When price counts
As everyone kicks their holiday hangover (my daughter with her sugar crash) and launches into the post-Christmas sales it would make sense to think today is all about price.
For some that might be it, for others they have gift cards, for others they have returns, and for others they did not get what they wanted. The idea here is that customers move for different reasons, even on the same day.
I went to one of those $10 haircut places on Tuesday, when I walked in there was a 50 minute wait and the woman behind the counter kindly said "can I sign you in?" I replied that I had a lunch and that I would come back this afternoon. She replied "oh, we will be very busy then..." I told her I would take my chances because in Rockford there are 6 such places within 5 miles from my house and when you live at price, there is very little that makes you that special. That afternoon my wait was 60 seconds.
I came from an industry that switches between being a brand value and price and for some industries there is nothing wrong with a sale, you just have to be careful what you teach those customer who only buy when your product is on sale.
I often quote Seth Godin here when he says "the problem with the race to the bottom (price) is that you might win."
This holiday season will be the largest growth in three years when it is all said and done. The interesting statistic is that Black Friday sales were actually down 10% this year in part because of the web and in part because retailers have taught us the best sales are not the day after Thanksgiving but just might be today.
Think what would happen if gave people cards or gift idea vouchers for Christmas and bought the gifts the day after?
Remember that Black Friday is only 39 years old unless you are from Philadelphia where it started, then it is 55 years old.
The web is the great equalizer keeping information flat training customers who shop by price to do just that, only on their terms.
One last word for today if something is 70% off, the retailer doesn't really want it anymore than you actually need it.