Looking to sell more products and services on your ecommerce site? Using coupons, discounts, one time specials, time sensitive urgency offers and other deals and discounts can be an amazing and exciting opportunity to increase your income.
We are launching several different mindfulness based marketplace sites in the coming months, and are already experimenting heavily with using time sensitive discounts and urgency offers as not only an inducement to get the public excited about visiting our community, but also (and far more important to me) to provide a PLATFORM for purpose driven professionals to come up with their own coupons, urgency opportunities, one time specials, etc – and offer those to the public in the places and spaces they already live, work and compete.
For the main community, we are building a Shopify based store and app based marketplace – and I continue to be impressed with the great ecommerce tips that they freely publish on their blog based on user experience and best practices on existing stores.
Here is our MINDFUMARKET community which is being run on WordPress, and will be the baby brother of the larger site – and will feature lots of affiliate offers, and products and programs, content and courses I’m hoping emanate from the “creative” side of our community.
I’ve also been experimenting with some other deals plugins on affiliate sites I already run and have sort of abandoned over the years…and find that they are a great way to get people to linger longer on the sites, and if positioned properly, really enhance click through rates to the affiliate offers as well. (although it’s a bit more difficult to use this approach unless you have a more personal or closer relationship with the affiliate making the offer, otherwise you start coming up with contrived offers and deals that you are really creating out of thin air – e.g. – a non existant expiration date or offer end, etc.
You can of course, legitimately do this by offering your own “incentive” and inducement to the affiliate offer – e.g. – “buy this offer by xyz date and then email ME (or us) with your receipt or purchase confirmation by THIS date, and get Y in return.”
Anyway – if you are thinking using discounts and deals (which you should) – here is a good article from Shopify on some best practices as well.
Offers, coupons, discounts and deals. There will come a time when most online merchants will be faced with the decision of whether to offer discounts, when to offer discounts and how much should the discounts be worth.
Offering discounts for your online store can be a powerful weapon in your conversion arsenal, however, used haphazardly, and you can do significant damage to your brand or worse, become unprofitable.
In this post, we’ll review some of the pros and cons of offering deals for your online store, look at some of the most popular ways you can use discounts to drive conversions and, of course, how to most effectively use them.
Let’s dive in.
Note: For the purpose of this blog post and keeping things simple, we’ll refer to coupons, discount and deals all as offers.
The Pros and Cons of Online Store Offers
Before we jump into some different ways you can effectively use offers to help increase customer loyalty and acquisition, let’s first look at some of the pros and cons of utilizing offers for your online store:
- Easy and quick to implement.
- Easy to track.
- Increased customer acquisition.
- Increased conversions.
- Increased customer loyalty.
- Decreased margins and profitability.
- Possible brand damage.
- Decreased conversions outside of sale periods if you train visitors to wait for offers.
- Tendency to drive non-loyal (price driven) shoppers.
- Tendency to reduce average order size.
Types of OffersThere are several overall types of discounts and offers you have at your disposal. Let’s take a look at the most common:
- Percentage Based Discount – The most popular way to offer discounts is percentage based discounts. This can include small incentive percentages like 5% or 10% off, larger discount to really drive sales like 20% and 25% or large percentages like 50%+ to liquidate merchandise that isn’t moving or old.
- Dollar Value Discount – Offers that are based on a dollar value can be positioned as a credit. This makes people feel like they’re wasting money if they don’t use it. In some studies, redemption of dollar based offers vs. percentage based offers can be as much as 175% greater.
- Free Shipping – Shipping costs are often cited as the number one reason for shopping cart abandonment. Offering free shipping is a great way to mitigate this and increase conversions. Often this is used in conjunction with a minimum order size to help increase the average order value.
- Free Gift – A free gift with a purchase can be a great way to provide additional value to customer. If used strategically, it can also be used to increase average order size and/or to get rid of product that isn’t moving.