The Benefits of Offering Group Discounts

by G.B. Oliver

One of the best ways to get volume orders, as well as repeat business, is to offer discounts to various groups. Here are what some top online retailers offer, that maybe you can apply to your own business.

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Group DiscountsC Wonder is an online store that sells women’s fashion, accessories and home decor. They have a Group Gifting Program, which means you can apply for special discounts (up to 20%) if you are shopping for the office, PTA or just a large number of people. It is a great way to get your products in front of a new audience because you have one buyer purchasing for many people. 

Trade Discounts Anthropologie has a House & Home Trade program whereby all qualified architects, interior designers and decorating professionals can apply for membership in this group to receive 15% off all regular and sale priced merchandise. West Elm, World Market and Restoration Hardware have similar programs. The trades typically expect discounts, and this ends up acting as both a referral and an endorsement.

Professional Discounts – Beauty companies such as Mac and Bobbi Brown Cosmetics also offers discounts to professional make-up artists, much in the same vein as the trade discounts above.

Student DiscountsAsos is a very popular UK clothing store, and they offer all students (with ID proof) 10% off all items. This offer is smart because they serve a younger demographic and, for this age group, even 10% can be a big deal. Plus, they will tell all their friends. Other stores offering student discounts include TopShop and Banana Republic. 

Teacher Discounts J.Crew recognizes the hard work of teachers and offers them 15% off in their stores, as does The Limited and Ann Taylor. This is a philanthropic gesture as much as a business decision.

So what groups could you offer a discount to that would help increase repeat business, spread word of mouth and expand your market?

If you sell jewelry, offer discounts for bridal parties. If you sell wedding invitations, offer discounts to wedding planners, If you sell pet products, offer discounts to dog trainers and groomers. If you sell toys, offer discounts to registered daycare centers or grandparents. If you sell art, offer discounts to hotels and office buildings. You can set minimum requirements on quantities, if that makes it more reasonable, but, at very least, even a small discount may be the reason someone chooses you over your competition.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Author: Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

I'm Gail Oliver, an online marketing consultant. Welcome to my blog, chosen one of the Top 10 Small Business Blogs to Follow in 2014 by American Express Open Forum. If you need help with your e-commerce business, be sure to see MY SERVICES, above.