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5 Ways to Run E-commerce Promotions

02/08/2019 | Share:

An E-commerce promotion is an effective way to attract people to your website, grow your customer base and increase revenue. Special offers can also be used to encourage new visitors to potentially become loyal customers. Once they’ve bought one of your items, they’ll see for themselves how great your product is.

In this blog post, we are sharing 5 e-commerce promotion ideas to help you excite your customers (new and old) and get those purchase orders flowing!

Offer Free shipping

With the offer of a free shipping promotion, people are more likely to make a purchase for those smaller items that they may have otherwise not purchased. It can also help to provide a sense of urgency and FOMO (fear of missing out) if the promotion window is short enough. Some customers can abandon carts after seeing how much postage costs so an offer of free postage might just seal the deal.

This promotion idea only really works if the shipping costs are still covered by the price of the product. See our blog post on whether you should offer free shipping as standard here.

The classic BOGOF deal

Your product wins over their emotions and the deals you offer help with the logic! Just like offering free shipping, the benefits of a buy-one-get-one-free (BOGOF) deal make justifying a purchase from your store a lot easier.

Giving a customer a second item completely free seems like much more of a bargain than a percentage off deal. In addition, the customer gets double what they originally wanted or similar. All you have to do is make sure that the product is worth it in the first place.

For buy-one-get-one-free offers to be effective, your profit margins need to be high enough. Therefore, even if you offer one for free, it is still worth it because you make a profit and hopefully reap the long term benefits of some new regular customers!


An increasingly popular trend for online retailers is a rewards programme. We’ve all seen these before in brick and mortar stores and it’s making its way over to e-commerce. By signing up to the site, some stores will provide you with loyalty rewards such as through a points scheme. For example, customers may receive a point for every £1 spent, which when collected can be redeemed to purchase something else.

This shows the customer you are willing to reward their loyalty and eventually give them something for free down the line but only if you spend a large amount of money first. The great benefit is that in the short-term you get great returns without having to give anything away. To promise something for free attracts the customers but the amount of people that you’ll actually have to give the freebies to is considerably less.

The downside is it can take longer to set up. You also need to make sure all the maths adds up before starting the rewards scheme – can you afford to give away your most expensive product in exchange for some points?

Another way to leverage this rewards scheme is by offering exclusive rewards to the customers that sign up. This is less complex to set up as you can simply contact them via email. If these customers know they’ll get exclusive discounts and offers, they’re more likely to continue buying from you.

Promo codes

If you’re emailing your customers to present them with offers, one way in which you can do this is through promo codes or coupon codes. These codes allow you to tailor your offers to specific audiences. Perhaps you want to remedy an abandoned cart, so you email that customer with your best deal. On the other hand, there may be people who already regularly buy from you that don’t need as much persuasion to make a purchase.

You could also choose to vary your code to reflect the channel it comes from such as social media, email, website etc. to help determine where your promotion performed best.

Top tip: One thing to avoid is making your codes guessable. If you provide someone with a promo code named “DISCOUNT10” for a 10% discount, there’s a chance they’ll be able to guess your “DISCOUNT20” code too! Treat your promotions codes like a password and keep them complex.

Flash sales

Remember FOMO? A flash sale is a type of promotion that relies heavily on this psychological trick. By making people aware of a deadline, it tries to build excitement and urgency. People often buy out of fear that they will not find it at a lower price elsewhere.

Once the flash sale ends, some businesses even deliberately extend the deals afterwards or offer further discounts once the original flash sale is up to gain more interest.

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