Bargain Hunters and High End Customers-You've got to keep em' separated!



I want to share an article with you, because it might help you make sense of your customers.

In the Wall Street Journal article, Retailers save Discounts for Bargain Hunters, Shelly Banjo explains how most big companies are starting to get smarter about what types of offers they send to their customers. They only send discount offers to the bargain hunters, and send other types of offers to everyone else. 

You may have already noticed, some people are only interested in price and will only part with their money if the product has been discounted. That is just the way that they are, and it makes them feel good about themselves to know that they got the best price humanly possible. They're not going to change.

Other people love to buy the newest and best of everything. They want to wear the newest styles when they are in season (and not wait until they're on the clearance rack) and use the phone with the latest upgrades. These high end customers feel good when they treat themselves to the most expensive item on the menu and choose the highest price option, because they are worth it. 

Some people go back and fourth between both extremes. 

You have to agree, when you think about your own customers and the people in your life, that most people are pretty consistent in their buying behavior. They are either discount shoppers or premium shoppers. If you separate your customers into two groups according to their buying patterns and address them differently, you will be able to make more money.

There is no point in sending discount offers to your premium shoppers. They will pay full price, and are more likely to respond to something new. 

There is no point in sending your discount shoppers offers about your most expensive products, because they are waiting for you to knock 20% off the price before they'll get interested.

The companies profiled in the WSJ article were major retailers who have been collecting information on their customers for decades. You might not that much data, but now is the time to get to know your customers and find out which group each individual customer belongs to. 

How will you know? They'll tell you!

Maybe not during a casual conversation, but they will tell you through the offers that they respond to and the products that they buy. The key is to find a way to keep track. 

This concept applies to all kinds of businesses.

The first step to take is make a couple of offers, one that will appeal to a high-end customer and one that appeals to discount hunters. See who responds to each offer, and save that information.

Sometimes you need to get a little bit creative when collecting information that you'll use for marketing. Remember, you need to have their permission before sending them email messages. But let's say you own a store and a customer is scouring the discount rack and everything they choose is at least half off. Ask them if they would like to receive emails where they get special coupons. If they say yes, add them to your bargain hunter list.

And if one of your best customers seems to be wanting even more, ask them if they would like to be added to a VIP list where they get invited to special events, have a chance to be the first one to see your newest products, and have the chance to get all the special perks that you offer in your business. 

Get the idea? If you do a good job segmenting your list, you will increase profits while treating your customers the way they want to be treated.


Mandy Marksteiner
Copywriter and Marketing Consultant

P.S. On February 5th, from 9 a.m. to noon, I will be teaching Intro to Social Media for Business at UNM-LA. There are still a few spaces left. Let me know if you want to join the class. 

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