5 promotion ideas eCommerce retailers should try in 2020

A solid promotional strategy for an online retailer incorporates varied types of discounts. But it’s hard to know if your brand is doing promotional strategies right — after all, sometimes it can feel like there are only so many offers you can send to your customers. However, you shouldn’t let that stop you from getting creative. 

With the right ideas in place and the necessary tools to hand — such as a promotions platform to help you issue, validate and track your unique promotional codes — you can give your customers what they want: engaging and useful promotions that entice them to shop with you.  

Let’s look at five promotional ideas you should be trying in 2020! 

 

1. Run an influencer campaign

Partner marketing is becoming increasingly popular, and that includes influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is a social media strategy that advertises using endorsements and product mentions from influencers on leading platforms like Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.

Social media influencers with a dedicated following are like gold to marketers. Once you partner with an influencer that best fits your brand, it’s a given that most of their following will relate to you too and want to buy your products. This is why it’s a no brainer that 63% of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budget even more in the next year. 

Why this works:

Influencers have built up a huge amount of trust between them and their followers. This means recommendations from them are social proof for their loyal followers and they’re very likely to go ahead and buy the recommended product. 

On top of that, influencer campaigns really work to increase your reach and number of sales because it gives you access to thousands -- even millions -- of potential new customers. It’s a great way to increase your chances of obtaining a good ROI on your social marketing investment.

Social media audiences are made up mostly by millennials, 90.4% of which were active on social media in 2019. Depending on your target market, a younger audience may be more likely to buy from your online store as they’re comfortable navigating eCommerce stores and are already halfway to your site. 

The influencers you partner with will also make sure that your potential customers have consistent exposure to your brand. Because the global average of time spent on social media per day is 2 hours and 24 minutes, followers will see your brand recommendation on their social media more than once.

 

How to implement it:

A promotions platform is your foolproof way to achieve successful influencer marketing. They’ll generate, validate and track unique codes. These single-use codes remove the potential for a code to be leaked, meaning it could be used more than once or by multiple customers.

Once these codes have been created, a promotions tool will deploy them efficiently. You can avoid sending out codes to the influencer to give to their audience. Instead, simply send a link that their followers can sign up for to receive the code. An intelligent promotions engine then automatically generates and validates individual codes as needed. 

Another key way to successfully implement influencer marketing is with a tool that includes a reporting dashboard and A/B testing capabilities. You can view how effective your influencer campaign is going, make adjustments to campaigns to test what works better, and decide whether it’s worth partnering with a specific influencer again.

 

2. A mystery wheel

The mystery wheel is a creative form of gamification marketing. It engages your customers, giving them the option to win a discount or prize by entering their email and spinning the wheel on your website.

With the gamification market predicted to grow 30.1% between 2020 and 2025, it’s a tactic you want to deploy ahead of the curve!

Why this works:

Customers love to engage with brands who offer gamification, and a chance to win a promotional code is a huge driver for shoppers. Mystery wheels attract consumers because they’re satisfying and, quite simply, fun. They provide anticipation and a sense of excitement, which is key when we know customers are often driven by emotions. 

Mystery wheels create an emotional connection between customers and your brand. This ultimately gives you a memorable campaign, which puts you at the forefront of potential customers’ minds.

How to implement it:

The key here is being able to set up and send a unique code to a customer who wins without your team having to do anything manually. Investing in a promotions engine is undoubtedly the best way to do that.

The smart data solutions that come with a promotions platform means that you can deploy codes through email addresses. The software will then automatically add those addresses to your mailing list. You’ll simplify your deployment and expand your database at the same time.

 

3. Offer tiered discounts in a product line


Tiered discounts are a great way to encourage customers to purchase larger quantities of products. The way to do that is to apply discounts that are based on the quantity ordered. For example, if customers buy 2 items in a product line, they get 5% off. If they buy 4 items, they get 10% off. 

Why this works:

At the end of the day, everyone loves a discount even if they have the money to purchase without one. As soon as you offer a reduction like a tiered discount, you’ll attract customers and incentivise them to purchase your products. 

Tiered discounts are specifically great for encouraging shoppers to buy more of your products. They drive sales and can help move your stagnant or distressed stock without losing revenue.

How to implement it:

A promotions engine helps to generate tiered codes and other more complex discounts seamlessly, as well as deploy them to customers. This is possible because these tools allow you to customise discounts and make sure you can easily set criteria to certain product or category lines, e.g. across a specific brand or category like skincare products.

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4. Exclusive cross-sells

Cross-selling is when you offer a complementary product to customers at the time of purchase. For example, if a customer has a toothbrush in their cart, you would offer them toothpaste or mouthwash to purchase alongside it. 

This isn’t the only way you can offer cross-selling promotions. Another option is to make a product exclusive and only available when you purchase another product. Alternatively, you could use personalisation to increase an eCommerce store’s average order value.

Why this works:

Cross-sells appeal to customers in new and unexpected ways that help boost customer retention. At the same time, it improves customer satisfaction and encourages them to shop with you more often -- they just can’t resist exclusive offers! As a bonus, cross-selling can give you a great ROI.

How to implement it:

Personalisation tools within a promotions engine are the way to go here. They give you the opportunity to offer specific customers the right products. Customer information is what makes cross-selling possible. You’re in for a win when you can pull customer information based on browsing and purchase history to offer your specific shopper products they’re likely to be interested in.

 

5. Limited time offers

A limited-time discount is a reward or offer that is available only during a certain time period -- a form of scarcity marketing that uses availability and time limits to motivate customer action. 

These offers are particularly useful when it comes to moving sale items. There are some key ways that limited-time offers can be deployed here:

  1. Send your loyal customers an email that contains a discount for 10% extra off sale items for an hour only.

  2. Use diminishing time offers, such as 50% off a line of products that reduces by 5% every 5 minutes.

Why this works:

Psychology around urgency is the fundamental reason why limited-time offers are proven to work on consumers. Urgency is a powerful marketing tactic that accelerates a customer’s purchase and stops them from leaving your site without buying. This is because shoppers inherently don’t want to miss out.

But it doesn’t stop there. Limited-time offers are also a great way to decrease your cart abandonment rates. For example, when you point out in a customer email that there is only a certain amount of time for them to redeem a discount on their abandoned cart, the sense of urgency prompts them to follow through with their order.

How to implement it:

To automatically issue, validate and track customer codes, you’ll need a reliable and intelligent promotions platform to do it for you. You can also make the most of activation solution features that provide error messaging if a code hasn’t worked for a customer. That way, you can stop the shopper from leaving unsatisfied and improve your chances of retaining and gaining customers. 

 

Try a promotions platform in 2020

It’s important that you vary your promotion ideas in order to keep your customers interested. Experimenting with different kinds of promotions to figure out what’s best is your best shot at executing successful promotional campaigns. 

A promotions platform can help with this. You’ll want to choose a tool that automates codes, decreases code misuse, uses A/B testing and that easily partners with influencers. To go further than that, a promotions tool that comes with consulting support from experts in the field — like Uniqodo offers — allows you to really hone in on and deliver what your customers want. This is the only way to ensure improved ROI, customer loyalty and more engagement with your eCommerce brand through advanced promotional strategies.

If you want to find out more about whether you need a promotions engine, our free eBook — Do You Need a Promotions Engine? — will point you in the right direction. 

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Topics: retail promotion strategies

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