Wrangle Your Discount Strategy to Increase Revenue

Let’s be clear. 

Meta and the paid ad space thrive on promos. 🤑

And when shopping online, most people look for the best price and the best offer they can find.

However, for businesses, there’s a fine line between:

  • Discounting so big and so often you hurt your margins 
  • Discounting so little that you prevent more sales

For example, if you offer 90% off all the time, you might see stellar conversions but terrible margins. But if you never discount, your margins might be great, but conversions may be low.

So, where is the line, and how do you happily dance on it when scaling a successful brand? 🤔

It's more simple than some might think…

1️⃣ Plan ahead

Some of the fastest-growing brands the Pilothouse team works with have promos planned out for the entire year.

Planning your promos gives you time to prepare and arm yourself with all the resources you need to maximize your sales periods. 💳

So, take the time to map out holidays, educational months/periods, and seasonal themes for the whole year.

Remember: promos should not be a panic response to high stock or low purchase intent waves. 🌊 Plan ahead and leverage social proof, retargeting, and creatives that encourage clicks and conversions—elements you might miss if you run promos on the fly. 

Not everything has to be set in stone. While promo details, such as the percent off or offer threshold, can be subject to change closer to the promo date, the expected promo period should stay the same. 📅

2️⃣ Be strategic 

Always having discounts can lead to a downward spiral of shoppers consistently expecting discounts. 

And where does that leave you? 🤷

We’ll tell you: increasing discounts more and more just to get purchasers to buy in. 

Don’t get stuck in the whirlpool of sale after sale after sale. 🌀

Be data-driven and strategic when running sales and discounts. Look back to last year and pinpoint:

💪 Strong purchase intent periods for your brand. 

The Pilothouse Team’s basic rule of thumb is to offer higher discounts during the strong purchase periods for your brand. 

This varies. Some brands do great during Father’s Day, while others thrive during Memorial Day (don’t underestimate micro-holidays and seasonality). 

Look for peaks and troughs in your historical data and plan sales periods accordingly.

🔽 Lower purchase growth periods

For the periods where the historical data shows slower purchases and less growth, plan to have a specific SKU discounted to move inventory. 

Want to take it a step further? Alternate which SKU’s are discounted during lull periods to prevent shopper fatigue.

3️⃣ Don’t be scared to discount 

Brands often don't want to ‘cheapen’ their products or brand name by running a discount. They want to build a reputation that their product is high quality with a price point to match. 💰

But, like we mentioned, everyone is looking for a discount.  In fact, even millionaires are always on the hunt for a bargain. A study from Ramsey found that 93% of millionaires use coupons at least some of the time.  

If a customer feels like they’re getting the best offer on the best product, they’re going to be more inclined to click that checkout button. 🛒


If you’re a no-discount brand, consider riding the purchase intent wave of Black Friday/Cyber Monday. 

Not running ads and not having an offer during Q4 is leaving money on the table. Even if you don't use the term Black Friday in your offer strategy, the buying intent period is so high that it is well worth the effort. 🖤

Discount is not a dirty word! If you plan accordingly and are strategic about your offers and positioning, your next sales season could be your best yet. 👏

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