Online retailer giants like Flipkart and Amazon have all geared up for their festive season sales. Not just the festive sales though, these companies provide massive sales even during end of season and what not.
We all do wait for such sales and target as much purchasing of units as we can because we are under the assumption that the products are under heavy discounts, as advertised to us by these giants. Are we sure though?
Are You Sure of Products Being Under Discounts During Sales?
Just recently, India’s two biggest e-commerce platforms Amazon and Flipkart have announced their Diwali sales, building up another streak of top offers with massive discounts and price cuts with added bank discounts on top, or at least that’s what we’re told.
We recently came across a very interesting piece of report, where in the survey has made sure to record the prices of products, as minutely as on hourly basis before and after the discounts. It will compel you to think twice if you felt great about having shopped a cart-full during last week’s e-commerce sales in India and saving a lot.
Most people are under the scrutiny that these discounts on e-commerce sites are just cover-ups for sellers to mark up the price, giving you the illusion of a nice discount.
To test this hypothesis, the team at Semantics3 closely tracked the advertised deals before the sale started.
Smartphones See Heavy Discount Rates
It was found that high-end brands like Apple and Google did not really see any significant change in discounts from before the sale, except a couple of stock keeping units.
However, mid-ranged and budget friendly smartphone brands like Nokia, Samsung, LG, and Motorola were extremely aggressive, with Nokia tripling its average discount from 18% to 54%.
Wider Understanding on Discounts & Do They Really Help?
Discounts are measured using list or sticker prices as the baseline. The understanding is that the sticker price is a sturdy unchanging anchor point against which the seller has magically been able to provide a discount.
On closer introspection, it could pictorially be seen that the prices of smartphones like Apple, Motorola and Samsung, mainly their SKUs actually, are often marked at a higher list price during the sale than before, often to a significant degree.
Taking both Apple iPhone 7 Red and Apple iPhone X Silver into consideration, their prices were listed Rs 3,000 more than their actual price during the sale, than before this sale began.
Hourly Tracking of Prices
For a better understanding and a clearer image, the survey also went ahead and marked the prices shifting up and down at an hourly interval. Interestingly enough, it was found that the list prices change almost on an hourly basis, with a difference of as much as Rs15,000 between the peak and trough for the iPhone X Silver 64GB.
Safe to say, the seller could be manipulating the list price to provide a higher illusory discount.
All we can say is list prices can be deceptive and if manipulated intentionally, could lead to setting a psychological anchor point which could trigger the customers into buying things, unknowingly.