Successful e-commerce sales and promotions can be the one thing that separates your online business from others. Let’s face it, the likelihood that you’re running an online business that’s the only one of its kind is extremely rare. Unless you invented something and hold the patent, you are very likely competing with a handful of other stores like your own. Standing out from your competitors is very important and making sure you stand out in more ways than one can be the deciding factor on a sale.
Sales and promotions are vital to most e-commerce sites. They provide balance year-round and they almost never get old as long as you don’t abuse them.
Let’s talk about some of the most efficient e-commerce sales and promotional techniques used today, how they work, and how consumers are affected by them.
Consumers go nuts anytime they hear the word “free”. And when consumers can take advantage of e-commerce sales without having to jump through hoops, you can bet they’ll come back.
There have already been many useful studies on how consumers and potential customers react when presented with free choices. Customer personas and the studies behind them are constantly changing. Instead of focusing on one or two studies, we’re going to focus on the following ways to offer “free” items:
- You can use free options in addition to discounts to help you liquidate stock.
- Offer free items by themselves or as part of a subscription-based promotion.
- Give away free samples.
When starting a “free” giveaway campaign, keep the following in mind:
Your Targets. You want your customers to feel like they’re getting something for nothing, or that they’re getting something for almost nothing.
Your Business. You need to give something away that will benefit your e-commerce company. You’re running a business, not a charity. If you aren’t receiving anything in return, then don’t just give it away.
Free Crap. If you have products of no worth or use, offer them as a gift during checkout or use them in addition to an already running discount or promotion. Whatever you do, NEVER offer things for free without using them to your advantage (in regards to “free” campaigns, not life). Anything of no worth that cannot be used to benefit your e-commerce business is technically “free crap”, not “free stuff”. You may think getting rid of free crap is harmless, but depending on what it is you’re giving away, it could cause you more harm than good in addition to possibly devaluing the products you’re actually trying to sell.
Shipping Free Stuff. One of the good things about giving away free stuff is that you can usually charge shipping without too much fuss. If customers are used to paying for shipping on your website, then charging a fair shipping rate won’t stick out. If you offer free shipping throughout your website, then do yourself a favor and make sure to offer the best shipping price for your customers. Or offer free shipping to sweeten the deal. The consumer psychology behind shipping rates and free shipping is best left for another day. Just don’t overdue shipping. This is very important. Nobody wants to pay $20 in shipping for a free item that’s worth $10. Even if the item’s worth $10 and the actual price of shipping is $20, you should look for other things to give away.
Bottom Line. Free items are a classic lead generation and sales marketing technique that won’t let you down. Just make sure you have a plan to follow. Giving away free stuff that will not help your business or serve a purpose is not only useless and a waste of time, but it’s also stupid.
Buy One, Get One
Buy one, get one’s have become quite popular with consumers. In most cases, BOGO’s are no different than a 50% off coupon. To a consumer though, they are viewed quite differently and can really bring in rock-solid traffic.
BOGO use scenarios:
- Buy one, get one free
- Buy one, get one at x% off
- Buy one, get one at -$x
Other BOGO variations:
- Buy x, get x free
- Buy x, get x at x% off
- Buy x, get x at -$x
Check back for more…