Increasing eCommerce sales is an uphill battle. The high cost of living, challenging economic conditions, tightening budgets, and worldwide political instability have all made driving sales and revenue more difficult than ever.
Cost of living and online spending habits
A recent report revealed that 58% of UK adults have reduced their spending on non-essential items in the last 6 months.1 Despite this, 47% of people said they continue to make at least one online transaction a week, and more than 20% said they expect to shop online more frequently in the future.2
eCommerce continues to maintain a strong position in consumers' shopping habits when compared to traditional brick and mortar stores.
However, eCommerce competition is fierce and it’s never been more important for digital marketing teams to work on developing customer-centric sales strategies.
One place where sales strategies often fall short is in joining the pieces of a consumer’s journey together to create a seamless shopping experience. This is a time-consuming task and in an effort to optimise one part of the journey, others can get left behind.
So, what on earth is Promotion Experience, and how can it improve eCommerce sales strategies in today’s challenging retail landscape?
Suggested reading: Read our free eBook, ‘What Winning Your Promotional Strategy Looks Like’, to learn more about developing promotional strategies in tough eCommerce climates.
What is Promotion Experience?
Promotion Experience combines promotion engines with customer experiences to create the ultimate personalised customer journey. Promotion Experiences enhance targeted promotions, and tailor campaigns to the needs of your customers.
What does a Promotion Experience Platform do?
A Promotion Experience Platform has two main purposes:
Make a customer’s journey as seamless as possible, so that it’s easy for them to make the most of promotions.
Enable eCommerce brands to run secure, controlled promotions powered by single-use codes, that drive conversions without risking over-discounting.
You can integrate a Promotion Experience platform into all of your marketing channels to maximise the value of promotions. Key features of a Promotion Experience platform include:
Onsite activation: Display promotions at the right time to improve conversions.
Early access popups: Improve your click-through rate and make website visitors feel special with exclusive offers and discounts.
Custom landing pages: Create promotions-centred landing and product pages to enhance the customer journey and improve engagement.
Exit intent: Catch website visitors before they leave your eCommerce store or show signs of cart abandonment, and give them a reason to stay.
Transform Your eCommerce Sales Strategy
eCommerce sales strategies are wide-ranging, and each one will have benefits and pitfalls. However, as any sales expert will know, they are typically broken down into four stages:
Acquisition: Attracting potential customers.
Conversion: Converting shoppers into customers.
Engagement: Keeping customers engaged with your brand.
Retention: Building customer loyalty and growing your customer base.
Pro tip: Did you know that 80% of a business’s revenue comes from just 20% of its customers?3 Retention is key if you want to secure a steady sales flow for your eCommerce business.
Each of these steps can be approached differently, and you can use multiple marketing strategies and channels to optimise them.
However, applying promotions techniques without a clear, underlying sales strategy is a recipe for disaster. It’s important to ensure all promotions strategies improve customer experiences and integrate seamlessly with existing methods.
Suggested reading: Read our blog, ‘How to Tell If Your Online Sales Promotion Strategies Are Working’, to learn more about eCommerce sales strategy success.
Challenge 1: Lack of acquisitions
Once potential customers have become loyal, selling to them again becomes a lot easier. However, making eCommerce customer acquisitions and attracting new shoppers in today’s economic climate is no easy task.
This is because customers now have a huge amount of deals at their fingertips; in fact, the average person sees between 4,000 and 10,000 ads a day.4 Standing out from the crowd is a serious challenge, and online retailers must work harder to gain trust.
Running a coupon marketing campaign and providing first-time customers with a special discount can help an eCommerce business gain new acquisitions. However, bulk coupons can be prone to misuse, overdiscounting, and reduced ROI.
Furthermore, coupons can make the customer journey and checkout process more difficult to navigate. For instance, asking customers to sign up for a newsletter or copy and paste a complex discount code when they are trying to complete a purchase might put them off.
How Promotion Experience Helps
Promotion Experience solves the problems associated with poor eCommerce customer acquisition rates by providing unique, single-use codes. These are generated on a customer-by-customer basis and are seamlessly added to the customer’s basket. This:
Makes the promotion feel more personal, increasing a prospect’s trust in the site.
Makes the eCommerce customer journey and checkout process smoother, encouraging customers to add to their shopping carts and fulfil their orders.
Challenge: OVO Energy, a major energy supplier based in Bristol, was struggling to acquire new customers and had no promotional code capability on their site.
Solution: Uniqodo helped OVO Energy overcome this challenge by injecting a code field into specific sign-up flows. This was targeted by the URL and appeared as a ‘welcome gift’ banner on the eCommerce store.
Result: This gave OVO Energy the ability to acquire new customers with exclusive targeted offers through a seamless online experience. Even companies who do have promotions capabilities can benefit from a Promotion Experience Platform, which applies single-use codes more seamlessly than standard promotions engines.
Challenge 2: Low conversion rates
Low conversion rates, although not uncommon in our increasingly competitive eCommerce climate, are a key indication that a sales strategy is falling short.
Online retailers can use several traditional eCommerce sales strategies to tackle low conversion rates. These might include:
Streamlining the checkout process
Optimising the site for mobile devices
Strengthening core CTAs
While these techniques can improve conversions to an extent, they may not be enough to drive revenue.
Recent data shows that approximately 80%-90% of eCommerce start-ups close, with a success rate of less than 20%.5 The reality is that a high number of eCommerce brands fail to achieve growth targets, and subsequently fail to stay open.
So why aren’t these sales tactics driving the levels of results we want to see? One of the main reasons is that they don’t prioritise seamless buyer journeys. Shoppers need clear messaging and may need extra reassurance, especially if they are purchasing an expensive item or are using a promotion.
How Promotion Experience Helps
Promotion Experience prioritises the buyer’s journey above all else, focusing on:
Creating seamless and engaging promotions
Encouraging onsite conversion using multiple methods and resources
Reassuring the buyer through visual canvases and confirmations
Challenge: Sky, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the UK, needed to enhance underperforming customer journeys for specific traffic sources.
Solution: Uniqodo created a bespoke onsite optimised journey which included the implementation of:
A canvas page that was visible from the landing page to checkout.
A basket summary page reinforcement message, which was accessible at any time without loading a new page.
In-basket confirmation messages.
Result: The largest traffic sources saw conversion rates increase by more than 5x, and the strategy is now being rolled out to more partners.
Pro tip: Check out our list of the top conversion rate optimisation tools available in 2023 for more insight into how software can impact customer acquisition and retention.
Challenge 3: Poor engagement
Poor engagement is the point at which an eCommerce sales strategy should really come under scrutiny: this is the true ‘make or break’ moment.
A typical promotion marketing strategy might implement any of the following techniques to improve engagement and boost conversions:
Contact first-time customers for feedback
Run social media promotion campaigns
Send emails with promotions
If a promotion is receiving poor engagement, it’s often not the actual offer that is to blame. Rather, it is the way in which it is delivered.
Secure, single-use codes sent straight to a target customer have a much higher success rate and make the entire user experience more seamless and enjoyable. The opposite can be said for bulk codes or digital marketing campaigns, which don’t adequately target specific audiences.
How Promotion Experience Helps
Promotion Experience Platforms solve the challenge of poor engagement with compelling offers, targeted promotions, and an engaging onsite experience.
Promotion Experiences might focus on:
Repeat purchase promotions: rewards customer loyalty and improves customer retention.
Mystery discounts: make shopping experiences more exciting and enjoyable.
Targeted campaigns: select specific customers based on analysed data to improve conversions and ensure the best results.
Diminishing discounts: make promotions more dynamic and personalised.
Targeted signposting: includes exclusive promos such as popup discounts for new customers, ensuring that customers feel valued.
With a Promotion Experience Platform, users have a well-rounded, enhanced customer experience that is personalised to their needs.
Challenge: Beauty Bay had announced a highly anticipated product collaboration with NikkieTutorials. The product was expected to sell out fast, and Beauty Bay wanted to reward existing customers with early access to the product before general release.
Solution: Uniqodo created a bespoke promotional journey that allowed Beauty Bay to email unique codes to customers who had signed up for early access. These customers could view an exclusive page and purchase the product before it went on general sale.
Result: 87k new customer sign-ups were generated before the campaign launch, and there was a 23% revenue increase in promotion-related sales.
Challenge 4: Difficulty retaining customers
eCommerce customer retention has a knock on effect on the rest of the sales cycle, and can impact both short and long-term growth targets. The key to high customer retention is straightforward: great customer service. This means personalised promotions, a seamless on-site experience, and strong customer support teams.
In fact, studies have shown that customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that aren’t, so it certainly pays to invest in customer retention strategies.6
The path to increasing retention is well-worn, and might typically consist of:
Increased bulk coupon offerings
More items on sale
Increased focus on email marketing
However, none of these strategies effectively target the root of poor retention, which is essentially customer dissatisfaction. To better retain customers, eCommerce sites need to ensure their loyal customers feel like valued members of a brand community.
How Promotion Experience Helps
Promotion Experience Platforms can offer exclusive and early access promotions, create custom landing pages, and run award loyalty programs, all of which run seamlessly within existing systems.
With a strong Promotion Experience, customers will continue to return to your site, and will enjoy a buyer journey that is personalised to them.
Challenge: Avis struggled with customer loyalty, and found that they were being disadvantaged by price comparison sites and lower-cost competitors.
Solution: Uniqodo implemented single-use codes to control promotion offers, allowing Avis to email codes to their preferred customers and ensure that codes were auto-applied at the checkout for a more seamless experience.
Result: Avis experienced a massive increase in customer engagement, with conversion rates increasing by 12.6%.
Suggested reading: Want to ensure your retention strategies will provide sufficient ROI? Read our blog post on eCommerce Profit Margins to find out how.
Enhance your customer journey with Promotion Experience
The eCommerce climate in 2023 is tougher than ever — and it’s essential to use all of the right tools and processes to ensure you keep up with competition.
With the new year fully underway, now is the perfect time to consider your eCommerce sales strategy going forward. The top priorities for eCommerce sites in 2023 will be:
Improving customer experiences
Driving sales and increasing marketing ROI
Ensuring seamless on-site experiences
Uniqodo is a Promotion Experience Platform provider, aiming to support eCommerce sites in each of these key goals. Our solutions provide you with end-to-end visibility over how customers engage with your site, and allow you to create controlled promotions that deliver impactful results.
Book a discovery call with us today to learn more about how we can help your company grow.