Dang! I Missed The Discount

I’m sure you’ve come across websites where just as you’re about to leave, a window pops up and this friendly operator chats with you to entice you to stay on site and hopefully purchase the product on offer.

Of course, we all know that the friendly operator is just a software program, so don’t bother chatting her up (if you didn’t know this, go laugh at yourself in the mirror – especially if you’ve been trying to chat her up!).

I really don’t know about the effectiveness of using a gimmick like this because in this day and age, a lot of people are Internet savvy enough to know that the ‘live chat’ isn’t real at all. And to design it in such a way to make it seem to people that its ‘live’ kinda beats the purpose because people are not going to fall for it anyway.

Anyway, this is besides the point – here’s my gripe. I recently purchased a product online for US$77. I thought it was a great deal (and it is considering the information inside). But you know what?

I felt cheated.

Because when I went back to the site (after having already made my purchase) to study the salesletter, as I was about to leave the site – lo and behold! Out popped this really cute, blond (they’re always blond…) chat operator who stopped me in my tracks and told about the special offers I would enjoy if I made a purchase.

And this is where I found out that I could purchase the same exact product at a US$10 discount. In other words, I could simply forked out US$67 instead of US$77 for the same darn thing.

Boy… did I feel like a chump!

What this means is that if you’re DUMB enough to be convinced to make your purchase straightaway – you’re going to pay more money. And if you’re not too sure and you decide to leave, you actually get rewarded with a freaking ten-dollar discount. It’s like buying a pair of jeans from a shop only to find that your friend bought the same pair at the same shop for a much lower price. CHUMP!

The point is if you’re employing this sort of tactics in your online business – stop. Because eventually your customers are gonna find out and honestly, I think you know they will not be best pleased. Offering a straight discount is simply not an effective way to move your product. There are much better ways to go around doing this.

An alternative is offer a downsell instead. For example, instead of giving a straight discount, you could offer your product without the bonuses for a lower price. This way, you are justifying your discount and your customers will understand.

Another way is to offer a trial offer. Instead of having to make the full purchase price, you can offer a 30-day trial and then do a full billing after that. Either way, everyone ends up paying the same but you simply offer a trial period to those who are not too sure about your product from the get-go.

Either way, you don’t want your customers ending up feeling like a fool just because they did business with you. Because if they feel like one, you can be pretty sure they won’t be shopping with you again!

UPDATE: There’s a recently launched IM product going for US$37 (you may know which one I’m talking about). Now don’t be a chump – if you decide to purchase it, close the freaking window, the chat thingy will pop up and get yourself a ten-dollar discount. That’s like more than 25% off! WTF…


2 Comments so far

  1. andrew wee on February 10th, 2009

    Or if you like, get a refund on the $77 and buy it at $67.

  2. Adam Wong on February 11th, 2009

    true true..

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