Have the sales from your e-commerce site been steadily declining over the last few months? Are they showing no signs of bouncing back? If you answered yes to either of these two questions, then you might need to make some changes to your e-commerce sales strategy. One highly effective way to do this is with a steady and varied coupon program. In 2020 alone, according to SpendMeNot, over 142 million U.S. adults redeemed digital coupons for purchase, turning this type of promotion into a must-have for all kinds of businesses.
While it’s great to have a solid coupon strategy in place, there are many pitfalls you’ll want to avoid before putting your plan into action. Here are some strategies to help you maximize your coupon sales goals.
At their core, digital coupons are discounts and promotions retailers offer to prospective and existing customers. They are directed at consumers and usually share a percentage discount, free shipping or some other form of discount decided by the retailer. Think of digital coupons as regular coupons, only they exist online to be stored or loaded on a smart device.
Digital coupons function as an easy-to-use coupon system that, because of the increased speed of a digital platform, make purchasing online items more appealing and less costly. Customers can select coupons they are interested in and add them to their shopping carts to be applied at checkout.
Whether you choose to use physical or digital coupons for your business, there are a few key differences. Physical coupons are much more expensive than their digital counterparts because of the additional costs incurred for printing, insertion and distribution. In contrast, digital coupons may never be redeemed because they can get caught up in a sea of emails and texts that inundate consumers’ phones every day.
Since 90% of customers use coupons, according to BigCommerce, they should be part of your marketing efforts. Specifically, there are numerous benefits of offering digital coupons in your e-commerce marketing strategy:
These are the types of digital coupons you can implement most easily.
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 without a valid reason, the recipients of your freebies could question the quality of the item. They may also question your motives or even think of your company (or product) as cheap, since you can afford to give the item away without a reason.
To prevent all these scenarios, you need to have a reason for offering coupons. And what better reason than as a sign of appreciation, right?
Showing gratitude isn’t just a legit reason for giving; it is warm and welcoming, and it’ll even help your company demonstrate that it truly values its customers.
When you use discounts in conjunction with running contests on social media platforms, you can drive more traffic to your website, capture more leads and increase the chances of your brand going viral, thus giving it more visibility.
There are several ways to run a contest while using discounts:
Offering freebies during the holiday season can actually be a great marketing tactic. While this strategy may seem obvious, here are some tips to consider when using this strategy:
Because of how social media platforms are designed, making your blog posts go viral is increasingly attainable. With one click, your content becomes visible to your customer’s entire network of connections.
Of course, the more eyeballs that land on your content, the greater the chances are that it will get shared. Plus, sharing would make your customer feel good about themselves since they’d feel that they helped their network by sharing something awesome.
That being said, using social media platforms to market your e-commerce site is a solid strategy to get more customers. Offering discounts to consumers who share your content will provide an incentive for them to both market and shop with you.
Are you capturing your audience’s email addresses and building a list? If you aren’t, not only will you not be able to use the fourth tip, but you’ll also end up missing out on many opportunities.
For every newsletter that you send out, make sure that your discount coupon is visible but not intrusive. Since it’s sometimes hard to predict when your audience might want (or need) to buy your services, adding discount coupons in your email newsletters can increase the chances of your audience seeing it at the right time, because it has always been there.
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.
Offering a discount can increase your sales and show your customers that your business appreciates them.
Here are two great places to start when marketing your digital coupons:
According to a study by Kelton Research and SheerID, companies have seen a 48% increase in revenue per email when promoting coupons. If an e-commerce company’s marketing strategy weaves in even a basic level of personalization – whether that is based on browsing or purchase history – these strategies perform better than more generic messaging.
Social media coupon launches are very effective for companies that wish to bring in younger customers. This is because millenials and Gen Z commit most of their time to platforms like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. A 24-hour coupon promotion creates a sense of urgency and FOMO (fear of missing out) in a younger customer’s mind and may induce them to make a purchase with the coupon your company is offering.
Jimmy Rodela contributed to the writing and research in this article.