Woman shopping online with a credit card at Christmas

How to Use Offers and Discounts to Drive Sales and Generate Buzz

As an online merchant, you’re always looking for new and fun ways to drive sales to your online store. In your never-ending pursuit to create the perfect eye-catching campaign, you’ve undoubtedly implemented countless discounts and limited-time promotions, particularly during the holiday season.

But although discounts and deals are tried-and-true tactics for generating buzz and driving sales, their use and effectiveness is far more global and expansive than their frequent threadbare usage.

Let’s take a look at some awesome ways you can use offers and discounts to increase conversions and drive traffic to your online store.

Abandoned Cart Discount

One of the most effective ways to lure an abandoned shopper back to your store is with an attractive offer. There are a number of reasons a customer may have abandoned your shop, but sometimes, all they’re looking for is a little incentive to shop at your store rather than your competitors. An abandoned cart offer can be a percentage off (15% off), a flat discount ($10 off $25+) or even free shipping – just be sure your offer is exciting enough to demand action rather than encourage hesitancy.

Social Media Offer

Social media plays an important role in your business’s marketing strategy and success. A great way to bolster your social presence and encourage customer engagement is to offer a compelling discount to those that share, “like” or comment on your social content. This is an easy way to generate buzz for your social account, and can help grow your fan base in addition to your sales.

Upsell and Cross-sell Discounts

Customers who have just made a purchase from your store may be interested in related products, particularly if they’re offered them at an attractive discount. Showing customer appreciation, particularly to those who have just purchased from your store, is crucial to building and maintaining lasting relationships. Why not reward and assist your customers by offering a product suggestion that’ll not only benefit their wallets, but build loyalty at the same time too?

Refer-a-friend Offers

To remain competitive in the eCommerce market, it’s essential that your customer base is ever-expanding. Offering a refer-a-friend discount to a referral and the referee is an excellent tactic for growing and expanding your business. You may want to offer an incentive such as “refer a friend, and you’ll both get $10 off your next order”, or possibly a 10% discount code for every referred customer and a 25% discount for a customer’s very first order. The more appealing your offer, the more likely you are to acquire brand ambassadors that’ll advertise your brand and business.

Holiday Offers

The holidays are a popular time to offer competitive discounts, promotions and offers. But the year is chock-full of fun, unique and occasionally bizarre holidays that are rarely, if ever, exploited. Take time to explore which major events you’d like to participate in, including major ones such as St. Patrick’s Day, Veteran’s Day, Black Friday, and even uncommon holidays like World Peace Day, Universal Children’s Day, or National Chocolate Day – there are hundreds to choose from!

Customer Loyalty Offers

As we previously discussed, customer relationships are key to your short and long-term success. It’s incredibly more expensive to acquire new customers than it is maintain your existing ones, so take time and effort to occasionally offer discounts that encourage continued loyalty. Send these emails weekly or monthly and track your results, which will allow you to fine-tune your efforts if necessary.

AOV Discounts

 One of the easiest ways to boost your store’s average order value (AOV) is to offer a discount to customers whose orders exceed a certain dollar amount. Your advertised offer may be a flat discount ($25 off an order of $100+) or even free shipping (free shipping on orders $25+). Studies show that customers frequently exceed their total anticipated cost in an effort to meet a discount’s parameters, particularly to acquire free shipping.

Mailing List Offers

Email marketing is an essential tool for growing your online business and is the second most effective marketing channel behind search. One of the easiest and quickest ways to build your mailing list is to incite sign-ups with an appealing offer. With a large mailing list, you can target new or specific customers, and encourage repeat traffic with a continual supply of promotional emails, which will help secure your business’s long-term success.

Exclusive Discounts

Psychological marketing tactics, such as creating a sense of exclusivity, can be a powerful tool for motivating and encouraging customers to purchase from your store. Offering discounts exclusive to your Facebook fans (via your Facebook page) or your Twitter followers incites a positive emotion that promotes loyalty and encourages social media engagement. The more attractive your exclusive discount, the more likely your fans are to positively promote your business with their own social network.

Pre-launch Offers

If you’re just getting ready to launch (or re-launch) your online store, offering a pre-launch discount is an awesome way to generate buzz and increase launch-day traffic. If you’ve already accumulated a mailing list, you may want to send a newsblast, and/or create an awesome banner that advertises your limited-time offer, which will in turn encourage sales by creating a sense of urgency.

 Conclusion

If you’re looking for new, creative ways to help your business grow and prosper, try implementing some of the above promotional offers. There’s no need to adopt all of the above tactics – in fact, it’s highly advised you don’t! Take careful steps to ensure whatever offer or discount you implement not only benefits your shoppers, but your own business and wallet too.

As you would with all aspects of your eCommerce business, track your results and modify your marketing approach when needed. The success of your store depends a great deal on the appeal of your offers, so get to creating awesome deals your customers won’t want to pass up.

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