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5 Sales Boosting Ideas You Can Borrow - and One to Avoid

5 Sales Boosting Ideas You Can Borrow - and One to Avoid

November 25, 2008

Move over, Black Friday.

The crazy tradition of bleary-eyed shoppers waiting in line as early as 3 a.m. for a store to open its doors so they can cart out huge discounts on TVs, computers, jewelry and clothing may become a thing of the past.

And it's not because of the fights that sometimes erupt in the aisles or the scenes of police dogs keeping frantic shoppers in check. Those scenes just added to the lore of another Black Friday.

Yes, Virginia, all that may be coming to an end as Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, takes over.

"Sleep in this Black Friday," advises Forbes.com. Shoppers may be able to find better deals come Monday. More retailers than ever are getting into the Cyber Monday spirit, with 83.7% offering online sales, compared to 72.2% from last year.

Here are some of the more interesting promotions that will be offered, and my 5 takeaways that you can borrow for your own marketing:

1. Get rid of the buying hurdles for your customers. What's the biggest reason why people don't buy online? (Hint: It has nothing to do with the traditional reasons of price, quality or service.) If you guessed shipping costs, you're right! In fact, 75% of consumers say free shipping motivates them to buy, according to Forrester Research Inc. FashionBug.com, for example, is offering free shipping on all its merchandise all week next week. This is a great example of offering a benefit without sacrificing the value of your product.

2. Give your customers a reason to come back again and again. Who says you have to have just one sale? Have a different sale each day. Kohl's is simultaneously promoting a sweepstakes worth $10,000 and a 25 Days of Christmas promotion that offers a different daily discount.

3. Create loss leaders to increase sales. eBay, for instance, is offering a daily deal program in which certain products are offered for $1. But customers have to surf the site to find the logo with the $1 deals - forcing them to browse before they buy.

4. Create scarcity and urgency by limiting the sale to just one day. I love this idea! eBay is offering "one-per-day deals" just for the early birds on highly desirable products such as a Kawasaki Jet Ski.

5. Triple your sales with a Buy One Get One free offer. Three times as many people purchase an offer that's positioned as a BOGO compared to a 50% discount offer. Why? Everyone wants something for free! That's the attention-grabber.

And here's one "don't" I'll leave you with. Avoid this mistake retailers are making over and over right now. Don't offer percentage discounts. Quote the actual dollar amount the customer saves. "Save $127 right now!" is way more appealing than saying "Save 30%" since it takes time to calculate the percentage.

Try some of these ideas. Borrow them. Test them against what you've already been doing. And let me know how it goes.

Taking you from where you are to where you want to go,

Jon