Alternatives to discounts for small businesses

A woman sticks a discount sign on a shop windowAs a small business, it can be tempting to offer customers discounts to incentivise purchasing, especially if you’re a new to the market and need to get some awareness of your brand. However, this can be costly, customers may come to expect it, and it can also undervalue your goods.


Reward your customers

Discounts shouldn’t completely be avoided – you should however avoid blanket discounting everything, for instance giving customers 20% off everything on your first day. A smart way to offer customers discounts is by rewarding their loyalty. Many larger enterprises already offer this in the way of reward card schemes and loyalty stamps, and there’s no reason why you can’t offer a similar scheme on a smaller scale.


If you’re running a pop up shop, a simply loyalty card which lets customers get a discount  or a free item after three purchases is a great way to get repeat business during your tenancy. You can also offer customers who purchase in your store a discount for online purchases, enabling you to retain a loyal customer base after your shop has gone.


Something for nothing

Customers are smart, so the something for nothing option doesn’t always necessarily mean that you’re bound to retain customers. However, something simple like offering a free bag with every purchase or exclusive first looks at new products if they sign up to your newsletter is an easy win, and something you would probably offer customers anyway!


Think about what you want

Are you discounting products to increase customer loyalty, or do you just want to get rid of your stock? Using reward systems is far more likely to retain your customers than blanket discounting, and what’s more, if you’re smart, you can retain a loyal base of fans, followers and customers wherever you pop up, meaning that you don’t have to worry too much about drumming up business wherever you go.

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