Competing with big companies and discounters

By Ilana Davis

One benefit of the Website Rescues for Shopify stores is that my clients receive quarterly analytics. Sometimes, no matter how much we optimize a Shopify site, the numbers don’t always go up.

A customer I’ve been working with is competing with large companies who offer deep discounts making it a challenge to drive sales.

Right now, we’re faced with a huge surplus of [product] in the market which is driving prices way down. The big companies need to get rid of product so they’re offering deep discounts. We are anticipating this might continue for the next few months.
We are doing everything on our end to drive sales. If you have any suggestions, we’d love to hear them

It’s got to be really challenging to compete against big companies let alone products that are widely available.

You’ll never beat them on price because they can always produce more, faster, and cheaper than you can.

Discounting means you need more customers. Selling a $100 product to 500 customers is the same gross sales as selling a $60 product to 833 customers.

A lower price means you have to work harder to reach more customers for the same amount of money. Not to mention the impacts on margin and profit.

So let’s take price discounts off the table.

Here are a few ideas that came to mind

Make sure the pricing on your website makes sense

If you offer bundles, make sure your pricing strategy makes sense.

For example, why would I buy the bundle if buying the same products individually is cheaper?

Consider upsells

If you have a product that can be an add-on or upsell, could you only sell it as part of the bundle? Or keep it as its own product and use upselling to increase your average order value (AOV).

For example, if you sell birdfeeders, add seed or a hook to hang it from as an add-on product. That way they get everything they need to set up their birdfeeder from one place. Your store.

Optimize your homepage for new customers

Take a look at Google Analytics and I’m willing to bet that your homepage is one of the most visited pages on your site. Use your homepage as an education tool that pulls your shoppers in. Don’t depend on your product page to do all the education.

Take a look at this article about A Homepage’s Purpose for some ideas.

Sell the solution, not the product

What are the concerns your customers are sharing with you? Can you solve those concerns? If so, explain it to them in your copy. Use it as blog posts or copy for your homepage, your products, and even your collections.

Focus more on what pain point the product solves.

Talk to your customers as a human and not like a sales page. If you don’t know what to say, record yourself next time you explain what your product is and why it’s beneficial.

For example, if you sell crochet hooks, you’re not selling the hook. You’re selling the feeling of a comfortable hook that fits your hand’s curves. You’re selling a hook that won’t cramp your hand after crocheting for 6 hours straight.

Give them time

Depending on your offerings, maybe you have a limited return window or a warranty coverage period. If you extend these time-based limits, would that make a difference?

For example, instead of a 1-year limited warranty or product protection plan, could you offer a 2-year plan? What about a 5-year plan?

Create a bundle pack

Like add-on or upsell, bundles make it easier for the customer to know what works best together.

Using the crochet hook example again, create a bundle for 5 sizes and get a case to hold them in for some percentage off. Or get a hook and stitch markers for free which are very inexpensive. Crocheters are always losing their markers. (If you know, you know)

You don’t have to offer a discount when bundling items. A bundle could pair items at no discount, but they work great together. For example, you can bundle ground coffee and a mug as a gift bundle to make it easier for the gift giver.

Selling kid-friendly products? Think about what they want!

Parents are the ones who actually buy the item but kids often have more say in what the parent buys than you think.

We bought a new desktop computer for my daughter and she was so excited to see rainbow lights in her computer case.

Is there something you can add that would make kids go crazy for your product? If they are choosing between the big box product and yours, but your product comes with something the kids like, they will push mom and dad to buy that one.

Partner with other brands

We all have a network of fellow businesses. If they sell an accessory to your product, can you partner together?

For example, if you sell laptops and they sell carrying cases, see if you can work out a limited edition product that highlights both companies.

You don’t even have to have complementary products to work together.

Animals Matter partnered with Too Faced Cosmetics. The two brands, one a luxury dog bed and the other a cosmetic company, don’t have an obvious crossover. Yet they found common ground with their core values.

Add some flair

Perhaps your products don’t evolve or change much over time. So the excitement about new products is hard to come by. Can you add some color, a fun design, or something similar that drives interest?

For example, if you sell furniture such as a wooden coffee table, could you add a new paint color that is trendy or often requested?

Hopefully, these get your brain in motion. Again, these may not be exactly what you need to compete against big discounters, but at least point you in a direction.


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