When it comes to discounts and coupons during the holiday season, it seems like everyone is doing it. If retail giants are knocking a big percentage off their prices, a small ecommerce company like yours must do the same to keep up, right?

The problem with discounts and dollar savings is that your new lower prices might confuse buyers. See, if they get a great deal on your products now, they won’t want to pay the higher regular prices when they return. The value of your products will be firmly set at the lower amount. And that’s no good, is it? So, what can you do to keep up with the big box giants without offering discounts? Believe it or not, the options are endless.

Offer Choices

One reason a buyer may head over to a bigger ecommerce store is the sheer amount of choices. The smaller companies just can’t offer as many, can they? And choices don’t just end at the products you offer, either. You should definitely give them more to choose from, but then give them better payment options, shipping selections, and even customer service outlets.

Offer Easy Payment

Let’s talk about the payment options for a minute. Do you still accept only credit cards for your sales? If so, you’re probably losing a lot of customers at the checkout page. The more you can streamline payment, the more your buyers will complete the sales.

There are a few reasons for the incomplete sales at this point. The first is simply that people have become accustomed to instant gratification. If they can go to Amazon and click one button to make a purchase, then that’s what they’ll do. Then, of course, there are the mobile shoppers who really don’t want to enter their credit card info over and over on tiny screens with tiny buttons. As the number of mobile shoppers flies through the roof this holiday season, you can’t afford to miss out on those buyers.

Offer Free Shipping

Whether your offer for shipping lasts only through the holidays or sticks around all year, this is one of the biggest offers you can make to your buyer. See, they’re not just leaving your checkout page because you don’t offer enough payment options. They’re also running scared when they see the total price with shipping added. Maybe you can’t afford to ship everything for free, and that’s okay. By offering an option for free shipping with the purchase of a certain dollar amount, you might just increase your average order value, too.

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Offer Multichannel Experiences

How can your buyers make purchases? How can they reach you? How do they receive information about your company and your holiday offers? The more avenues you offer into your business, the more people you’ll attract. Buyers should be able to reach you, to interact with your brand, and to make purchases whenever and wherever they choose. Social media, apps, email, phone, your blog, and most importantly your website—these are all channels through which your buyers will want to reach you.

Offer Information and Education

Many of the people shopping with your company during the holiday season are just there to buy something for loved ones. They don’t have any intention of coming back. Does that mean you should let them be? No way! Make sure they’re armed with all the information they need to make smart choices. Whether you do that through blogs, tutorial videos, or gift guides.

Offer Stunning Service

Through it all, what will really set you apart from the big box stores offering massive holiday sales is your service. You can afford to make the season bright for every last person who buys from you. That means you must have someone available at all times, ready to answer questions through phone calls, social media, and email. Your returns and exchanges should be hassle-free and delivered with a smile. Above all, keep the promises you make, listen to your customers, and be completely honest.

Now you’re ready to face the holiday season, and you won’t have to give a single discount to compete with the big box retailers.

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