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Offers, Coupons & Discounts: Tips To Planning Highly Profitable eCommerce Sales Promotions

With the rapidly growing eCommerce industry, getting customers to splurge on their product/service while ignoring other providers in the market remains a constant challenge for online retailers.

The competitive urge to drive huge traffic and sales, persuades most retailers to embrace promotions and discount programs. However, there’s more to running a successful sales promotion than dropping prices and offering incentives.

The pros and cons of running sales promotions

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Though offering discounts and coupons is certainly an easy way to attract traffic and boost sales, the potential losses resulting from continually discounted purchases can’t be overlooked.

The advantages of eCommerce promotions haven’t been unknown to retailers. Attracting new customers to your store, encouraging prospects to try a new brand, promoting slow-selling and excess merchandise, getting rid of old merchandise to introduce a new product range, getting old customers to come back and shop again; there are many reasons to create and implement eCommerce promotions.

However, there are many retailers who still fear to adopt promotional programs as a marketing technique.

The main reason behind this fear is a revenue loss. Offering discounts sure lead to a sales spike, but it also lowers profit margins. That’s why many new eCommerce start-ups or small-scale e-stores avoid promotions altogether.

Beside revenue loss, discounting products is also believed to lower the perceived value of a brand. Huge discounts on good products lead many customers to suspect the quality of the product as well as the integrity of the brand.

Furthermore, discounts and offers may attract price-driven customers or even get regular customers in the habit of waiting for sales promotions to shop around.  They do not guarantee customer loyalty.

Depending on when and how a promotion is implemented, a business may either benefit from a promotional program or end up losing revenue and potential customers.

Essential aspects: How to plan an effective sales promotion?

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DEFINE YOUR GOAL

Ask yourself “why?”.

A sales promotion can do a lot of things; stimulate purchases by existing customers, lure in new customers, drive the competitor’s customers to your store, spur instant sales, speed up business growth during slow periods, and selling our old stock.

However, a single promotion might not help to achieve all of these objectives at once. And that is why it is important to decide what you want to accomplish in the first place.

Defining your goals from the get-go enables you to target your effort toward the right audience with the right promotion.

WHO ARE YOUR PROMOTIONS FOR?

Once you have decided what you wish to accomplish from a specific promotion, you want to consider your target audience.

Evaluate your customer base and analyse their shopping history to determine your customers’ priorities and expectations. The findings of customer data analysis will allow you to customise your promotions to stimulate maximum customer engagement and sales.

In addition, get to know your prospects better. Understand their demographics, their preferences, and shopping patterns. This will help to create promotions that work best for your target audience and your business sales.

Know when and how to launch promotions

There are different types of promotions and so are different ways to use them to benefit your business.

Here are most effective ways to utilise your eCommerce promotions to drive customer acquisition and sales.

WEEKLY/MONTHLY DISCOUNTS

This a traditional way of using promotion where promo discounts are offered towards the end of a week or month in order to meet sales and revenue goals set for the specific period.

PRE-LAUNCH OFFERS

Offering prospects or customers a kind of incentive, coupon or discount before the launch a fresh product range or a new business setup altogether is a great way to boost brand awareness and customer acquisition.

SEASONAL AND HOLIDAY SALES

Christmas, New Year, Black Friday and Easter are some popular holidays that are considered the best time to attract huge traffic and drive sales. By offering discounts, gift cards, and promotional deals during holidays, you can encourage customers to spend more on your products and do repeat purchases.

OFFERS ON ABANDONED CART

Specifically designed for abandon cart recovery, these offers are sent through email to customers who abandoned their cart.

By offering an incentive or discount on the cart or required product, you can remind the customer to come back and encourage them to complete their checkout.

SOCIAL MEDIA PROMOTIONS

Ideal for new start-ups, social media offers are an easy and quick way to spread the word about your brand amongst your targeted audience. You can encourage your followers, visitors and connections on social media to share your posts with their friend circles in exchange for an incentive, reward coupon or discount.

Discounts and promotions can also be used to encourage referrals, which enhance brand awareness to a great extent.

Moreover, if you are launching a promotional program for the first time, it is advisable to seek the assistance of an eCommerce professional or hire Magento services if your eCommerce store is based on Magento. Working with Magento specialists or eCommerce experts will help you get a better understanding of sales promotions and determine how you can successfully run one on your eCommerce store.

So, what are the things to consider?

Discounting is a great means to drive more customers and increase sales quickly. However, considering both the upside and downside, offering sales promotions can be tough call for some retailers, specifically small eCommerce establishments.

Pros

  • Increases traffic
  • Drives instant sales
  • Helps to clear out old or slow-moving inventory
  • Boosts customer acquisition
  • Increases conversions
  • Improves customer loyalty

Cons

  • Reduce profitability
  • Attracts wrong, price-driven and non-loyal customers
  • Lead to potential brand damage due to lowered perceived value

The key is to define your goals and know your target audience, which will future help you to optimise your promotions for maximum efficiency and profit.

Summary:

If done right, ecommerce promotions can benefit a business with increased customer acquisition and sales. Learn pros and cons of sales promotions and effective ways of getting the most out of your sales promotions.

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