10 Sales Promotion Hacks to Build Customer Engagement

As online retailers we all fight to sell our products at full price. There are times though when it’s necessary to discount or run promotions. Whether you’re price matching a large wholesale account, you’ve anniversaried a sale, or you just need to move excess inventory off your shelves, promos are a sure fire way to boost engagement.  

Here’s a list of sales promotion ideas that will turn browsers into buyers!

1.  Free Shipping + Free Returns

Offering Free Shipping + Free Returns has become a near expectation among online shoppers.  In fact, 83% of consumers would increase online shopping if more stores offered free shipping policies.  In some ways, shipping rates are a thing of the past as many companies are opting into free-shipping and returns all year round. Offering free shipping across all orders or above a specific spend threshold is a great way to increase conversion rates.

2.  Reward frequent shoppers

What better way to show that you care then rewarding your customers for taking the time to shop with you.  A gift card or discount, even for a small amount, will help maintain their loyalty into the future. Apps like Nudge are great for increasing buying activity among users on your site while simultaneously rewarding them for purchasing with incentives like, “Spend $100 for 10% off your order.”  

3.  Referral Programs

If you’re looking for a great ROI, referral programs are your new best friend.  While nothing in life is free, referral programs help with some of the legwork by essentially spreading your brand message for you — likely to consumers in a very similar demographic as your target audience.  Looking for an app to help automate this process?  Try RefferalCandy on the Shopify App store!

4.  Include a free product or swag with purchase

Sending a complimentary product as a gift is a great gesture.  These do not need to be high ticket items but your customers will appreciate the thought and it gives them a little extra something in addition to their original purchase.  Gifting customers is also a useful way to introduce them to some of your other product lines.

5.  Hold a contest or sweepstakes

Competition is your friend.  Take advantage of it whenever you can.  Having a contest or a giveaway will generate high traffic to your website, increase spending, and is also a great way to generate email sign ups.

6.  Hold sales around specific events

There are specific high volume selling times of the year — typically e-commerce sites see a huge jump from October through December, so it’s important to capitalize on these.  While you do not want to diminish your brand value (we know your products are worth the list price) holding large sales twice per year is a smart tactic.

7.  Points System

Much like credit card points or frequent flyer miles, points systems are meaningful to customers and build loyalty.  Customers that participate in points programs will build an even deeper bond with your brand.  Apps like Loyalty Rewards Points by Sweet Tooth can help automate this process for you!

8.  Create urgency — flash sales

As a consumer, it feels good to be surprised by a sale you weren’t expecting.  So, in addition to offering promotions around the holidays, surprise your customer base with small incentives that drive purchasing.  Rewards and Referrals by Swell is a great app to create and send unique sales promotions to your client base!

9.  Have on-going on-sale items

Even top luxury brands have “sale” sections on their websites.  Worry not, having a sale section doesn’t diminish your brand image.  By providing your customer base with a place to seek out on-going items on sale, you’ll inevitably cast a wider net on your browsers.  It’s also a great way for first-time buyers to test the quality of your products.  If they are impressed with what they see, you can count on them coming back.  A sale section is also a great place to get rid of inventory that is not selling.    

10.  Email sign-up bonuses

Offer a discount or a coupon code for new customers signing up for your email newsletter.  Email marketing is a hugely important part of client retention and you can use it as a way to generate a greater following.  

Promotional content in advertising, whether it be paid advertising, social media or email marketing, increases overall engagement rates.  Remember to run advertising campaigns around your sales promotions initiatives as this is the great way to engage new customers and convince them to try your brand for the first time.

Any other sales techniques work for you?  Feel free to comment below!