You run an eCommerce website – that means you already have a platform built to succeed. ECommerce has a unique advantage over brick and mortar stores when it comes to promotions. Forget about making the hard sell of pursuading customers to drive to your location, you simply need to entice a few clicks!
How can you ensure your sale captures the attention of potential customers? By launching the right kind of promotion. Below are 9 of them to get you started.
1. Free Shipping
Pay for shipping? Unacceptable!
Amazon Prime has spoiled us all. Even if a product costs more, consumers are likely to splurge for that if it has free shipping over a cheaper alternative without it. It’s all about their perception of value. People view shipping as a wasted expense since it isn’t being put towards upgrading to a better product.
The key to remaining profitable with free shipping is to set a minimum purchase cost. For example, ‘Get free shipping on all purchases $50 and over!’ This offer is really a win-win. Not only does it encourage consumers to purchase from you, it encourages them to purchase more.
2. Holiday Themed Promotions
There’s no better reason than the holidays to justify a bit of extra spending. China’s Singles’ Day, for example, takes shopping sprees to a whole new level. Instead of waiting for traditional holidays to spend money on others, they’ve created a whole new holiday dedicated to binge shopping on yourself.
While Singles’ Day hasn’t taken off yet around the rest of the world, there are plenty of classics to keep holiday promotions rolling. Take the time to come up with a unique angle that will help you stand out from all the other companies running holiday promotions.
Subscription based services have grown in popularity and make for a great holiday gift. Try a promotion like, Keep the magic of Christmas alive all year long! We’ll deliver a [Product] right to the door of your lucky recipient once a month. 12 month subscription on sale for $100 TODAY ONLY.
3. Referral Programs
Treat yourself and a friend! The power of word of mouth referrals should never be underestimated.
While advertisements directly from your business risk being ignored by those inflicted with banner blindness, advertisements from one friend to another add a heap of credibility.
4. Limited Time Offers
Promotions usually don’t last forever, that’s what makes them special. Emphasizing your promotion’s brief lifespan can motivate an indecisive shopper to finally make a decision.
Add a timer right on your website, counting down the days, hours, minutes, and even seconds remaining until the offer expires. Advertise promotions to your audience proclaiming Just 2 days left! to push them to click sooner rather than later.
5. Social Sales
Social media… It’s a no brainer!
Your social media marketing can be tailored according to your preferences and budget. Facebook makes this a cinch with Canvas, a user friendly tool your eCommerce business can create ads with. Besides their immersive design, the best part about Canvas ads is their ability to be targeted with laser focus.
If you’re well acquainted with your target market’s demographics and interests, you can use that knowledge to stretch your marketing dollar further. The cost of Canvas ads is adjusted according to the number of people your ad will be exposed to. Defining the audience by location, gender, age, and more allows you to maximize ROI.
Does free sound better to you? As you’re well aware, your business can reach consumers with promotions using a free account – your Page. Keep in mind though that Facebook is making it increasingly difficult to rank in their news feed. Posts from Pages are being filtered out more and more, forcing businesses to pay to “boost” posts.
Depending on your audience, Instagram may be another effective network for your promotions. Many brands even pay social media influencers to post photos with their products. This practice must now be accompanied with a disclosure hashtag (#ad) but still has a high rate of success considering how 75 percent of Instagram users take action, like visiting a website, after viewing a brand’s post.
6. Exit Offers
If they’re about to leave your website anyway, now is the best time to pull out all the stops. Present your most irresistable promotion in a pop-up window. This is a great approach since those who are willing to pay more won’t be automatically presented with a discount. It may even be worth offering a free trial period to earn the business of first time customers.
7. Strategic Timing
If you’re doing your market research, you’ll know which products are soon to be trending. Keep up with current events and the buzz circulating on social media.
If you own an apparel eCommerce business with an audience of United States sports fans, your business would benefit from a big promotion focused on current sporting events. A timely football jersey sale centered around whichever team wins the Super Bowl could certainly attract traffic to your website.
Strike while the iron is hot! Capitalize on trending topics before all the buzz has shifted away from them.
8. Good Old Email Blasts
Although the results of email blasts aren’t quite what they used to be, they are still surprisingly effective. In fact, 80% of retail professionals indicate that email marketing is their greatest driver of customer retention, with social media as the next runner up.
A few good rules of thumb in regard to email promotions:
- Get permission! Nobody likes SPAM and chances are that it will only succeed in frustrating your recipients. Avoid purchasing email lists at all costs.
- Stick with text. While it may be tempting to showcase your eCommerce promotion with a fancy design, HTML emails consistently don’t perform as well as plain text emails.
- Include an easy link to unsubscribe. Not only is it good business, it’s required by the CAN-SPAM act.
- Be personal. Using a personal email address will increase open rates and the trust recipients have in your email. Sign emails with your name (or an employee’s) as well.
9. Cross-Selling & Add-Ons
You don’t have to go overboard with discounts to boost eCommerce sales. After all, too many discounts can devalue your brand and products. Instead offer a free gift or discounted product with the purchase of a big ticket item.
If you have an over-abundance of certain items this may be helpful in boosting their sales. New products also make for great add-ons, giving customers a chance to test them out and (hopefully!) come back for more.
Have you tried launching one of the promotions listed above for your eCommerce business? We’d love to hear how it went! Give us the rundown below in the comment section.