Promo Code Paradise: Using Discount Coupons to Skyrocket eCommerce Sales

Business.com / Sales / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

One of the many things that make a shopper's heart skip a beat is promo codes. Use discount codes to grow your sales now.

The sales that you had been getting from your eCommerce site for the last 6 months is a nightmare.

It had plummeted to the deepest depth of the planet, and it doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of recovering.

As you browsed the internet for ideas on how to fix your dreaded rock bottom sales, you came across a survey saying 96 percent of Americans are in fact coupon users.

You then say to yourself, “This it! With the use of discount coupons, I’ll surely be able to get better sales.” I don’t doubt you for one minute.

True enough, using discounts coupons can be a powerful tool to get you the spike in sales that you are looking for. And once you’ve achieved that, you can then use it as a springboard to skyrocket your sales to even greater heights.

Related Article: The Essential Checklist: Must Do's When Starting an E-commerce Website

If you’re looking for ideas on how to use discounts coupons to get better sales from your eCommerce sites, then this guide will help you with just that.

Let’s hop right in.

1. Use Discounts Coupons as a Means of Showing Appreciation to Your Customers/Audience

Make no mistake. While giving something away for free is a powerful marketing tool, it can also have adverse effects on your sales.

The thing is, if you’re giving something away for free, without a seemingly valid reason for doing so, the recipient of your freebies could question the quality of your freebies, they could  question your motives, or they could even think of your company (or product) as something cheap - since you can just afford to give them away for no reason.

To prevent all of these from happening, all you need to do is to have a reason for giving your coupons. And what better reason for others to give away anything for free than to do so as a sign of showing appreciation, right?

Showing appreciation isn’t just a legit reason for giving, it is warm, welcoming, and it’ll even help boost your brand image as one that is caring and one that truly values their customers.

2. Use It in Contests

There are TONS of benefits to be had by using this strategy.

When you use discounts in conjunction with running contests on social media platforms, you'd be able to drive more traffic to your website, capture more leads, and increase the chances of your brand going viral, therefore giving it more visibility.

There are several ways to run a contest while using discounts together with it:

  1. You can give discounts to everyone who joins your contest. Doing so will make your contests irresistible to your audience. The thing is, while running a contest may seem like a bullet-proof marketing strategy, it also has its ups and downs. One of its challenges is that not many people take the time to join contests - that is, if you aren’t running your contests the way they should be run. Giving discounts to those who merely participate in your contests can help solve that problem.
  2. Use your discounts as actual prizes of your contest. Just from reading the subheading, I’m sure you can pretty much tell how this works. So I won’t expound on it.
  3. Make using your discount coupons a requirement for your audience to join the contest. Pretty interesting, huh? As you can probably imagine, with this kind of mechanics, you’d surely see some vertical movement  in your sales. The key here is to make sure that your prize is something your audience would die for. Otherwise, there’s no way they’d follow through with what you are asking them to do to join your contest.

While there are certainly other methods of using discounts to leverage your contests, the three tips I shared with you above should be a good starting point for you.

All you need to do is to experiment to see what’s working, then make your adjustments accordingly.

3. Seasonal or Holiday Offers

Remember how I told you that discounts or freebies can be harmful to you if you don’t have a legitimate enough reason for giving?

Well, I doubt you’ll have that kind of problem if you’d use the holidays as your excuse.

While this strategy may seem pretty cut-and-dry, I’d like to share with you some points that you can make use of to get better results using this strategy.

  • Don’t just publish your discount coupons on your social media accounts. An even more potent strategy would be for you to change your cover photo with your coupons instead.
  • Make sure that your discount coupons are highly visible on your website. The way Buyautoparts added their new year sale discount coupon is a solid example of how (or where) coupons should be added on a website. If you'll go to their website, you'll notice that the coupon is found above the fold. They also used a dark black color for their coupon’s design which is highly contrasting to their website's overall color theme. This makes it unmissable. Of course,  the more noticeable you make your coupons, the better.

Related Article: Sell With a Click: Easy Tips for Building Your First Ecommerce Website

However, make sure that it isn’t scattered all over the place. The question you need to ask yourself is this, “Would my web visitors find the coupon intrusive if I add it here?” if you can answer that with a resounding “no”, then adding the coupon on that specific place should be OK.

  • Be sure to add a scarcity element on your discount coupons. Instead of simply saying that you are giving a 50 percent discount on your products for valentine's day, mention in your coupon when this special deal will end. That way, you can compel your audience to buy your services as soon as they can.

4. Discounts in Exchange of Shares

Because of how the social media platforms are designed, making your blog posts or your products go viral has become an exceedingly attainable. With one click from the users, your content becomes visible to their entire network of connections.

Of course, the more eyeballs land on your content, the higher the chances it getting shared. I mean, why not, right? It just takes 1 - 2 seconds for them to click the share button. Plus, sharing would make them feel good about themselves since they’d feel that they have helped their network by sharing with them something awesome.

That being said, using the social media platforms to market your ecommerce site is without a solid strategy to get you more customers.

And mind you, I’m just talking about your blog posts and your products here, without any kind of incentive.

Now here’s my question for you. What do you think would happen if you told your audience that in exchange of them sharing your content, you’d give them a massive discount on their next purchase on your website?

Quite a promising thought, isn’t it?

5. Regular Newsletter Offers

Before anything else, I’d like to ask you a very important question. Are you capturing your audience’s email addresses?

I hope you answered that with a “yes”. Otherwise, not only will you be able to use my 4th tip, but also, you’ll end up missing out on A LOT of opportunities.

For the sake of this guide, let’s assume that you have in fact been capturing your audience’s email addresses, OK? So here’s what you need to do.

On every newsletter that you send to your list, make sure that your discount coupon can be seen at some place visible in your email’s content, all while making sure that it isn’t intrusive.

Since it’s hard for you to predict when your audience might want (or need) to buy your services, adding your discount coupons in your email newsletters can increase the chances of them seeing it at the right time, all because it has always been there.

Bonus Tip

Instead of making your discounts a fixed dollar amount, try to use percentages instead. The thing with percentage based discounts is that it entices your audience to buy more, since the more they buy, the more they can save.

Related Article: Don't Let It Happen to You: 5 Mistakes That Will Ruin Your E-commerce Site

What’s Next?

Have you been using discounts and coupons to improve the sales of your eCommerce site? What are you best practices when using them? What kind of results did you get from using the coupons?

Please take the time to share your ideas in the comments section below.

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