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Written By Courtney Maggs-Jones
6 minute read

Online retail saw an unprecedented boost during the Covid-19 lockdowns, as people turned to eCommerce while stuck at home. And, although in-person stores have reopened, the convenience of shopping from the comfort of your own home has kept online shopping at the centre of the retail conversation. That being said, brands are keen to hit the numbers they reached during lockdown, a hope that is unlikely to be fulfilled without an adapted promotional strategy.

Suggested reading: Many online retailers are feeling the bite as market trends normalise after the pandemic. Alongside a powerful sales promotion strategy you should also look into how to reduce revenue loss in 2022

Now more than ever, as marketplace competitors become fiercer by the day, a more refined approach towards the customer lifecycle is needed. We understand that’s easier said than done, but it’s absolutely crucial for eCommerce businesses to adapt or they’ll struggle to survive. Simply offering discounts is not enough — It’s about giving a streamlined, engaging and memorable experience for each customer at the right time and providing a uniquely connected journey. 

So, how do you know if you’re doing this right? 

We need to look out for the following indicators that let us know if your online sales promotion strategy is working.

1. Your codes are secure and don’t leak

The first and perhaps most obvious indicator to look out for is whether your codes have been leaked. When using generic discount codes you'll often find that the person who activated the code does not fit your typical target audience. They usually accessed the code on a low-quality database. A large number of people, outside of your target audience, redeeming your promotion costs your business severely. This is because customers not in your target audience are unlikely to repeat purchases, therefore having little to no CLV. This, in a word, results in over-discounting. 

As a result, the use of generic discount codes often generates a very poor ROI. Code misuse before the pandemic increased by 217% and we estimated that number would increase into 2020. Imagine what that number is now! Financial difficulties following a pandemic and now a cost of living crisis will only exacerbate code misuse. To maintain full control over your promotional campaign, you need a Promotion Engine that specialises in single-use codes, reserving your promotions for your target audience.

Uniqodo helped Vouchercloud members live more and spend less

Challenge: Vouchercloud was dealing with increased competition and a lack of security in their secure codes, meaning they couldn’t monitor campaigns or exclusively reach their target audience.

Solution: Uniqodo introduced unique, single-use codes in collaboration with Vouchercloud’s developers. They found the documentation from Uniqodo was able to seamlessly integrate with their back-end systems.

Results: The API gave Vouchercloud and their partners complete control over the number of codes issued, and code leakages reduced drastically as other parties could not publish the codes or content onto their platforms.

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2. They’re driving strong customer loyalty

It’s easier to sell products to an existing customer as opposed to a new one. In other words, customer acquisition is more challenging, and a lot more expensive, than customer retention. Yet, far too many eCommerce businesses focus on the former, mistaking new potential customers as a signal of increased brand awareness or successful advertising. Even eCommerce brands that appreciate the importance of customer retention find it difficult to foster loyalty. Usually this is due to an ineffective method of tracking distribution.

You might already have a subscription model in place that rewards customers who’ve repeatedly purchased from your online store. If that’s the case, it goes without saying that you understand the power of nurturing a positive customer experience. But without an effective Promotion Experience Platform, there are limited ways of rewarding loyal customers in innovative ways.

With Uniqodo’s winning formula, TUI overcame the challenge of lapsed customers 

Challenge: Holiday provider TUI was struggling to gain loyal customers, as flyers simply sought out the best deal instead of sticking with a consistent provider. They wanted to generate customer loyalty by rewarding repeat travellers. 

Solution: Uniqodo offered unique codes tethered to an email marketing funnel, meaning TUI was able to: 

  • Offer returning customers the chance to book their next holiday at a discounted rate.

  • Gauge whether this offer brought value to customers and proved the sales promotion strategy worked through higher redemption rates. 

Results: TUI saw a significant uplift in redemptions and adopted this approach as a BAU strategy.

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3. Your website isn’t saturated with discounts

An over reliance on discounts can tarnish the reputation of your eCommerce brand. One study showed sales of a laptop declined after a 50% discount.1 Customers believed the laptop had lost value in some way. If your goods are constantly offered on sale, your customer base will begin to question their value. 

Too many discounts on eCommerce websites is a symptom of a poor online sales promotion strategy. It attracts the opposite of your ICP and negatively impacts consumer perception of value. With a tool like Uniqodo’s Promotion Experience Platform, your promotions become more sophisticated by: 

  • Creating personalised promotions that reward frequent visitors to your site. 

  • Offering exciting, limited time codes for special products. 

  • Reviewing promotion tracking that allows you to offer conveniently-timed flash sales, free shipping, free samples and unique codes in your integrated shopping cart

How Jacamo spruced up their promotional offers

Challenge: Fashion retailer Jacamo wanted to make their email campaigns more exciting, as they’d been dealing with falling response rates due to overused standard discount offers.

Solution: Uniqodo worked with the CRM team to design seasonal Halloween promotions that centred around a mystery offer. While most customers’ discounts would remain at around 10%, the excitement of potentially winning the top offer and the fact that the customer only learned the discount amount at check-out encouraged them to click through and make a purchase.

Results: There was a 42% uplift in responder open rates and click through rates for the Halloween campaign.

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4. You’ve tested your promotional strategies to ensure maximal conversion rate uplift 

Another effective way to tell if your online sales promotion strategies are working is to simply put them to the test. It’s as they say, the proof is in the pudding! Now’s as good time as any to pitch your current promotional journey against a more enhanced platform. Even more so if you want to make your Q4 shine

Uniqodo’s Promotion Experience Platform uses first-party data to build customised promotional marketing campaigns. Leveraging technology that allows you to test and assess A/B promotion types is the most effective way of distributing better campaigns. 

How we helped EE Mobile

Challenge: EE Mobile wanted to test conversion rates between their own promotion campaign and Uniqodo’s enhanced promotional journey. 

Solution: Uniqodo used targeted URL parameters to identify the right traffic source. This meant students visiting the website saw an embedded red strip that offered a special discount throughout the purchase flow. 

Results: EE reported an uplift in conversion rates. They then rolled out the enhanced promotion journey to all student traffic, and additional closed user groups as part of their advanced online sales promotion strategies. 

Sounds like a lot of work, right? But with our easily integratable engine, we were able to provide a streamlined solution for EE, freeing up internal resources constrained by heavy administration of promotion management and code distribution. 

New call-to-action5. You leverage influencer-specific promotions to maximise reach and conversions

Partnering with influencers to increase brand awareness is a no-brainer. It comes as no surprise that 81% of brands had affiliate programmes in 2020. Used correctly, leveraging influencer-specific promotions is a great way to maximise reach and conversion rates. 

Suggested reading: Want some tips on how to shift gears with affiliate channels for Q4 2022? 

Without the right promotion platform, your online sales promotion strategies may be leaking like hot gossip. If your offers are behind generic codes, you can bet that they’ll eventually spring up on low-quality databases. 

The problem here is that you’ll find it difficult to differentiate between traffic sources to your website, not knowing whether they came as a result of the influencer or leaked codes. Either way, it means you end up paying the influencer commission for sales they didn’t directly drive. Issuing unique, single-use codes within an influencer-specific promotion with Uniqodo’s Onsite Canvas tool can solve this problem.

Uniqodo helped Beauty Bay create an influencer success story

Challenge: Beauty Bay was collaborating with makeup influencer NikkieTutorials on an eyeshadow palette. They wanted to reward loyal customers and Nikkie’s followers without risking the code leaking.

Solution: Uniqodo generated unique codes to all those who signed up for early access, and implemented a gate to restrict access to the page that sold the palette. Only the single-use early access code would unlock the gate.

Results: The campaign led to a 90% increase in sales compared to the previous year’s Q1, as well as a 718% increase in promotional revenue in a single month.

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Ready to supercharge your online sales promotion strategies?  

You can throw mud at the wall until some of it sticks. But then you’re only left with a mess. Similarly, incorrectly-implemented promotions might convert to a certain extent but they’re certainly not sustainable. 

This leads to a barrage of consequences, from uncontrolled promotions, to a lack of personalisation, to fewer conversions and to lower ROI. Real customers lapse in the face of over-discounting and the brand authority of an online store may never recover. 

Instead, brands need to reassess, execute and monitor a promotional strategy. We know, that’s a big undertaking. Therefore, why not leave it to the experts? Uniqodo is a Promotion Experience Platform that can help you reach your target audiences and drive conversions, the right way.

Tired of slinging mud at the wall? A golden Q4 might be just around the corner. 

Book a discovery call today


1 The influence of pre‐purchase goals on consumers' perceptions of price promotions | International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

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