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Written By Julius Somoye
5 minute read

Since the invention of the coupon in 1887 catapulted CocaCola to never before seen heights, brands have scrambled to turn ‘deals’ into conversions. With the growing dominance of eCommerce, this “discount craze” has only accelerated.   

The personalised and shopper-oriented focus of eCommerce has actually moved the goal posts when it comes to promotions — promotions aren’t just appreciated, they are expected. 62% of shoppers won't make a purchase without searching for an offer.

If you want to succeed online, you need to understand promo codes. In fact, you need to go further and understand how to create personalised and unique promotional campaigns. In today’s market, you need to understand how to promote eCommerce products in order to stand out online. But you need personalised promotions to stand out against all of the other brands struggling to use discounts and offers to grab the attention of shoppers.   

Here, we’re going to provide you a primer to how to promote eCommerce products in the 21st century — giving you the groundwork to prepare for 2023. There is a lot to cover so let’s get started. 


Unique promo codes vs generic promo codes

75% of consumers now expect promotional codes. The trouble is that brands have spent years offering generic codes to keep up with demand, and that’s no longer enough for your eCommerce strategy. Now, 62% of shoppers expect personalised discounts, and only 22% are satisfied by current personalisation levels. The results speak for themselves: generic coupon codes are no longer enough to help you stand out from the crowd. 

Instead, unique promo codes are vital to ensuring discounts work for eCommerce and beyond, and can offer your business benefits including:


Eliminating code misuse

Code misuse is a significant issue in eCommerce website promotions, and it’s something you can eliminate with unique offerings. By tailoring promotions to specific customers with automated CRM incorporated technology, you ensure you can track all promotional codes in real-time, guaranteeing proper, one-time use. Scarcity techniques like time limits can also ensure customers get a good deal without costing you through repeated purchases etc.

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A more personalised approach

Unique promotion codes also offer personalised discounts that guarantee value to clients, and thus you. Generic codes often fall by the wayside from a value perspective due to ill-matched landing points. By comparison, 49% of consumers have purchased a product they didn’t intend to buy thanks to personalised codes. As such, unique coupon codes based on factors such as purchase history play a crucial part in creating loyal customers and ongoing profits that remain out of reach with generic discounts. 


Personalisation, purpose, and psychology

Now you know the value that unique codes can bring to your marketing campaign, it’s time to consider how you can make promo codes work for your online store in 2020 and beyond. There are three critical methods behind perfecting special offers like these, and they are: 

  • Personalisation
  • Purpose
  • Psychology


Customers aren’t interested in blanket offers anymore. Instead, personalisation should be at the heart of your promotional efforts. That way, you can increase customer loyalty and attract repeat purchases on the back of discounts. A single-use code generator is your best chance of making this happen. By focusing on customer data, technology like this guarantees your promotional codes always offer value customers can appreciate. 

Personalised discounts also provide an effective way to target existing issues like shopping cart abandonment during the checkout process. Consumers open an impressive 48% of personalised emails following abandonment. By tailoring discounts towards this purpose, you could, therefore, convert on more shopping carts in the future. Do note that outright money off offers here can encourage rather than dissuade abandonment. Instead, offer free shipping, or provide gamification discounts for future sales if a consumer completes their unfinished purchase. 

As well as securing more profit, these surprisingly simple personalised techniques can build relationships with loyal customers who provide the best possible lifetime value to your online store. That’s a level of security you’ll struggle to find elsewhere, and you need to get personal to make it happen. 

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Most marketing managers now understand the value of personalisation, but you might not realise that purpose also matters. Even in the case of personalisation, purposeless promotions could easily damage your brand and even leave customers questioning your value. 

That’s a risk you can do away with by considering purpose when you implement offers. An obvious example of this would be discounts based around seasonal events. Sending deals on a customer’s birthday is also a risk-free way to frame your efforts. As mentioned above, even tailoring promotions towards issues like shopping cart abandonment can work well.

If you’re looking to personalise offers on a broader scale, it’s also worth considering the value of techniques like gamification and scarcity. These promotional methods are invaluable as they create purpose in themselves. By incorporating game-based promotions such as ‘spend £- and get 20% extra free’, you provide both the deal and a reason for offering it. Equally, time-limited discounts for shoppers who are spending too long to complete a purchase provide both purpose and incentive for immediate sales.

You could even pair both gamification and scarcity to provide a powerful, purposeful discount package. As simple as that, you should find that consumers are far less suspicious of your motivations, and more liable to convert as a result.



Shopping and psychology have long been interlinked, and promo codes are no exception. While promotions are, undeniably, a vital part of modern business, the psychology behind them is far from a cut and dry issue. In fact, a purposeless, blanket discount could harm your brand more than help it.

That’s because ongoing discounts can throw the value of your products into question, especially when promotions don’t use scarcity techniques. If you’re able to offer money off for extended periods, don’t be surprised it customers are unwilling to pay full price after the event!

Instead, think hard about the psychological implications of promotions at all times. Personalisation and purpose are both essential methods here, but they aren’t enough to provide positive psychology in themselves.

To achieve that goal, consider the wording and structure of your promotional codes moving forward. For instance, many companies find that the negative impact of ‘money off’ discounts can be negated by instead using words like ‘savings,’ or focusing on offering extra for free instead. Equally, offering free shipping can save consumers the same amount of money without once negatively impacting the costing of your products. Of course, you know that promotions like these are the same as simple money off offers, but you’d be surprised how many more customers respond positively to your brand thanks to these simple framing alterations. 


Engage with influencers

Collaborations between businesses and influencers are now considered a promo code staple — and with good reason. With 40% of millennials believing YouTubers understand them better than their friends, this is now an ultimate word-of-mouth tool. Even better, the 3.5 billion people who regularly use social media make this a wide-reaching recommendation indeed.

Unique promotion codes are all it takes to guarantee an ROI on influencer affiliations like these. You might also want to consider an influencer’s audience so you can promote specific products that are liable to land. As well as enjoying the benefit of up to 90% of consumers who trust peer recommendations like these, the personal nature of these codes can provide trackable promotion results. As well as allowing you to tap into new audiences, influencers will therefore enable you to tailor your promotion codes towards unique customer needs and buying habits moving forward. That can then make sure your eCommerce promotions hit the mark moving forward.

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Technology will help you focus on creativity

Promo codes don’t need to be complicated. In fact, there are some fairly fundamental principles behind success here, and most of them focus around personalisation. Once you get that right, you can harness your promo efforts further by structuring personalised codes around:

  • Purposeful offers
  • Wisely worded discounts
  • Influencer platforms

Even better, technology is all it takes to implement these ideas. By using integrated, personalised code generators, these efforts won’t even add to your workload. That gives you to focus on the creative aspect of discounts that are vital for setting your promotions apart in a competitive market and catching consumer attention. 

Letting technology take care of promo codes also allows you to focus on analytics instead. By looking at how customers are responding or failing to respond to promo code efforts thus far, you can tailor promotions that work into 2023 onwards.


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