How to make your discounts and sales work best Here's how to utilize your discount schemes best

By Hemant Bishnoi

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Discounts, 50 per cent off, 20 per cent extra, buy one get one free, it is all there, and it is driving sales, with customers queuing up for offers they just can't say no to. Discounts work, and how! There is a method to this more-for-less madness, however. Hemant Bishnoi, chief operating officer of Naaptol breaks it down for us.

The real deal

It's not about discounting. It's about the right offers at the right time. Entrepreneurs should have an event calendar in front of them, and mark big days for sales, such as Holi, Diwali, January 26, and so on. You should also create an event once a year. Ensure you don't look like a "discounting company' but create a requirement or an interest in the consumer's mind.

What sells

Look at the categories that sell most across the board. Today, it is home and kitchen appliances and apparel. After that it is electronics. The online strategy of most mobile phone companies today is to offer discounts through special websites. Launching your phone through special outlets such as Amazon, Flipkart, Naaptol garners instant attention from the customer base.

Get the back-end right

Whenever you plan an offer, a discount or sale, make sure you have sufficient stocks and numbers. You need great and dependable technology for this. Additionally, your procurement and supply chain management should be faultless. Those who have had their fingers burnt know what happens when demand exceeds supply and expectations. But what do you do it you were planning to sell 5,000 pieces of an item and end up selling 7,000 in the first half hour? You minimize your losses by either telling the customer the orders might take longer than anticipated, and close the offer.

Get that data

Data gathered during sales and special offers is crucial as it gives you a larger database to sift through, mine and make predictions. You get to know the consumption pattern, and can find out what the consumer is buying from you, and what you and pitch to her. Any new offer will give you an opportunity to touchbase with the consumer, and offers those products to her at a lower, preview price.

(As told to Prerna Raturi)

Hemant Bishnoi

Chief Operating Officer

Hemant Bishnoi is chief operating officer, Naaptol, one of the India’s leading online stores. 

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