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Long Weekends, Big Sales: The Psychology Behind Strategic Discounting for Retailers

Long Weekends, Big Sales: The Psychology Behind Strategic Discounting for Retailers

discounting profitable retail Aug 28, 2023

Are you ready to boost your sales as the next long weekend approaches? The key is being prepared in advance, as retailers and brands have a unique opportunity to leverage strategic discounting to drive sales and enhance customer engagement.

These extended breaks offer customers the chance to indulge in leisure and celebrations, making it the perfect time for retailers to entice shoppers with great deals to get them through the door, and importantly product out the door.

Why are Long Weekends Important for Retail Sales

Long weekends are a prime time for increased customer activity, as people are planning to make purchases. By planning in advance, retailers can tap into this mindset and strategically offer discounts that match up with the customers' search for the perfect product.

When executed thoughtfully, discounting can serve as a powerful tool to move slow-moving inventory, increase basket size, and improve conversion rates.

The important thing to keep in mind is pricing compression. As enticing as it may be to slash prices, you want to make sure you don't fall into the trap of pricing compression.

The Psychology of Strategic Discounting

Discounting, when used strategically, can create a sense of value and urgency among customers leading up to a long weekend. It is important that discounts are perceived as offerings of value, rather than attempts to clear inventory.

By understanding the psychology behind discounting, retailers and brands can design promotions that capture customers' attention and encourage action.

Here are some basic concepts to consider when tapping into the psychology of strategic discounting:

  • Anchoring Effect: This principle suggests that people tend to rely heavily on the first piece of information they receive when making decisions. When a higher original price is shown alongside a discounted price, the discounted price seems more appealing, even if it might not be an extraordinary deal.

đź”— Learn more about price anchoring

  • Scarcity and Urgency: Limited-time offers or items that are portrayed as scarce can trigger a fear of missing out (FOMO), leading consumers to make quicker decisions to secure the discounted price or item.
  • Price Framing: How a discount is framed or presented can influence its perception. For example, "Buy one, get one free" versus "50% off on two items" can yield different results, even though they are mathematically equivalent.

đź”— Learn more about price framing

  • Value Trade-Off: If a deal feels "too good to be true," customers will search for where you cut corners. Instead, make it clear why they are getting a discount, such as bundling or reduced packaging. Take a page from Ryanair, which is upfront that low airfares are possible because they do not provide many of the creature comforts of more premium airlines. [link to blog when posted]

Brand Erosion: Discounting Gone Bad

To maintain brand value, promotions must be strategic. Copying competitors or relying on past successes may be tempting, but it's important to carefully consider the message each promotion sends. Using discounts as a crutch and without a strategy can lead to brand devaluation and reduced customer trust and loyalty. In the cannabis industry and beyond, consumers have come to expect sales and discounts. Over-promoting can associate your brand with low prices, which may not align with your intended message.

Tips for Successful Strategic Discounting for Retailers and Brands

Long weekends provide a unique window of opportunity for retailers and brands to leverage strategic discounting. By collaborating closely and aligning promotions with customers' hopes for the extended break, both parties can create win-win situations. Remember that the key lies in offering discounts that enhance the overall long weekend experience and cater to customers' desires.


  • Strategic Selection: Identify slow-moving items that resonate with customers' long weekend plans and offer discounts on those products.
  • Bundle Creativity: Design bundles that align with customers' needs for the extended break, providing value and convenience.
  • Visible Promotions: Display discounted items prominently in-store and in marketing materials to capture customers' attention.
  • Justify the discount: This will lessen the impact of the long-term pricing effect on customers. This way, when you remove the discount on the items next week, customers won’t see them as expensive.

Update menus and pricing visuals:

  • Arrange sale prices vertically: They’re easier for our minds to subtract, helping customers understand the value you’re offering.

  • Add space between discounted prices: Our brains confuse visual and numerical distance. The further you space those prices, the larger the perceived gap and/or price per unit.

  • Utilize Coupons to Drive Traffic: By sharing a limited coupon that has a clear reasoning you can control the perception of your discount. And all else equal, coupons are more effective than visibly reduced prices.


  • Unified Messaging: Collaborate with retailers to craft consistent messaging that highlights the value of discounted products for long weekend plans.
  • Supportive Resources: Provide retailers with visuals, product details, and marketing content to effectively promote discounts.
  • Tailored Recommendations: Offer insights into product pairings that enhance customers' long weekend experiences, aiding retailers in creating attractive bundles.
  • Bulk flower purchases increase heading into the summer. Framing prices as per gram helps customers see the value in larger purchases, potentially removing the need for discounts. - need data that is relevant for long weekends or holidays

So as the next long weekend approaches, remember, you stand at the threshold of a valuable opportunity.

Strategic discounting isn't just about lowering prices; it's about understanding the minds of your customers, crafting offers that resonate with their desires, and maintaining the integrity of your brand.

By embracing the psychology of discounts, collaborating closely, and aligning promotions with the spirit of long weekends, you can create a win-win scenario for both your business and your customers.

Long weekends become more than just breaks – they become windows of retail success, where thoughtful discounts drive sales, enhance customer engagement and leave lasting impressions.

If this blog has you checking when the next long weekend is, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.

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