Table of Contents:
- Introduction to E-commerce Promotion
- E-commerce Promotion Ideas to Boost Revenue
- Freebies & Add-ons to Boost Sales & ROI
- Special Offers & Events to Boost Brand Awareness
- 4 Benefits of E-commerce Promotion
- Conclusion – How to Sell More Online?
Introduction to E-commerce Promotion
Do you run an e-commerce store? Do you want to boost revenue? No matter how successful your e-commerce website is, you should always be looking for ways to improve your conversion rate and increase revenue by implementing promotions and online sales.
Why should you use e-commerce promotion ideas? Promotions and special offers to potential customers are an effective way to increase your conversion rate, acquire new customers, maximize ROI on marketing spend, and increase online sales and revenue. The best part is that these online sales can be used to convert new visitors into loyal, repeat customers.
An e-commerce marketing strategy includes actions used both on and off your website. Various e-commerce promotion ideas such as pro deals, seasonal discounts, BOGO, free shipping, etc. play a key role in boosting your online sales and ROI by increasing brand awareness and nurturing customer loyalty.
- 79% of customers order online via smartphones
- 69% of shoppers now seek deals and coupons online
- 70% say they made use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email in the prior week
- 82% of consumers say that finding a great deal on a product online made them feel smarter
- 39% say they would like to receive new product information in promotions
E-commerce Promotion Ideas to Boost Revenue
1. Seasonal Discounts: How to promote e-commerce business? These discounts are used to encourage the purchase of a specific product during the off-season. Each year, the seasons provide four reasons to offer reduced special prices on seasonal goods.
2. End-of-season Discounts: Customers can stock up on items for next summer while prices are low and get fall merchandise while specials are available. Overstock takes the end-of-season sale a step further by including free shipping on all orders.
3. Incentives for Review: You get the best of both worlds by offering a special discount to those who are willing to review your online store: increased sales and additional social proof that you do what you say. But you can’t just give discounts to people who only leave positive reviews.
4. First Purchase Anniversary: Show your customers how much you care by marking the anniversary of their first order with you each year. It’s a good reason to give them a discount on their next purchase, and it makes you feel more special. Continue with the milestone anniversaries: Five, ten, and twenty-five years. Celebrating your fans will encourage others to join you.
For example, ASOS sends out purchase anniversary emails with a 10% discount code to their loyal customers.
5. Cart Abandonment Offer: Use a pop-up while the shopper is still on your website, but even if that fails, you can recover sales by sending an email to the prospect reminding them of the abandoned cart and including a special incentive to close the sale. An additional discount, free shipping, a trial membership, or any of a variety of other options can be used as an incentive.
6. Email List Sign-up Discount: While your ecommerce website may not rely on email marketing for the majority of its revenue, there’s no denying the value of building and maintaining a huge database of customers and prospects. So why not reward those who sign up? You expand your mailing list, the prospect receives a discount, and you’re more likely to receive an order.
7. Point-based Rewards Discount: The more you purchase, the closer you are to receiving a reward. Is it effective? Starbucks certainly believes so. Starbucks Rewards has been upgraded to a “More stars than ever” system by the world’s largest coffeehouse. Customers are rewarded for every dollar spent, and there are special ways to earn bonus stars (such as joining the email list).
8. Upgrade Discount: What happens when your current model becomes obsolete? You simply “Trade in to Trade-Up” at Verizon. It’s a great way for them to recycle phones, and it also gives customers another reason to upgrade to a new smartphone.
It is not necessary for the trade-in value to be high; rather, it must be substantial enough to add value. What upgrades are available for your products or services? Use your imagination.
9. Bundling Discount: Anyone purchasing a new printer will soon require ink. Why not offer a discount on accessories? Combining complementary items is another e-commerce promotion idea.
10. Membership Discount: Offer discounts to loyal members. It’s an opportunity to make your customers feel special while also saving money, two things they want to do on a regular basis. Amazon Prime is an excellent example of how to take advantage of membership discounts and coupons. Many high-demand items in the Amazon catalog are discounted exclusively for Prime members.
11. Frequent Shopper Discount: Cultivating fans and ambassadors is beneficial to both branding and sales. The frequent shopper discount adds time to the equation. Customers are more likely to look for a way to use their 25% discount before it expires if you remind them that it will expire in a week.
12. Credit Card Discount: You get the customer’s contact information and an excellent opportunity to build brand loyalty when you offer a store credit card (usually with a significant sign-up discount). You can use your cardholder mailing list to send special offers, new services from you and your partners, and invitations to special events to your cardholders.
Those who use your credit card feel like they’re a part of your online family. Nordstrom uses this strategy to great effect.
13. Buy More, Save More: Consumers are attracted to bulk discounts that tend to increase the total order amount per transaction. We’ve discovered that consumers prefer a gift with their bulk purchase.
14. Social Follow & Post for Discounts: The higher the reward, the higher the bar on your request. Perhaps you’d like people to follow you on social media, share something about you, and leave a comment.
Depending on the platforms and tools you use, the technical side can be a little tricky, but in most cases, the “ask” (follow us on social media) is well worth the reward (a money-saving discount).
15. Refer-a-friend Discount: Respondents receive a discount in exchange for introducing you to someone else who might benefit from your products or services. Variations include focusing the discount on a specific item or giving a discount good for any item in your store.
16. Affiliate Discounts: These can range from an Amazon-style commission on orders generated by Amazon Associates links to tracking the number of new customers referred by your brand’s champions and rewarding them based on the number of referrals. Affiliates can help you save money on advertising and reach a larger audience.
17. Pre-order & Back-order Discounts: Pre-order discount is a great way to lock in sales before a new product is ready to ship. Pre-orders not only allow customers to be “first in line,” but they also create excitement and add value. If something is so popular that people must place an early order to ensure that they get it before it sells out, it must be incredible. For example, you can pre-order an Apple iPhone.
The customer wishes to order a product that you do not currently have in stock. Why not offer a back-order discount rather than risk losing the sale? You offer a price reduction in exchange for the buyer’s willingness to wait. They have already paid. When the item is back in stock, you deliver. A small discount might be enough to save the sale.
18. Influencer Discounts: There are celebrities whose advice is widely accepted. When those niche-focused thought leaders recommend their products, ecommerce sites can see a significant increase in sales. When you add in a special discount, the results can be spectacular.
- The first step is to identify the most relevant influencers in your niche
- Then it’s just a matter of making contact and building a relationship
- Once you’ve demonstrated the value of your products or services to the influencer’s audience, the next step is to tell them how to get to your website.
Instagram has evolved into a popular platform for brands to collaborate with influencers to offer discounts on specific products.
19. Re-engagement Offers: Contacting customers who haven’t ordered in a certain amount of time will require re-engaging. Let them know you haven’t forgotten about them and offer a special discount on their next order.
20. Subscription Discount: In exchange for a discounted price, the customer agrees to make a certain number of purchases over a certain period of time. Consider how Amazon uses Audible.com to offer subscription discounts.
21. Time Sensitive Discount: Set a time limit on the price to incorporate the persuasive power of urgency. If the sale ends at midnight tonight, the customer must make a decision or miss out on the chance to save money.
22. The Daily Discount: You can change up the offer and keep customers coming back to see what’s on sale next by running specials for 24 hours at a time. This also gives you a great reason to use your email list on a daily basis. E-commerce with Amazon is the best example of how to take advantage of daily deals. They always have “Deal of the Day” sale items.
23. Customer-generated Discount: Customers can specify the price they’re willing to pay for a service on Priceline. Of course, the provider decides whether to accept or reject the offer, but it’s a surefire way to figure out which price point gets the prospect to accept the offer.
24. In-store Pickup Discount: You and the customer save money on shipping, and visitors to your store are more likely to buy something else while they’re there. Locate the pickup point in the center of the store. Allow your employees to go get the order while the customer continues to shop.
25. Survey Discount: Giving a discount in exchange for participating in a poll or survey is a great reason because it requires the prospect to give up some of his or her time. Always tell the customer how long the survey will take and collect mailing list opt-ins.
26. Newsletter Discounts: Many people on your mailing list may be there solely to be notified when discounts become available. Sending discount newsletters on a regular basis will help you increase your open rate and generate more sales.
27. Co-marketing Discounts: You don’t have everything that everyone needs. So why not form a partnership with other sellers to promote mutually beneficial products? Customers who become your customers receive a special discount (and vice-versa). It’s a win-win situation that can increase traffic to your website while also increasing your profits. It also establishes relationships that can lead to increased goodwill.
28. Sponsorship Websites: You can get your products and offers in front of more people and generate more sales by expanding your discount pricing beyond individuals and offering special pricing to a much larger audience by paying for it and collaborating with sponsorship websites.
Freebies & Add-ons to Boost Sales & ROI
1. BOGO: This is a tried and tested buy-more-get-more deal, but it’s advertised as “Buy one, get one free.” It’s worth repeating that a customer who must purchase something in order to receive something is not receiving something “for free”.
2. Free Gift for Review: There’s no denying that reviews are valuable, but if it appears that you’re “bribing” people to get them, the results can be disastrous. Amazon allows sellers to give away free products in exchange for reviews, but only if the reviewer discloses their identity and the seller requests honest reviews rather than positive ones.
3. Free Gift with Purchase: This is similar to the BOGO, but with a different presentation. Each order from Sephora comes with two free gifts (product samples). Despite the fact that these are just product samples, they entice the customer to buy more from the company.
4. Surprise Gifts: How can you give your customers small tokens of appreciation? Is it possible to include free samples of a different product in their next order? Send a branded accessory item, perhaps? True free gifts can greatly increase customer loyalty, but they must be tailored to your products and customers.
5. Free Shipping: When free shipping is included in the offer, ecommerce sites generate higher conversion rates in every segment. Test it out for yourself to be sure. Is it true that shipping is free? No, it’s included in the purchase price. Bonobos are known for providing free shipping on all orders. There will be no shipping fee added to your order total regardless of where you are in the United States.
6. Free Returns: Online shoppers aren’t as wary as they once were, but a satisfaction guarantee backed up by free shipping helps to alleviate concerns and encourages hesitant customers to place an order. Will it increase your return rate? Probably. Will it generate revenue and customer loyalty? Definitely.
7. Spend & Get: You can encourage customers to add more items to their shopping cart by linking order amounts to special benefits. The discount or other benefit does not begin until a certain price point has been reached. Amazon offers free shipping on book orders over $25.
8. Warehouse Sale: Overstocks, odd sizes, and seasonal goods at the end of the season are all reasons to move old merchandise to make room for new. Customers are aware of your predicament, and when the price is right, they are eager to jump in and assist you.
9. Holiday Sales: Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving Day, and other holidays are not only good reasons for sales, but consumers have come to expect them.
10. Flash Sales: To inform your customers about flash sales, combine it with your newsletter. You can make it even more unique by informing your subscribers ahead of time. For example, Kmart’s blue light special flash sales.
11. Seasonal Sales: We’ve already discussed seasonal discounts, but there’s a distinction to be made between a discount and a sale. Sales are a bigger deal, and they usually get a lot more publicity and attention than discounts. Seasonal sales also happen at predictable times and can be planned months ahead of time.
12. End-of-season Sales: Remember that each season has two sides: beginning and end. To make room for fall and winter merchandise, you must move your remaining summer stock out of the warehouse. It seems like the ideal time for an end-of-season sale!
Special Offers & Events to Boost Brand Awareness
1. Limited Editions: These can be limited-edition, time-limited, or special-run products. You can link them to celebrities or events. You can give them away as gifts or charge a premium for them. Limited editions increase the value of your products and services.
2. Special Editions: Everyone loves to feel special and own something special, whether it’s a signed copy of a book or a celebrity-endorsed product. Special editions are collectibles and are also more valuable than regular editions.
3. Price Match Guarantee: Relieve buyer concerns by promising to match prices advertised by competitors. Price match guarantee was used by retailers such as Best Buy and Target to secure sales that would have otherwise gone to Amazon or another competitor.
4. Competitions: Enter for a chance to win! Games and competitions can help you increase sales and grow your mailing list.
5. Store Credit: Instead of a discount, offer customers a coupon that they can use on their next purchase. It’s like having money in your pocket that you must spend before a certain date at a specific store.
6. Upsell: If a customer is checking out with a notebook computer in their shopping cart. For instance, upgraded RAM can be offered at a reduced price. You don’t want to cause any confusion right before the customer pays. It’s better to take the order first, then offer the upsell as an add-on.
7. Free Trials: It will be difficult for a potential buyer to return your product or not buy it again once you have placed it in their hands and they have seen positive results. Why should I return something that works great, does what I need it to do, and is reasonably priced?
8. Instalment Plans: Customers will buy more of your products if you make it easy for them to own. Naturally, some customers will fall behind on their payments or stop making them altogether. Sweetwater is known for its ‘Easy Payments’ interest-free plan. Customers don’t have to wait for products they need because you offer a 3 or 6-month Payment Plan.
9. Invite-only Shopping Events: Invite your most loyal customers to a special sale just for them. You could even offer special discounts and extra passes to those who want to bring a friend. Everyone enjoys being special. This is one way to express your gratitude to your long-term customers.
10. Give Back to the Community: For example, Bombas donates a pair of socks to a homeless shelter for every pair of socks a customer buys from their website. The list of requirements and organizations is extensive. Choose charities that are meaningful to your target audience.
11. Family-centered Offers: One of the quickest ways to gain confidence and new business is to have your current customers recommend your site to others. Amazon, for example, allows family members to share Amazon Prime benefits, increasing the likelihood that those family members will purchase.
4 Benefits of E-commerce Promotion
Create Better Sales Strategy
November and December account for nearly 25% of all e-commerce revenue, but there are other opportunities to explore. Consider occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Mother’s Day. You can convert more sales and add value to keep shoppers coming back by running promotions around key dates and holidays. It’s also worth noting that on these dates that aren’t during the peak holiday season, you’ll face less competition in terms of promotions.
When used correctly, e-commerce promotion ideas capitalize on online consumer behavior, making it easier for you to sell to customers despite the high level of competition. Consumers today are looking for the best deal, and this process occurs at every stage of the sales funnel. Whether it’s during initial research or on the cart page, shoppers consider price, shipping options, and price when making a purchase. This presents a significant opportunity to influence these decisions through promotions.
Nearly two-thirds of online shoppers pay attention to sales and promotional offers, indicating that there is a demand. You can meet shopper needs by running sales promotion marketing ideas on your site without forcing them to leave to price compare or look for coupons. The most effective way to increase sales is to give your customers what they want.
Convert a Higher Percentage of Traffic
Do you know that 98% of new visitors fail to convert into a lead or sale? Almost all of the traffic you drive to your website ends up being wasted.
This emphasizes the importance of converting current website visitors. E-commerce promotion is a great way to engage and convert visitors. Provide a Welcome offer with a 15% discount on your first order. Enter your email to get the code will allow you to not only drive sales but also capture email leads so that you can retarget these visitors with email campaigns.
E-commerce promotion will help you convert a higher percentage of traffic, whether it’s capturing an email or converting a sale. Why is this significant? Paid traffic campaigns provide more sales opportunities and a higher return on investment.
Engage & Re-engage your Target Audience
Consider your e-commerce store as a physical location for a moment. You’d never let someone walk in the front door without interacting with them in some way. You must engage and re-engage with that shopper, notifying them of current promotions, or providing them with some information.
Your e-commerce store and promotions are no exception. This is your chance to directly engage each shopper with something that they might find useful. While some people are against pop-up promotions, the fact is that providing something of value to your visitors (a discount, free shipping, or free gift wrapping) will only improve their shopping experience.
Conclusion – How to Sell More Online?
E-commerce promotion has always been and will continue to be a great way to increase sales, convert a higher percentage of traffic and engage the target audience and they make even more sense when considering the competitive landscape of e-commerce. You must meet customer expectations and needs while also providing them with a reason to stay on your website or return. If you don’t, you’re missing out on big revenue-driving opportunities.
Do these discounts, sales, and special offer suggestions spark your imagination? Using our comprehensive sales promotion with examples, you’ll be able to come up with the best sales that are tailored to your target audience.
At PROS, we are committed to finding the best conversion rate optimization (CRO) solution for your ecommerce business, regardless of its size. Sign up for a complimentary analysis of your website where we’ll take a close look at your site if you’re interested in improving your ecommerce sales, discounts and deals.
That’s the way to more sales and profits! Get in touch with us today!
Deepak Wadhwani has over 20 years experience in software/wireless technologies. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Intuit, ESRI, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Nortel, Microsoft and Oracle in over 60 countries. Deepak has worked on Internet marketing projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange Country, Denver, Nashville, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Huntsville. Deepak has been a founder of technology Startups for one of the first Cityguides, yellow pages online and web based enterprise solutions. He is an internet marketing and technology expert & co-founder for a San Diego Internet marketing company.