The Damage of Discounts

Discounting makes sense from a marketing and sales perspective, especially when you’re in a slump. You’re attracting a slew of new customers to your company, who you might not have ever found before. 

And you’re encouraging them to buy by offering them a deal. But could you have made the sale without the discount? Often yes!

So today I am hitting one of the most difficult conversations. 

Does discounting affect your business? or as I like to position it… 
Does discounting affect the perceived value of your brand?

Firstly, we all know that throwing too many discounts into the mix can hurt your profits and often, giving them a discount may also result in the creation of a customer’s perception that you were overpriced in the past as well

I can’t stress enough how important it is to create a relevant discount or promotion and keep it in balance.

New Store Owners:
One of the biggest fails I see is new brands is having New store openings with massive discounts off storewide.  You might as well throw the baby out with the bath water! Your customers will never see the value of your products once you have started with a strategy like this! So simply don’t do it!

Established Store Owners
I want to improve your sales performance without directly impacting your profit.


I have combined a number of promotion ideas that you can use and these ideas are not based on heavy discounts obviously.  but take you back to buildling the right foundations around your brands offering. 

Customers must Know, Like and Trust!

1. KNOW your brand’s Value:

This should be your number one priority, always. You need to focus on how your product or service can add value to your customer.  You may even need to go back to the drawing board and understand your why! > If you haven’t worked on that. I highly recommend downloading my Know your customer workbook here

List 10 things about why your customer should shop with you!

Turn it into a blog post and link it to every product you have on your website!  Also, make it part of your welcome series.

This is an awesome example from an Australian Business Swimwear galore! Used in their abandon cart strategy! They have not stacked another offer, they have simply gone to the extra effort to communicate to you why they add value!



2. LIKE – Social proof is the name of the e-commerce game.

According to Wikipedia, social proof (also known as an informational social influence) is a “psychological and social phenomenon referring to people’s reliance on the feedback and actions of others to determine what is right and what is wrong in a given situation.”

Customers will read up to ten reviews before making a purchase decision, and 54% of respondents will visit a website after reading positive reviews.

E-Commerce brands have an opportunity to make social proof a part of their social media and overall marketing presence so that discounting doesn’t have to be the first option.

  • Customer reviews
  • Social likes and shares
  • Trust symbols
  • Testimonials
  • Case studies
  • Celebrity or influencer endorsements
  • Earned media

Today, 92% of consumers read online reviews, and 80% of shoppers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Social proof and customer feedback are becoming a necessity for any eCommerce business looking to beat the competition and increase customer confidence at different touch points of the buying journey.



Trust is the belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest and effective. In essence, if consumers trust a brand, it means they believe the company provides value and delivers on their promises consistently.

Other features that could help drive traffic and sales include:

  • Easy returns (no receipt required)
  • Added functionality to your website – trust icons, payment icons
  • Social proof apps –
  • Integrated prepayment and mobile payments
  • Adding value.

This might be the most obvious method; however, using trust icons on your website provides a huge boost to visitors who are new to your site knowing they can enter their card information with confidence. Interestingly, consumers are more concerned with a brand rather than what the actual seal denotes. For example, consumers ranked sites with a Norton and McAfee seal more trustworthy than others even though these don’t indicate technical security.

Baymard conducted a study on trust seals and here are their findings regarding:



ADD Value ADD Value and ADD Value – I cannot stress this enough.

Going back to supporting brand strategy, another way to keep customers engaged and increase lifetime value (LTV) is to share the story of your brand. Instead of always promoting sales and markdowns, focus on what differentiates your brand from the competition.

Look for exclusive benefits you can offer your members that will not only enhance awareness but also improve retail sales.

These are just a few ideas you can use to increase sales in your retail business. As you can see, there are many short- and long-term tactics that can build traffic and increase sales without impacting your bottom line.

The most important key to remember is that the most successful business will build brand value into their brand strategy, so that when it comes time to discounting people still buy from you.

Are you discounting too much?









P.S. Ready to grow your e-commerce business?  Here are 3 options to start and scale your e-commerce business today with Sarah today:

1. The E-Commerce Mastermind – Your E-Commerce Membership Community with hands-on support with my dream team to start and scale your online store.

2. 1:1 VIP E-Commerce Coaching – My Blue Ribbon and Private 1:1 E-Commerce coaching for established brands looking for next level growth and support.

3.  Facebook Ads – Facebook Ad management and optimisation specifically for E-Commerce Stores the right way.