As we all know, promotions are an integral part of any e commerce sales strategy. However, many online retailers are still unclear on what types of promotions make the most sense for their business and how to effectively use these offers.
In this article, I’ll review 12 different ways to use on site promotions to drive revenue and website conversions. With a multitude of options provided, you’re bound to find on site promotions that will work for your business.
What Promotional Offers Should I Use?
Determining what offers you should run can be a difficult process in that you need to look at your margins and how you want your brand to be perceived. Let’s take a look at the most common types of offers and how to use them.
Percentage Based Discount
The most common way to offer a discount is with a percentage based discount. Online retailers use small discounts (5-10% off), larger discounts (15-25% off) as incentives to purchase. It’s also common to see brands discount 50% or more to clear out old and excess inventory.
Who should use this offer?
Discounting can and should be used by all retailers, but in different ways. If your business has high profit margins then you can afford offer higher discounts of 15-25% off and discount more frequently. With low profit margins and higher end brand appeal, look to offer smaller discounts or less frequent sales promotions. If excess inventory is bogging you down then get rid of it with clearance discounts!
Free shipping is by far the biggest sales driver during throughout the year. 73% of online shoppers stated that free shipping is the #1 criterion for making a purchase. Free shipping is an offer that appeals to the majority of shoppers and can significantly increase sales conversions.
Who should use this offer?
Shipping cost is largely based on size and weight which means that every business will have fluctuations in shipping cost. If free shipping works with your margins and cost structure then look to use it in your 2016 ecommerce marketing strategy. If the cost is just too high, there are a couple of ways to make it work for your business. We will touch on these later on in the post.
Dollar Amount Discount
Instead of offering a percentage discount, you can discount by a specific dollar amount. This provides you with a static discount amount giving you more control of your product margins. These offers can also be positioned as a credit (take a $15 credit!) which can result in better promotion redemption rates.
Who should use this offer?
If you’re looking to avoid the numbers game of percent discounts and have a static discount amount, then a dollar amount discount may be your best option.
Gift with Purchase
Offering a gift with purchase is a great way to add value to the shopping experience while also driving sales. A small item is a quality incentive and shoppers must fully checkout in order to receive their gift.
Who should use this offer?
Have some old promotional items or some items that just won’t sell? Use these items to close sales conversions. A gift with purchase can be that needed additional value to push shoppers to buy from you!
12 Ways to Use On Site Promotions
1. Use discounts to convert new visitors
New visitors are always tricky, especially since the majority of them will not convert during that initial visit. It’s difficult to drive new traffic to your site, but it’s even tougher to convert this traffic. To appeal to your new visitors, engage them with an on site promotion featuring a welcome discount. Visitors can enter their email address to receive the promo code that can then be applied to their order.
2. Increase sales and loyalty with free shipping promotions
As I mentioned earlier, free shipping is the top deciding factor of a purchasing decision. Alerting your visitors early on with a free shipping promotion not only fulfills their needs but also eliminates any need to shop elsewhere. This means more sales conversions and increased loyalty from repeat buyers.
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3. Increase order sizes with threshold offers
It can be difficult for some businesses to offer sales promotions without it digging into profit margins. However, by using thresholds, most brands can offer a discount or free shipping promotion.
A threshold offer is a promotion that is only accessible if the shopper has a cart size higher than a certain threshold. This can help increase order sizes and convert more sales. A study by Harris Interactive and UPS found that 39% of customers would purchase enough to get free shipping.
For example, if my average order size is $50, then I’d want to offer free shipping on orders of $75 or more. This way, I’m able to encourage shoppers to increase their order size with the incentive of free shipping.
4. Reduce bounce rates and convert visitors with exit offers
You are probably familiar with exit offers by now but if not, here’s the scoop. An exit offer is an on site promotion that is presented when a visitor attempts to leave your site. On average, 98% of traffic will leave your site without converting which is where exit offers come into play. Presenting an exit offer provides you with one last chance at converting a visitor and keeping that visitor on site.
5. Offer a gift with purchase
We briefly discusses this type of promotion above. People love free stuff! Offer your visitors a free item with the completion of their purchase. Give out some branded merchandise like a lanyard or bottle opener. This is a terrific way to build customer relationships, promote your brand beyond your website, and potentially clear out some excess inventory. This will increase sales conversions because customers must complete their purchase in order to get their free item.
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6. Build your email list with gated content
Content marketing is an excellent way to add value to the shopping experience and educate your website visitors. It’s also an excellent way to build your email list. A gated content offer allows your visitors to access a piece of content by submitting an email address. Clients of ours have seen great success with buying guides, look books, recipe books, and much more. A gated content promotion is a perfect option for businesses who aren’t offering any sales promotions but are still looking for a way to build their email list.
7. Boost lead generation and PPC ROI with contests
Contests are by far the most effective way to generate lots of new e commerce leads. Present your website visitors with an offer to win a big ticket item that they can enter by submitting an email address. This promotion displays high value to your visitors while also having a very low barrier of entry. This means that a lot of shoppers will be interested in the offer and many will enter their email address.
Another common problem many retailers face is low conversion rates with PPC campaigns. Most e commerce brands are investing a lot of money in driving traffic to their site from PPC campaigns with little focus on converting this traffic. Running a contest on site displays immediate value to these new shoppers and they are much more likely to submit an email for a chance to win a valuable item.
8. Drive on site engagement with holiday themed promotions
Holidays provide a great reason to run sales and engage shoppers with themed marketing emails. This means that you should also have an effective way to drive on site engagement. Holiday themed promotions are a fun and fresh way to engage your shoppers with messaging and offers. This shows that you are actively updating your website and take pride in your customer’s experience. This goes a long way in terms of brand loyalty and trust. It also increases on site engagement and conversions!
9. Cart exit offers for abandoned cart recovery and prevention
Engage shoppers who attempt to leave the cart or checkout pages with an exclusive exit offer. This offer is aimed at fulfilling the shopper’s needs that usually drive them to abandon a shopping cart. This enables you to market directly to cart abandoners and you can hit them with powerful incentives to purchase.
Instead of requiring an email to receive the offer, it’s best to just give the shopper the promo code. This way, you eliminate barriers and the shopper is able to redeem the offer within the cart and checkout pages and never have to leave your site.
Here’s a video example of KUTOA’s cart abandonment offer. This offer increased the brand’s sales conversion rate by 187%! – Read the conversion optimization case study
10. Collect customer info with multi-field forms
Multiple fields in a form require more time and personal information in order to complete. This usually results in less submissions but there are still uses for multiple field forms. Multi-field forms usually acquire higher quality leads and the added information can be beneficial for segmented email campaigns. For example, if I ran an online shoe store, I’d ask for your email and your shoe size. Now, I can send you emails that only contain shoes that are in stock at size 10.5.
11. Direct traffic effectively with navigation pop ups
Is there a landing page or section on your website that you’re trying to drive traffic to? Typically, e commerce sites will have a few pages that they want to drive traffic to (Clearance section, New Arrivals, etc.) Unfortunately, not all traffic will end up on these pages. To effectively drive shoppers to specific pages, present your traffic with a navigation pop up. Include details of why this page should be viewed and provide a clear call-to-action link.
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12. Verify traffic with an age verification pop up
E-commerce sites that sell age-restricted merchandise are required to verify the age of website visitors before they can enter. Create your age verification pop up under the same platform that you run all of your promotions!
This article was written by Grant Thomas from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.