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Mixed messages and duplicity

EVERY_DAY_LOW_PRICESThe clarity of a well-defined pricing strategy is elemental in establishing a loyal customer base whereas it is the integrity of the blueprint that embeds the desired trust and complicity.

The smallest of deviations invite scrutiny, contempt and certain repercussion.

A recent experience exemplifies the menace of over promising and over-delivery for the combination may jeopardise any desired outcome.

Day one: Order placed on Black Friday Combination Deal:

First appliance = $100. Same value second appliance = $0.00 + Free Delivery.

Great deal…or is it?

Day three: First Appliance arrives with no explanation of the whereabouts of the second item.

Day four: Second Appliance appears including an impressive discount voucher off the next online purchase with no rhyme or reason given.

What’s the message or impression?

A sense of being duped when purchasing a single unit or perhaps a perception the same may be true across the board for all the merchandise? The raising of suspicion when similar deals are not available in-store, perchance instilling doubts of validity and commitment to sincerity around every day low prices?

The maths is disconcerting for consumer and retailer alike.

Without the bundle offer, the customer feels overcharged. How much profit is this company making out of me? Preferring to wait for the inevitable black, yellow, green or red specials day before considering the retailer again in the future? Why visit their bricks and mortar version when the online site always has deals bettering the vociferous EDLP pledge?

In turn, the trader recoups a meagre profit for the cost of two items, two deliveries and the double handling thereof. To top it all off, the retailer has dished out a substantial online concession on the next sale. Of duplicitous concern is the confusing underlying tug-o-war between online and physical channels within the brand.

A lose-lose situation for all parties and with dire consequences – unsustainable growth and questionable honesty on what is being subscribed.

The customer moves on, unlikely to ensconce themselves as a regular shopper because of compromised principles and entrenched cynicism.

Sustainability and consciousness are burgeoning triggers and key influences as to where the end-user patronises. Conveyed through consistency of price, the relevance of product and on-trend mindfulness. The public cannot be deceived, nor can they be manipulated least of all tricked for any length of time.

Keep it simple. Make it clear. Never deviate. Stay in touch.

Always paying retail homage to the people, for the people, by the people while remaining cognisant of not succumbing to a convenient inconsequential variant.

Dave Farrell is a retailer and writer with three decades of experience on three continents. He can be reached at Freelance Alliance NZ on

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