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Group Discounts for Small Retail Businesses

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One of the most surprising developments in the world of marketing is the success of group-discount businesses like Living Social and Groupon. These money-saving Internet organizations can offer outrageous deals to consumers through e-mail, social networking websites and mobile devices, producing a “bulk order” of merchandise or services within minutes.Large retailers are jumping on board these deal-making ventures by offering deep discounts on products or services in exchange for massive advertising and the hope of future business once the discounted exchange has taken place.

For the small retailer selling home or garden decorative accents, like planters, promising a deep discount on a large number of items may not be an option. Small business retailers tend to have less inventory available to offer a large consumer base, and the overextension of inventory or retail margin may work against the bottom line of that business. However, that does not mean a small business retailer cannot use the same tactics as Groupon or Living Social in order to offer discounts and generate business.

By offering a limited amount of discounted planters or other merchandise to customers who are already on a mailing list, Facebook page or through other customer channels, small business retailers can still reap the benefits of group discount offers, without losing revenue to larger, third-party organizations who charge a fee in exchange for advertising group discounts and deals. These businesses are able to tap into the local community much in the same way as the larger retailers can, but through smaller, more intimate channels. For instance, as a customer leaves, a sales person can simply hand out a small flyer that invites the customer to participate in a special sale on planters within the next 10 days. If inventory is limited, the offer can be more inviting. Buyers enjoy the promise of a discount that is limited to a certain number of people, and the residual sales that can come from a customer returning to participate in the special sale on planters can more than make up for the discount offered.

Small retail businesses may not have the necessary inventory or pricing margins that work well with broad-range discount coupons and web entities like Groupon or Living Social, but there is still potential to reap the same benefits on a more customized scale. By using the tools at the retailer’s disposal and some creative marketing, both retailers and customers can have the feel of a successful group discount transaction without the fear of being overwhelmed by a lack of profit or disappointment over items no longer available for purchase.

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