Markdown Percentage

The percentage by which an item's retail price is reduced, calculated by dividing the difference between the original price and the markdown price by the original price.

What is Markdown Percentage?

Markdown Percentage is the percentage reduction applied to the original selling price of a product during a sale. It helps determine the discounted selling price and influences customer purchasing decisions. Retailers carefully choose the markdown percentage based on factors like inventory levels and profit goals. Striking the right balance is crucial for successful sales and inventory management.

How Markdown Percentage works

  • Calculate the Original Selling Price: The retailer starts by determining the original selling price of the product.

  • Determine the Markdown Percentage: The retailer decides on the markdown percentage based on various factors, including inventory levels, seasonal demand, competition, and profit goals. Higher markdown percentages attract more customers, but they also lead to reduced profit margins.

  • Apply the Markdown: The markdown percentage is applied to the original selling price to calculate the discounted selling price. For example, if the original selling price is $100 and the markdown percentage is 20%, the discounted selling price would be $80.

  • Promotion and Sale: The retailer then promotes the discounted price to attract customers during the sale period. Markdowns can be part of regular sales, seasonal promotions, clearance events, or other marketing strategies.

  • Monitor Performance: Throughout the sale period, retailers monitor the performance of markdowns, such as the impact on sales volume, revenue, and inventory levels. This data is used to optimise future markdown strategies.

  • Clearance: In cases where products are not selling well, retailers might gradually increase the markdown percentage to clear out inventory and make space for new products.
Markdown Percentage is a valuable tool for retailers to drive sales, manage inventory, and remain competitive in the market. However, it requires careful planning to strike the right balance between discounting and maintaining profitability.

Pros of Markdown Percentage

  1. Boost Sales and Customer Traffic: Markdowns attract customers by offering discounted prices, which can significantly increase foot traffic and online visits. This can lead to higher sales volumes, especially for products that might have otherwise remained unsold at regular prices.
  2. Clear Out Excess Inventory: Markdowns help retailers clear out excess or slow-moving inventory. This is particularly beneficial for seasonal items or products with limited demand, as it frees up space for new merchandise. Clearing out old inventory also reduces the risk of having to sell products at even deeper discounts later.
  3. Enhance Customer Loyalty and Satisfaction: Shoppers appreciate getting a good deal, and markdowns can create a positive shopping experience. Satisfied customers are more likely to return to the store and become loyal to the brand. Markdown strategies can also attract new customers who may not have considered shopping with the retailer before.

Cons of Markdown Percentage

  1. Profit Margins Reduction: Implementing markdowns can lead to reduced profit margins, as products are sold at discounted prices. This can impact the retailer's bottom line and overall profitability, especially if markdowns are applied without careful planning.
  2. Brand Image Impact: Frequent and heavy markdowns can devalue the perception of a brand and erode its premium image. Customers might come to expect discounts regularly, making it challenging to sell products at regular prices in the future.
  3. Inventory Management Challenges: Markdowns can create challenges in inventory management. Over-reliance on markdowns to clear inventory might indicate issues with buying and demand forecasting. Additionally, retailers need to be cautious about overstocking products in anticipation of markdowns, as this ties up capital and increases the risk of inventory obsolescence.


Below you will find answers to common questions
How do Markdown Percentages impact my store's profitability?
Markdown Percentages can have a direct impact on your store's profitability. Higher markdown percentages mean selling products at steeper discounts, which can reduce your profit margins. However, strategic use of markdowns can also help clear slow-moving inventory, attract price-sensitive customers, and stimulate sales. It's crucial to find the right balance between offering attractive discounts and maintaining healthy profit margins.
What factors should I consider when determining the appropriate Markdown Percentage?
Several factors come into play when setting Markdown Percentages. Firstly, analyse historical sales data to identify trends and seasonality. Consider the product's lifecycle and demand patterns. For perishable items or products with short lifespans, more aggressive markdowns might be necessary. On the other hand, for exclusive or premium items, you might want to be more conservative with markdowns to preserve the brand's image. Additionally, competitor pricing and market trends should be taken into account to remain competitive.