The 2 years prior to 2022 saw substantial increases in online retail sales. eCommerce businesses in the US, Canada and Australia certainly felt the effects of explosive growth. 2021 also saw that growth in the UK, who’s now boasting a 28% share of overall online retail — the highest number amongst developed countries.¹
Now, paradoxes have emerged in our post pandemic world. In-person shopping still misses the full swing of pre-covid footfall, meaning online shopping should in itself still be succeeding. However, the fact that eCommerce is also taking a hit during global supply chain issues and a cost of living crisis makes the issue all the more difficult for retailers. Still, the market is saturated — competition like never before vie for a piece of the action.
As an online retailer you need to adapt your strategies to stand out from the sea of competition - or what we call promotional white noise. But it’s not always just about offering a higher discount. Sure, that helps, but also providing a seamless, frictionless eCommerce customer journey that catches the eye, engages throughout, and converts. This is what we like to call a Promotion Experience. In this blog post, we share five tips on how you can make that happen. Let’s get to it!
1. Deliver a bespoke, optimised journey
Great customer experiences should always prioritise the customer’s journey in order to boost conversion and engagement. A recent report found companies with above-average experience management (XM) had 89% revenue growth.² When you map the customer journey during early development of promotional strategies, you create a seamless, connected process for customers. Otherwise, you run the risk of customers dropping off due to:
A) finding the tedious journey outweighing the benefits of the promotion.
B) no clear signposting or messaging through the funnel.
Your aim should be to guide visitors through each stage of the eCommerce customer experience, ideally without any friction. This is particularly important if you rely on affiliates to drive traffic to your site. You’re calling on customers to move from one site to another, following the promotion you’re offering. This requires you to make the experience worthwhile, as you want them to feel the journey from one site to another paid off. But it doesn’t stop there. We want to ensure that the customer is continually reminded about the promotion or reward that caught their eye in the first place all the way through to checkout.
An effortless transition between the affiliate’s site and your own, one where a customer is guided through every stage, is a hallmark of a positive eCommerce customer journey — a feat that’s quite difficult to accomplish without the right technology.
Sky used a Promotion Experience Platform for seamless transitions between affiliate sites.
Challenge: Sky’s internal promotional campaigns achieved healthy conversion rates. However, the promotions they held on affiliate sites struggled to match this success.
Solution: Uniqodo created a bespoke promotional experience, tailored to affiliate traffic sources, that included the deployment of a co-branded canvas to orient customers. Our promotional experience platform also allowed us to:
Automate control of promotional codes
Monitor and analyse customer data to target underperforming affiliate promotions
Include a reinforcement message on the basket summary page
Display in-basket confirmation messages
Results: These solutions streamlined the process for customers to claim rewards. As a result, conversation rates amplified by 5 times and the number of conversions rose by 68%.
2. Set yourself apart from the competition with sophisticated codes
Every step of a customer’s journey must feel unique, specifically tailored to them through use of sophisticated codes that allow your promotions to pinpoint exactly what your customers want. To understand the customer is to keep the customer.
Promotional strategies without advanced code capabilities are limited in scope. With generic codes, it won’t just be your target customers able to redeem them - as they’ll no doubt leak to whoever can get their hands on those codes. We also bet that your use of generic codes won’t allow your target customers to redeem promotions against specific categories or SKUs, either. This means that you lose any ability to be tactical or granular in testing what works in terms of customer segments and specific rewards. It can also lead to over-discounting, which hurts the business but affects your customers too.
Customer perception of the value of your products and services also decreases as a result of too many discounts — and if codes and discounts are easily accessed through leakage. Unsurprisingly, this has a negative effect on how a customer interacts with your brand, as they’ll feel what you offer (both in terms of product or service and customer journey) has little value, or is too easy. Similarly, since a lack of control results in over-discounting and faulty or expired codes, customers can reach the end of the journey only to be let down, affecting their perception of the brand. This is where our experience in combining promotion experience with dynamic error messaging can prevent this drop off.
Even if you’re dealing with a standard discount such as free shipping, simply offering that on your page or through a cold email feels distant and impersonal. Alternatively, offering that same free shipping option as a single-use code for frequent buyers will make it feel more exclusive, and will enhance the customer journey without sacrificing security or your customer’s time.
At the end of the day, all promotions are only fully enjoyed when there’s a degree of control and exclusivity involved — sophisticated codes aim to:
Protect the ROI of your promotions, preventing over-discounting and leakages.
Target a specific audience and work to increase customer engagement.
Making your eCommerce customer journey more unique is just half the battle for setting yourself apart from the competition. You’ve got to deliver exclusive offers via a seamless experience. Like we said before, if there’s any step that causes frustration or lack of clarity for the customer, they won’t stick around for long!
OVO Energy improved control to enhance their brand’s promotions
Challenge: OVO Energy lacked code capabilities on their site and the ability to seamlessly leverage customers on their social media channels with promotions. This meant they were losing out on potential customer acquisition and renewals.
Solution: Uniqodo deployed targeted and specific promotions using Advanced Validation Rules. Customers interact with code fields newly injected on OVO’s website. After filling in the specific sign-up flow, customers entered a promotion code for credit on their live energy bills.
Results: This gave OVO the ability to acquire new customers through a unique, seamless promotional experience, while preventing over-discounting and code leakage.
3. Use data-led promotions to target the gaps in your business
Data-led promotions allow you to do more than tap into your customers’ pain points. For example, customer data provides great insight as to why gaps appear in your business, and how you can plug them.
But existing customer buying habits don’t need to be the limit of the data you can tap into.
Single-use unique codes give you the power to split test different customer segments, different reward levels and incentives not just with existing customers, but on new customer acquisition.
However, building an accurate buyer persona would usually require a huge investment of time and resources. Without the right automation tool, it’s extremely difficult collating and analysing every single piece of data about your customers’ habits. Still, you’ve got to go deeper than basic analytics. Failing to do so means you miss an opportunity for improving the customer journey and maximising sales efficiency, all the while keeping full control of the promotional experience. By reacting to live data — say, for example, noticing a holiday destination is underbooked — you can run targeted promotions to boost its success. That’s where platforms like Uniqodo come in.
TUI used data-led promotion to drive engagement with poorly-selling packages
Challenge: As an experienced tour operator, TUI understood that certain destinations and specific dates attract low occupancy. This, of course, results in loss of revenue, more so if occupancy is purchased upfront. TUI required promotional capabilities to run more granular discounts, as opposed to standard offers on single destinations.
Solution: Uniqodo’s advanced validation of code promotions against data allowed for more sophisticated criteria, so that customers could redeem discount codes at checkout on specified units.
Results: TUI reported an uplift in conversion rate and a 10282% ROI.
4. Generate higher demand through exclusive offers
A unique, rewarding eCommerce customer journey pretty much guarantees people stick around with your brand, as they feel rewarded for having brought value to your business.
This ties into using data to drive conversions, as you can use your CLTV metrics to identify your target customers and then attract them with personalised promotions.
An eCommerce customer journey map enables you to set up certain criteria for customers to accomplish in return for a reward. For example, purchases over a certain amount unlock exclusive discounts or early access. Or, new customers who sign up to a newsletter unlock free shipping. Tying together customer retention strategies with unique, single-use codes makes your sales flow more efficient, your promotions feel valuable, and nurtures relationships with loyal customers. What’s more, your codes no longer leak.
Beauty Bay collaborated with an influencer to generate higher interest
Challenge: The highly anticipated collaboration between Beauty Bay and NikkieTutorials needed a bespoke promotional journey that:
Rewarded existing customers
Gave NikkieTutorials followers early access to the promoted product that would eventually release to the wider market
Solution: Uniqodo distributed single-use email codes to individuals that signed up to early access. These codes — like keys — unlocked a gate that restricted access to a page containing an early access window for VIP customers.
Result: Beauty Bay saw a 23% revenue uplift in promotion-related sales.
5. Leverage gamified content to attract more customers
Improving the customer experience with advanced promotions such as gamification yields huge benefits for your business. A potential customer wants something that engages them from the get-go beyond a standard promotion format. If your marketing is fun, interactive and engaging, what does that say about your product, CRM and customer service? It establishes trust and buzz for every step of the eCommerce customer journey that you’ve developed.
Gamification is so important in fact, that:
38% of customers enjoy eCommerce sites that include games and interactive features in the customer experience
60% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that use gamified content in their promotions³
If people enjoy something, they’ll keep coming back. Spinning wheels, rewards, badges, quizzes and challenges are all effective at bringing people back to your site for every promotion.
How Uniqodo helps gamify your content
Our advanced promotion formats allow us to deliver a variety of options to gamify codes. For example, mystery codes drive add-to-basket and increase engagement. Our team of experts and our single-use code generation will ensure your promotions are still controlled and secure, but make your customers want to stick around.
Don’t forget, we can also provide you with other advanced promotion formats like time-based expiry and diminishing discounts to drive urgency and FOMO, too!
With Uniqodo, all your customer journeys can be seamless
Streamlining your eCommerce customer journey requires seamless transitions between every step of the process. That’s why it’s important that your customers enjoy a bespoke journey, one that is informed by accurate data, uses single-use codes to deliver promotions and rewards tailored to specific customers, and maintains full control throughout the entire customer experience. Then, there’s the magic sauce on top: providing that customer segment with an advanced promotion format (beyond the standard £5/10% off) to boost conversions and engagement.
Want to find out more about how we amplify and protect your promotions with advanced, new formats? Get in touch today!