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Sell More with These 5 Ecommerce Promotion Ideas

Julia Krzak
Julia Krzak
October 27, 2020
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Sell More with These 5 Ecommerce Promotion Ideas

There is no doubt that e-commerce offers a whole lot of benefits for sellers and customers alike. For the former, the cost reduction is undoubtedly an essential advantage. Contrary to traditional commerce, it is unnecessary to run retail outlets, hire many employees, or maintain large warehouses. In e-commerce, it is possible to immediately respond to customers’ needs, which opens up an opportunity for various forms of marketing and promotional tactics possible only in a digital environment. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to have accelerated the shift away from traditional shopping to ecommerce by approximately five years.” – IBM

If you want to succeed in ecommerce (which I am sure you do), you have to understand the very specifics of customer behavior online. Online customers act quite differently from traditional shoppers. This shift forces the use of an appropriate marketing strategy that ensures positive shopping experiences, builds a positive online image, and tells a brand story that is constructive and convincing. 

With this guide, I would like to give you five promotional tactics that will help you sell more and drive higher revenue in your ecommerce store, even amid a raging pandemic. 

But first, let’s break down the key goals and challenges of ecommerce. 

Key ecommerce objectives:

  • Attracting the right customer profile.
  • Converting incidental visitors into paying customers.
  • Achieving long-term profitability.
  • Building brand loyalty and retaining shoppers.
  • Choosing the right technology that enables long-term growth and scalability.

Challenges along the way:

  • Increasing customer acquisition costs.
  • A cutthroat market that leads to wasted budget on one-size-fits-all promotional campaigns.
  • Personalization of customer experiences at scale.
  • Cumbersome ecommerce infrastructure that requires loads of development and maintenance.

Now that we know the road we must take and the obstacles on our way, let’s see how these five sales promotion tactics can help you overcome them. 

What is an ecommerce sales promotion?

Ecommerce promotions are sales and discounts offered to online shoppers to attract new customers, increase conversions, and drive up the sales revenue. There are compelling reasons why brands use special deals in their ecommerce strategy – they work. But, as with anything else, the results are not guaranteed. Your promotions’ success heavily depends on the targeting, terms and conditions, and the incentive itself. 

If we drill down any promotional offer, the formula is the same:

The customer does X to receive Y.

To ensure your promotions success, you need to develop an “X” that will deliver desired business results and a “Y” that is attractive enough to elicit a response. No more, no less. 

Here are five promotion ideas for online retail with step-by-step guides of how you can set them up with Voucherify Promotion Engine. 

Abandoned Cart Promotion

With more than 60% of carts abandoned, discounts have become the perfect way to nudge the customers along the sales funnel. From a technical perspective, you need a dynamic segment based on specific customer behavior – cart abandonment. Track the event, segment the customers accordingly, and set up automatic delivery of coupon codes for customers who left your store without finishing the purchase. 

To increase the urgency of your offer, you can generate codes with a short expiry date. This type of campaign can also help with your up-selling and cross-selling as you may base the discount on your inventory. 

How to create an abandoned cart campaign in Voucherify?
  1. Upload customers or integrate with your favorite CRM. If you are not interested in uploading your customer data to Voucherify, you can pass customer information as metadata or operate on customer source id.
  1. Create a custom event that will track abandoned carts in your store. Your system controls custom events. After they take place, your system sends a trigger to Voucherify, but Voucherify does not check whether the event took place. 
  1. Create a dynamic customer segment based on the custom event. You can further specify the event by defining when the event should have taken place, e.g., one day ago. 
  1. Create a new discount campaign. With redemption rules, you can limit your codes’ redemption only to customers from the selected segment. 
  1. You can assign and optionally send out coupon codes to customers using the Voucherify or your favorite messaging integrations. 

Welcome Promotion

Coupons are a terrific way to increase your conversion rates and make your offer stand out among competitors. For instance, you may offer an amount or percentage discount on the next purchase and deliver it to newly-registered customers via email. Voucherify lets you define new customers in many ways – based on the profile creation date, the total count of customer orders, or customer metadata (custom attributes). 

Welcome ecommerce promotion

You can also use a welcome promotion to encourage customers to sign up for your monthly newsletter or share personal details with you, such as email addresses or phone numbers. 

How to create a welcome campaign in Voucherify?
  1. Upload customers or integrate Voucherify with your CRM. Make sure to sync your customers alongside their order history to mark customers with no purchase history easily. 
  1. Build a dynamic custom segment (new users will join in) for newly registered customers. 
  1. Build a discount campaign. You can quickly customize your coupon codes’ code pattern to make them more user-friendly and relevant to your messaging. 
  1. Alternatively, you can launch this campaign as a cart promotion. This way, you won’t need to send unique codes to your audience. Instead, you can display a promotion to all new customers and apply it automatically if visitors meet the predefined promotion criteria. 

Automatic Free Shipping Discount

Free shipping is one of the most popular (and profitable) promotional tactics for online retailers. By offering free shipping, you might get your customers to pay more than both of you expect. 

Free shipping promotion

This type of campaign can work both as a cart promotion and unique discount codes campaign. With a cart promotion, no discount codes are generated, and the discount is applied automatically if the visitor matches the predefined promotion criteria. Use free shipping in conjunction with a minimum purchase requirement to increase your average order value.

How to create an auto-applied free shipping sale in Voucherify?
  1. Create a free shipping campaign. Validation rules will help you protect your margins by limiting the offer’s eligibility to orders worth a minimum of 80$.
  1. With your shop/app integrated with Voucherify, you can easily monitor both successful and failed redemption attempts. To improve the user-friendliness of your coupon codes, you may implement simple error messages that your customers are going to see after attempting to redeem a code they are not eligible for.

BOGO (Buy One Get One Free) Promotion

A free product can be a great way to provide additional value to customers. If used strategically, it can also increase the average order size and help you get rid of products that do not sell well on their own. BOGO promotions are fantastic for boosting up-selling and cross-selling in your online store.

BOGO Promotion for retail promotion

Remember to create product bundles that make sense to customers – mix complementary products to increase the offer attractiveness. This way, you can move surplus products or increase sales of less desirable items.

How to create a BOGO promotion in Voucherify?
  1. Add products to Voucherify manually or via API integration. You don’t need to import your product catalog to Voucherify to run product-based campaigns – just include your products id in the API calls.
  1. Run a discount campaign with unit type incentive. Customize plenty of campaign parameters, such as name, code count, code pattern, timeframe, and redemption limits. The unit discount means that if the customer order meets predefined criteria, then he/she will receive a selected product for free.
  1. Add validation rules based on cart content or minimum order value to protect your margins. 
  1. Alternatively, you can launch a BOGO campaign as a cart-level promotion. This way, you won’t need to send unique discount codes to customers. Instead, if a customer is qualified to receive a discount (e.g., has item X and Y in the cart), the item Z will be automatically added to the order for free. 

Happy Hour Promotion

To keep the revenue flowing and to protect your margins against sudden drops in quiet periods in early spring or late autumn, you can try offering a percentage or amount discounts for selected trips or fares. To turn off-peak hours into assets and create additional profits at that time, you may also consider launching a Happy Hours Campaign with discounted tickets. 

How to create a Happy Hour promotion in Voucherify?
  1. Launch a discount campaign. You can also run this scenario as a standalone code campaign with one, multiple-use code.
  1. Define your desired time limitations:
  • Start an expiration date.
  • Voucher active X days after publication (e.g., 30 days after sending a code to the customer). 
  • Voucher active in recurrent periods (e.g., every Friday between 6 and 8 pm). 
  • Voucher active on specific days of the week. 
Timeframe promotion

You can freely mix the time limitations provided to create a customized happy hours campaign. You can set up additional time limitations with the use of metadata. For instance, you can offer a 20% discount for orders made between Monday 1 pm and Tuesday 6 pm.

  1. Send codes to customers via multiple channels – email, SMS, 3rd party apps, and more. 

Move forward with your e-commerce promotions

With this sizeable and ready-to-go list of online retail promotions, you are more than ready to increase your online sales. 


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