The E-Commerce Column

Quick Tips for Running a Successful Promotional Strategy

With the holiday season right around the corner, it makes sense that your business would start looking to create promotion campaigns to increase sales. Between Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday shopping there are several ways for businesses to generate revenue from new customers.  Whether you plan to take advantage of one opportunity or all three, we have compiled a list of easy steps that will help your campaign succeed. 

Put yourself in the Customers Shoes

Take advantage of your store’s Community and social networking sites by listening to what your customers are saying about your store and the products you offer. Have you heard that your shipping costs are too high or that they would love to see last year’s products be available at a discount? Watch your competitors to get a sense of what discounts they are offering and the customer’s responses to it.  It is easy to stay on top of the market when you take advantage of social media sites or have the Community built into your store.


Free shipping can reclaim nearly 60% of your abandoned carts, according to Forrester Research. Additionally, comScore found that three out of four online shoppers will add items to their cart to qualify for a free shipping promotion.

If offering completely free shipping is not possible, another way to entice buyers is offering flat rate shipping or shipping based on percentage of order.

Testing Makes Perfect

There is no one size fits all strategy when it comes to running promotions, which is why you should be vigorously testing to see what works best for your brand. Every time you make changes to your store’s home page you test these pages using every main browser to ensure your changes are successful for the vast majority visitors.  The same goes for your promotions.

Test to see what works by changing the amount of the discount or changing the text or image of the banner to see what gets the highest amount of clicks.

Create Urgency

When you’re running a promotion – free shipping, for example – it will be more successful if your customers feel a sense of urgency.  Adding a minimum purchase amount to qualify for free shipping, or an end date for the promotion would both be effective at increasing sales.

Payment Made Easy

Making the purchasing experience easy for the customer will help decrease cart abandonment. Customers who came to your site because of a promotion are more likely to abandon if the checkout is a lengthy process. Keep checkout simple and sweet to ensure your customers don’t get lost in the questions.

Don’t Forget What Comes Next

Reporting and continued contact are the last steps of a promotion and possibly the most important. Your new customer can easily forget you exist if you don’t remind them through emails or future promotions, so keep in touch.  Don’t forget to measure the success of your campaign and take into account any lessons learned for future campaigns. Was your objective to gain more customers? Did you succeed? Did you increase revenue? What will you do different next time? These are all very important questions to ask once your campaign has run its course.


About the Author

Will StrohlWill Strohl

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