Customers love a good deal. As the e-commerce landscape evolves, so too do promotional tools that you can use to draw customers to your site and drive sales. Free shipping – as standard practice or as special limited-time promotion – is a great place to start to help increase sales and drive conversions. There are many more techniques you can use, however, to make the most of your promotional strategy. The best e-commerce platforms will provide you the tools necessary to create complex, creative, and effective incentive programs.
Creativity with Coupons
Coupons that provide a set discount (either percentage or dollar amount off) are among the most common promotions offered today. The concept is familiar to customers, who understand the appeal and are therefore more likely to act on it, and can be effective when utilized as part of your larger marketing strategy. However, there are numerous other ways to use coupons – some of which may actually result in higher average order values despite a minimal discount.
Coupons created in a rule-based system allow you to offer more than just straight discounts. Can you think of a set of logical rules to create a coupon? Why not create a coupon based on those rules? A coupon generator built on logic with easy-to-configure rules allows you to impose complex restrictions to better manage when and how customers utilize discounts in your e-commerce store. For example, you can offer a $10 discount on boy’s t-shirt (and even restrict it to items you know to be overstocked) when the customer also purchases a pair of boy’s shorts. The customer may have been intending to purchase both items from the outset, but offering a promotion like that encourages the conversion on both items and secures the sale.
Segmentation and Surprise
Another advantage of a rules-based discount system is that you can offer promotions to restricted categories of customers. This may involve sending an email to a target group of customers (for example, those who have purchased within the last year, but not within the last six months) offering a discount on an order over $100. When one of those customers comes to your site and logs in to complete their purchase, the system will recognize them as eligible for the discount and allow them to take advantage of it, strengthening the relationship between that customer and your brand.
Other creative discount strategies may include offering flash sales to segments of customers – time-limited codes that create urgency and a sense of exclusivity among those who are selected to take advantage of the promotion. You can offer private sales for your most loyal customers in the weeks before Thanksgiving, encouraging them to get their holiday shopping done early. You can even adjust what content certain groups of customers see, based on their geo-IP or some other factor, which can be helpful for segment testing to determine the effectiveness of promotions.
Take the Time to Test
As with any well-executed marketing strategy, testing the effectiveness of promotions is crucial. A promotional system based on logic and rules allows for easy segmentation of customers into test groups. You can test language used for in an email promotion, which promotional codes people are most likely to take advantage of (straight discount, buy-one-get-one, buy x and receive y, etc.), discounts on certain categories but not others – whatever the rules of your system allow. Moreover, a good e-commerce platform will provide you with ways to analyze and report on these tests, allowing you to make the best promotional decisions for your e-commerce store.
Robust Promotional Tools, Robust Promotional Results
Creating an effective and strong promotional strategy can be challenging – the balance between incentivizing your customers while not undermining your profits is a delicate one. But whatever your strategy looks like, your e-commerce platform should provide you with the tools to easily build promotional campaigns to target the people and products you want. You’ve worked hard to keep your e-commerce store competitive in the face of rapid change; it makes sense that your promotional campaigns keep up as well.