E-commerce marketing
E-commerce marketing
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 min read
May 6, 2021

17 Ways To Use Discounts To Build Your Sales Volume


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Conversions are the raison d’etre for any business. But gliding your prospects through the sales funnel by accommodating their needs is never a piece of cake. You need to make your deal irresistible, or how Vito Corleone would say, ‘give them an offer they can’t refuse’.

Enter discounting, which sellers have historically used to give customers a sense of satisfaction or even a sense of victory over them. Discounting was never a ‘fresh strategy’; it has always been a ‘fruitful strategy’. Last year alone, a staggering 88% of shoppers in the U.S used coupons for their purchase!

Everyone yearns for a good deal. If you are a seller, an attractive discount is a perfect way to build your sales volume and create your own ‘tribe’ of customers.

On that note, here are 17 ways you can cash in on discounts to boost your conversions –

Flash Sale

It is an offer for a really short period. With the clock ticking on one side and a dash of heavy discounts on the other, customers’ impulse buying behavior is activated, and they end up buying your product on the spot. Most flash sales are characterized by a prominent timer that displays the days or hours left to avail the discount. Here is an example of a flash sale run by the popular store Bestbuy –

Percentage Off On Certain Products/Collections

A classic (but clever!) strategy deployed to grab the eyeballs of your customers. This is often employed through strike-through prices which helps to manipulate the ‘cost vs. value psyche’ of the customers. The aim of this discount strategy is to show the visitors how good your offer price is as compared to the marked price. Lowe’s, the home improvement business displays both strike-through price and the percentage savings on the eligible products.

Seasonal/Holidays Offer

Festivals have always been a crowd puller for businesses as customers tend to shop more during holidays. It is the time of the year when they are happy as a clam. So offering seasonal/holiday discounts on the products they are more likely to purchase at that time gives you a better chance at hitting home runs. Apart from Christmas and Easter, some of the popular days to shop for discounts include Black Friday, Independence Day, Memorial Day, Mother’s day to name a few. A typical Christmas day offer is shown below –

Limited Time Offers

Flash sale is a subset of this. These offers usually run for a longer time than flash sales. Any phenomenon that occurs for a limited time intrigues a person to know more. When you offer a discount for a short period, customers are triggered to take some action sooner or later (before the deal expires). Here is a sale that ends in less than two days at Office Depot.

Weekend Offers

Like the holiday offers, weekend offers use the chirpy mood and the free time of the customers to make them buy a product. They are usually given on fast moving products such as groceries and vegetables. Grocery store Lidl is offering weekend discounts on select products –

Abandoned Cart Offers

This is an excellent way to re-engage your lost opportunities by sending attractive discounts on the products lying idle in their cart. Brands usually employ a series of abandoned cart emails with the first one acting as a simple reminder. They follow it up with discounts on the subsequent emails if the first one didn’t do the trick. Pepperfry, a leading e-commerce furniture marketplace in India targets visitors regularly through abandoned cart emails –

Percentage Off For Subscribing To Your Email List Or Downloading The App

‘A LARGE discount is just a click away. Subscribe to our newsletter’ – most prospects will dig this. You get their valuable email addresses in return, which you can use to target them. Macy’s, the American department store chain, uses this type of discounting to make the visitors subscribe to their sales emails.

Referral Offers

This discounting technique goes deep root across your target audience by attracting prospects who were never really under your radar. A small discount to an existing customer for every customer referred is usually the way to kickstart this chain reaction. Referred customers are more likely to buy as they already have a good opinion about your brand (since they have been recommended by peers). Numerous brands offer massive rewards if you refer your friends and closed ones to purchase their products.

First Purchase Discounts

Offering a discount on a customer’s first purchase makes them warm up to your business. They start thinking of you as highly customer-centric in your approach. Acquiring new customers have always been challenging as majority of the customers leave your website without placing an order. Such discounts serve as an incentive to complete those purchases. Here in a 50% discount offered by a brand for first time shoppers –

Bundled Product Offers

Customers don’t mind buying more if they get a better deal. The bundled product offers work on this simple principle. Some sellers usually club unsold products along with popular ones to multiply the benefit of this discounting strategy. While others just want to increase the average order value of every customer. Here is a bundled offer from a brand we all love (no prize for guessing) –

Milestone Offers/Discounts

This is a typical customer retention strategy where you award a discount for loyal customers who have partnered with you for a good amount of time. One way brands use this is by offering an X% discount to a customer who has completed Y purchases. Another way is to offer discounts on birthdays and anniversaries to those who have spent a considerable time with the brand.

Contest Giveaways

Organize a contest and reward the winners with exclusive gift vouchers or products. For customers, it is a wonderful opportunity to win something that they really want. For you, it offers a wealth of information that you can use to target the participants in the future.

Bulk purchase offers

Like the bundled product offers, this serves as an option to rotate your inventory quickly. Customers will buy more with an attractive discount, even if they do not need that volume right away.

Reward Programs/Loyalty Points

Another customer retention strategy that rewards customers with points who engage with your brand frequently. A dedicated wallet or a points section is made available to them to manage and redeem these points. Rewards programs work because it makes the customers feel important and attached to your brand. Apart from increasing sales, it helps in accumulating valuable insights about your customers including their buying patterns.

Free shipping over $X

Shipping is not cheap, and most sellers transfer the shipping cost to the buyers. However, this is also an opportunity for you to upsell by knocking off the shipping fee when the total cart value is over X dollars. Most e-commerce marketplaces and retail brands use this strategy to improve their cross selling and up selling opportunities to customers.

Free Returns

Like free shipping, you absorb the cost of returns. In return, gain the trust of your customers as they will buy your products without any qualms.  Brands offer free returns on their products to make customers take chances on products they might otherwise hesitate to buy. JBL offers free return on products purchased from their brand website.

Offers For Reviews

Reviews maketh a company – People rely greatly on reviews to complete a purchase. Good reviews can bolster your sales and conversion in no time. By offering a discount(on their next purchase) to your existing customers in return for positive reviews about their order, you can make this happen. The below retailer is giving away restaurant gift cards for every good, bad or neutral review about their products.

While discounts can be the fuel to move your business, mobile apps can be its nitro boost. Through a dedicated app, you can reach your prospects faster and send offer updates through push notifications.

This is where Vajro can help. We build uber-cool mobile apps that offer a stellar shopping experience to your customers.

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"Looking for creative push notification ideas? Check out our free templates and start customizing!"

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