Limited Time Offers and Discounting for E-Commerce Websites
Discounting and using limited-time offers is one of the most popular — and arguably among the most effective — ways to drive sales. However, as effective as they are, discounts can be a double-edged sword. While slashing prices certainly attracts customers, executing discounts the wrong way could end up killing your profits or enticing the wrong types of shoppers.
That’s why if you’re looking to run sales or discounts at your store, it’s important to plan your promotions well and craft thoughtful offers to meet your objectives.
Boosting Sales with E-Commerce Promotions and Special Offers – Top Tips
- Opt for Percentage Discounts Instead of a Set Value
People love buying things that are “on sale”, and formatting your product pages to have a “sale price” can definitely increase conversions. Consider showing two prices for any given product, the “retail” price and your “sale price”. Experiment with different terminology such as “Suggested Retail” or “MSRP” to see what works best for your store.
Even though percentage based discounts have become abundant on ecommerce websites, they are still quite effective. Somehow, the human brain is still more enticed to purchase a product if an artificially inflated original price has been “slashed” down to a lower amount. Remember to keep your profits in mind when creating these discounts, as increases in revenue are of the most value when you are making substantial profit on each sale.
- Offer an Additional, Free Item When Buying a Pre-Selected Qualifying Item
Trying to bolster sales of one specific product? Throw in one for free when users buy that product. You can setup free product giveaways if a certain product is purchased or if sales of a specific product are dwindling. If you’d like to increase your average order value, try adding a free product if a certain dollar amount is spent. You’ll be giving your customer the impression that they’re receiving a better value, while psychologically priming them to have a positive opinion of your company after the transaction. At the same time, it will create an incentive for them to spend more money each time they visit your site.
- Set a Time-Sensitive Limit to an Offer
If you are already offering next-day delivery, then ‘time-bound purchase’ won’t cost you any additional resource. You just need to inform the users how many hours they have to complete the purchase so that their order qualifies for next day delivery.
When you ask the visitors to make the purchase in a specific amount of time, you not only make them more proactive towards the purchase, it also eliminates any kind of confusion at their end as to when they will receive the order.
Another variation of this is to offer a discounted rate, additional free item of any other promotional variation, but limit the said promotion to be valid for only a set amount of days. This will make the customer act faster in deciding whether or not to purchase.
Best Times to Use Offers and Discounts on Your E-Commerce Website
- Weekly / Monthly / Quarterly (remain consistent in your offers if this is the case)
- Pre-launch (of a website, of a new product, or anything else applicable)
- Holiday / Seasonal Promotions (Black Friday and Christmas are obvious, but also any holidays or seasons that align with your brand)
- Abandoned Cart – Target abandoned carters via email with special offers to seal the deal.
- Email / Newsletter Subscription Offers – Include special offers and promotions exclusive to those on your email list. Advertise this on your site to encourage newsletter and email list signups!
- First Time Visitors – Create special offers for those making their first visit to your site.
- Exit Intent – When it looks like a user intends to exit the page, you can create a special pop-up offer to entice them to stay on the site and make a purchase.
You don’t have to lose money or hurt your brand when you offer discounts. A creative and well-executed discount strategy with clear objectives can help you gain sales and attract the right types of customers.