Enterprise-grade Discount Promotions with Shopify and BigCommerce
Shopify and BigCommerce do not need an introduction. As giants in the ecommerce space, both businesses offer a wide variety of tools for designing, implementing, and hosting online stores. Both platforms have been available on the market for 10+ years, gaining immense popularity among millions of clients, ranging from budding start-ups to robust Fortune 500 Enterprises. Despite goodies such as flexible website builder, VR shopping experiences, or built-in POS, their capabilities in terms of promotional marketing fall flat in comparison to capabilities offered by dedicated promotion management platforms.
With this post, I would like to guide you through features necessary to succeed while running enterprise-grade promotions via your Shopify or BigCommerce stores. But first, let’s see if and why your business needs promotions in the first place.
Pros and cons of running promotions in your online store
There comes a time in the life of every online retailer when he or she is faced with a landmark decision – to discount or not to discount? Quite obviously, it is a difficult choice to make – what type of discounts and promotions should I offer? When should I do it? Do I have an infrastructure ready to handle it? Am I going to lose money?
I could go on and on with such rhetorical questions, but I hope you get my point – coming up with a promotional strategy is tough. We know that because we wrote a whole post about it here.
Digital promotions are a powerful weapon in a never-ending struggle for increased conversions – but beware, launching promotions without a strategy at hand can not only hurt your brand but ultimately destroy it. Okay, enough with fear mongering – here is a quick list of pros and cons of running online promotions in your Shopify or BigCommerce stores.
- Increased conversions as customers are more likely to finish a purchase with a discounted order in their carts.
- Blooming customer loyalty as a result of a reciprocity effect. You can read more about it here.
- More customers overall as you become their go-to online store.
- Increased customer engagement and free word-of-mouth marketing.
- Possible brand damage as your name becomes associated with discounting and thus a lack of exclusivity.
- A higher chance of attracting price-driven customers who do not care about your brand in the slightest.
- Lower profitability if done irresponsibly.
- Possibility of coupon fraud leading to big losses in revenue.
Rebates, discounts, and special deals are not suited to each and every type of business. However, knowing your business objectives and target group, you should be able to experiment a bit with launching digital promotions in your online store. Now, let’s see what promotional features are offered by Shopify and BigCommerce out-of-the-box.
Shopify and BigCommerce Discount Promotions
As long standing competitors in the field of ecommerce, Shopify and BigCommerce offer similar functionalities related to discounting. Shopify offers four discount types – amount, percentage, free shipping, and BOGO that come in two variations – either as discount codes or auto-applied cart promotions. Discounts can be applied to entire orders, specific collections, or specific products. You may also limit the eligibility of discounts to selected customer segments or order properties like the minimum amount spent or a minimum number of items in the cart. All in all, Shopify offers a stable basis for running effective and quite flexible promotions for small-scale retailers.
What about BigCommerce then? The same story here. BigCommerce clients can choose between amount, percentage, free shipping, and BOGO discounts that can be restricted to particular categories, customer groups, brands, orders, and products. For both Shopify and BigCommerce clients, discounts will be available for use straightaway in the integrated POS – quick and easy. Your incentives will be protected on the basis of redemption limits per customer and the total number of redemptions.
If both platforms offer a good starting point for running online promotions, why is it not enough for enterprise-grade clients? Enterprises are simply too big and multi- levelled for the simple promotional solutions offered by Shopify and BigCommerce out-of-the-box. Managing promotional activities via one holistic tool is essential when we’re talking about multiple departments, locations, and brands scattered across the globe. The same goes for mere discounting – the world of promotional marketing is far too rich for enterprise-grade clients not to indulge in loyalty schemes, referral programs, and gift card campaigns. We have also noticed that enterprises need more flexibility and control for building and scaling software platforms that support their marketing efforts than ordinary retailers.
What enterprises need from Shopify and BigCommerce promotions to be successful?
Voucherify plugin for Shopify and BigCommerce fills in several gaps when it comes to running successful promotional campaigns in your online store. When last month we were approached by ecommerce market leaders we knew straight away why Voucherify is the right fit for running effective discounts on both of these ecommerce platforms. Here are some of the enterprise requirements that Shopify and Bigcommerce promotions can meet after integration with Voucherify. Here is a short overview of these features:
- Advanced validation rules
- Extremely fine-grained timing
- Budget Protection
- Detailed tracking capabilities
- Loyalty and referral programs automation
Advanced validation rules
As stated above, both Shopify and BigCommerce offer a firm foundation for launching online promotions, but to stay on top, enterprises need to go deeper and reach further. This is when Voucherify flexible rules builder comes into play. Shopify and BigCommerce offer only a few dimensions to build an incentive scheme. Enterprises need much more than that. This is where Voucherify rules engine comes in handy. It allows you to create tiers based on any attribute, reaching outside default dimensions such as purchase history, customer location, or order volume.
Extremely detailed timing
Shopify and BigCommerce offer timing limitations based on the start and expiry dates, with BigCommerce building an incentive expiry mechanism on top of that. Again, such timing limitations may not match your dream promotional strategy. Perhaps, you want to set up recurring discounts activated every Friday for four months? Or need to launch a 6-hours long flash sale in your Shopify store? It all comes down to a few clicks with Voucherify plugin installed in your Shopify and BigCommerce stores. Quick and easy.
Limiting redemptions to once per customer or to 300 redemptions per campaign falls flat when met with customization needs coming from top market players. You should also be able to limit the redemptions per day, week, and month. You should also monitor the total discount amount possible, especially when running percentage discounts to protect your bottom line. All that should be accompanied by an efficient rollback mechanism that will help you in preventing fraud and coupon misuses.
Advanced tracking capabilities
Tracking capabilities offered by Shopify and BigCommerce are not enough for more demanding clients. This is where Voucherify advanced tracking comes into play – visual redemption charts, voucher activity logs, detailed reasons for redemption success and failure presented in a transparent way. These are tracking features that you will not get out-of-the-box with either Shopify or BigCommerce.
Loyalty and referral programs automation
Now, it’s time for crème de la crème. As far a discounting goes, Shopify and BigCommerce offer plenty of helpful features, but what happens when you want to use discount codes as part of your loyalty or referral campaigns? Well, you don’t really. Not without a ton of developmental work either way. Voucherify plugin can be used as an effective tool for automating and mixing your loyalty and referral incentives with your Shopify and BigCommerce POS, getting one holistic tool for managing multiple promotional schemas at once. What enterprises need from Shopify and BigCommerce promotions when it comes to loyalty and referral programs:
- Discount codes can be used as rewards in loyalty and referral campaigns.
- A mechanism for collecting loyalty points through Shopify and BigCommerce purchases.
- Referral codes that can be used in Shopify and BigCommerce POS.
With these features, you are sure to meet all the enterprise-grade requirements for launching effective promotional campaigns.
With Voucherify, as an API-first solution, anything can be automated for multiple market scenarios. In the same vein, the data synchronization endpoints from Voucherify API make discount campaigns, referral, and loyalty programs easier to manage and maintain globally.
Besides that, we have to remember that enterprises’ marketing efforts run on data. Lots of it. Data integrity is essential for enterprise digital teams to navigate promotional campaigns across multiple brands and customer touchpoints. Voucherify API not only supports programmable campaign creation and maintenance but also automates notifications throughout the whole campaign lifecycle. This is achieved with CRM and product catalog synchronization API endpoints and webhooks triggered by 50+ events.
With all this knowledge behind your belt, you should now know what kind of requirements are necessary for large-scale businesses to operate effectively amid a number of promotional activities, keeping communication channels clear and budget safe. Building on top of functionalities offered by Shopify and BigCommerce is not only a scalable approach to handling promotions but also it comes with great development and maintenance savings – things that every product manager loves to hear.
Want to use Voucherify in your Shopify or BigCommerce store?