In order to attract customers to their stores and at the same time keep their purchases within those stores, juggernaut Apple, is instituting a different discount offer strategy this Black Friday than it has in previous years.
Instead of utilizing the age-old approach of offering cash back or off to its customers, Apple is experimenting with a new approach: give customers gift card discounts towards Apple specific products. For example, instead of receiving $50 off of the purchase of an iPhone and using those savings for whatever they please, the buyer will instead receive a $50 gift card to the store for an iPod Touch. The buyer still receives their $50 “discount”, however, that $50 now also goes towards Apple and is not, technically, a form of “savings” in its most simple definition.
Additionally, because Apple is offering these gift cards towards products that are traditionally priced lower with a higher margin, Apple’s revenues from the products are not reduced as much as they would be if they were to put cash off discounts on the products. Not only is Apple keeping these customers in their store, but they are also essentially saving themselves even more money by not giving cash off these items.
Similarly, Apple employees themselves are being offered a somewhat equivalent offer as part of their holiday gift from the company. Gift cards to the store can be purchased by staff members at a $10 discount by paying $40 for a $50 gift card. Again, Apple offers a small discount to keep customers (or in this case their employees) shopping for items within their store. For anyone interested in an iPhone, consider Cydia and Cydia Apps which can open a whole new world of iPhone usability.
It appears as though Apple has come up with a seemingly foolproof strategy to keep their customers and even employees hunting within their stores for products and accessories to use their gift cards on. But will customers and employees use this tactic or go elsewhere to make technology purchases where they can still save money in the old-fashioned way of discounted pricing?