E commerce coupon best practices

We're going to dig deep into the best practices for creating eCommerce promotion strategies using discounts and coupons that will spur.
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Consumers are now wise to artificial markups, second-rate inventory, and the fine print with each purchase. Brands also find that offering deep discounts merely boosts short-term revenue at the expense of long-term profits. Many small businesses have partnered with Groupon and other flash sale sites, only to find themselves in a worse-off position than they were earlier. Clever store owners are selective about the types of coupons they issue and the customers they share offers with.

They also leverage technology to measure the effectiveness of each coupon campaign by tracking average order values, conversions, profit per channel, and customer retention. Join , in-the-know marketers and get the latest marketing tips, tactics, and news right in your inbox. With our powerful yet easy-to-use tools, it's never been easier to make an impact with email marketing. We use cookies to serve personalized content and targeted advertisements to you, which gives you a better browsing experience and lets us analyze site traffic.

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Home Resources Blog. Twitter Facebook LinkedIn. Consumers love coupons—and brands are eager to issue them. Stores that do issue coupons benefit in five ways: Boost customer happiness and shopper loyalty Support new customer acquisition Promote newly launched products and under-utilized services Encourage first-time product trials Offload excess inventory While coupons are a clever tool store owners and marketers may use to improve critical KPIs, ecommerce managers may also be surprised by the effects a simple coupon can have on shoppers.

The science behind special offers Coupons create happiness. Get them to spend a lot now, so they save money later. The perils of deep discounting Groupon, the daily deals site, epitomizes couponing at its best and at its worst. Couponing done right Many small businesses have partnered with Groupon and other flash sale sites, only to find themselves in a worse-off position than they were earlier. Drive consumer interest and signups by issuing coupons for products pre-launch. Share holiday offers to stay competitive during big shopping seasons. Get shoppers to complete their purchase with abandoned cart offers.

Receive permission to market to your customers when you exchange their email for a coupon.


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Boost social media engagement with a special offer for new fans and followers. Create generous referral programs that allow loyal customers to earn store credit when they give away free stuff. Offer the right incentive to capture and convert first-time buyers. Businesses thrive off of higher average order totals; incentivize shoppers to keep adding items to their cart with volume discounts. Keep existing fans and followers engaged on social media by offering exclusive coupons straight to their news feeds.


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Reward customer loyalty with surprise coupons and earned credits. Right before shoppers leave, share an exit intent offer as a last resort to convince them to convert. Use retargeting offers to present relevant and timely ads to hesitant shoppers. Partner with influencers in your niche who can share a co-branded coupon their audience would happily redeem.

Four other tactics worth utilizing include: Create your own coupon page to boost SEO and capitalize on branded searches. Add special coupons to your receipts. Distribute coupons through exclusive partners. Examples include American Express and FoundersCard. Wrap up Clever store owners are selective about the types of coupons they issue and the customers they share offers with. While discounts may be more targeted to certain audience segments, they often apply to any and all of the store's customers.

The pros and cons of running an eCommerce discount and coupon campaign. That, right there, is perhaps the main reason to offer a discount in the first place: Adding that little bit of value that tips the scales and gets a hesitant prospect to convert. By providing discounts and other offers to your soon-to-be customers, you take away some of the risk factors that may be holding them back from diving in with your brand.

In turn, this helps strengthen the trust these newbies will have in your brand from the get-go—and will set the stage for the long-lasting relationship to come. Speaking of long-lasting relationships, offering discounts to your loyal customers is an effective way to thank them for their ongoing support—and to keep them coming back for more.

Increasing the conversion rate by removing the unnecessary friction from the purchase flow

While this, of course, can be taken to include freebies and other physical gifts, the importance of providing targeted discounts and offers to your most valuable customers cannot be overstated. Whether you do so via structured loyalty programs or on a more sporadic basis, your best customers should be among the first people you think of when creating a new promotional campaign.

Another key benefit of providing discounts and similar offers is that it allows you to minimize losses accrued through unsold inventory. By offering certain prices at a discount, you can cut your losses—and perhaps recoup some of them, as well. This also allows you to free up precious inventory space , which can then be filled with new and more in-demand products. The goal, then, is to offset this inherent loss to ensure the campaign pays off—both immediately and in the long run. In terms of immediate returns, the increase in conversions attributed to the promotion will hopefully make up for the temporary decrease in revenue per customer.

In terms of your long term strategy, your promotional campaigns should ideally keep your customers onboard well into the future—with or without further promotions being offered to them.

Ways to Use Coupon Offers in Your Marketing Strategy

Basically, the discounts you offer your customers should be seen as an investment into their future value to your business. A minor loss upfront can lead to major gains moving forward.

What is customer loyalty?

All kidding aside, any time you run a promotional campaign, you run the risk of getting taken advantage of in some way. While this may be the gist of the offers we most often come across, a lot goes on behind the scenes that lead a company to provide a specific offer, to a specific audience, at a specific point in time.

How to create the best eCommerce discount and coupon marketing campaign. As with all marketing initiatives, you should have a clear idea of who you are targeting with this promotional offer. Whether you decide to target your entire audience or just a specific segment, it needs to be a conscious decision based on the goals of the campaign. But, you do have the option of allowing only certain customers to take advantage of a given offer. Or, you may provide specific offers to certain customers based on their overall engagement level.

In simple cases, this means taking advantage of events and holidays that often spur conversions. For example, offering a back-to-school sale in July and August just makes sense, as it allows parents to prepare their children for the new school year in September. The same goes for Black Friday and the ensuing holiday season, as well as any other more consumer-heavy time of year. Again, the timing of a given campaign should always be chosen intentionally, so as to optimize your chances of reaching your overall business goals.

Conditions also dictate any exclusions that may apply, as well. The offer you choose to provide throughout a given promotion should be based on both your customer-facing and business goals. Tiers, scaling, and halts are all part of the conditions to be defined when creating an eCommerce promotion.

Coupon Marketing & Ecommerce Promotions [For 20%+ Growth]

Tiering refers to the way in which the value of a discount changes based on the amount the customer spends. Pottery Barn uses a tiered approach in the following example:. Scaling defines whether an offer can be applied multiple times either separately or simultaneously , or if it can only be applied to a single purchase per customer. Typically, the best course of action is to keep promotional offers separate so as to avoid the myriad issues that would otherwise come about. The next step in this regard is to prioritize each of your active promotions. Basically, you need to define which offer will be applied to a given purchase if more than one offer technically applies.

No matter the case, the offer that takes precedence should always be the one that provides the most value to your customer and best enables you to reach your business goals. From the moment you start planning a promotional offer, you need to have a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish by doing so. Setting clear goals for a promotional campaign will allow you to narrow down who you intend to target, and how you intend to engage them.

The goal, of course, is to keep your customers habitually coming back to your site—and doing so more frequently. Going a bit further, you might also develop a fully fleshed-out loyalty or membership program, in which customers are incentivized to engage more with—and purchase more from—your brand.

Reason being, your goals in these areas will determine the value you offer your customers through a given promotion. Remember: Getting your customers engaged in some way is merely a means to your true end; Improving your bottom line. Failure to go through this process can be detrimental in one of two ways. Of course, this is just one example of how to match the value of your discount to the value of your customers. The takeaway is that you need to know exactly where you want your business to be, then determine how to tweak the value your promotional campaigns offer to allow you to reach these goals.

But, not all those who belong to the same value segment are alike.