden price fluctuation, you would not have to increase price, therefore your products would be priced lower.
  • Bundles/Combos. Assortments are an easy way to sell less popular items. Sometimes, some items out of the same set are more popular than the rest. Instead of selling the popular ones at a premium and then struggling to sell the rest at throw-away prices, bundle them with an attractive offer to create the impression of value for customer while increasing your average order value at the same time.
  • Timing. Popular items get sold fast. But if you have stock, you will have the advantage of being able to sell at premium to fulfil the demands of customers. Watch out for such instances.

Controlling the price war or getting rid of it may not be in your hands. But with certain tricks up your sleeve, you can ensure you don’t fall behind. Its your choice – either you join the flock, or try one of the tactics mentioned above, or do both depending on what works!

 

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