9 types of promotions you can do in an online store


Making a promotion is an excellent way to reach a new audience, reach the media, build customer loyalty, dispose of stock, disseminate new products and increase sales. 

This is a strategy that has been used for decades and which, when well planned and implemented, can produce very positive results in the short, medium and long term. However, and since each business has its particularities, promotional actions that make sense to the brand should be implemented (and lowering the price, which is usually what we immediately associate with “promotion”, may not be an option). Making a promotion without a well-defined plan and a prediction can be fatal, so it is important to define the action according to the business strategy.

Did you know that there are various types of promotions and that, within each of these groups, there are different promotional actions that can be done? If you said “no” and you have an online store, this article is for you.

Promotional actions may fall into different groups, depending on the advantage offered to the customer and how the customer manages to obtain this advantage. Some examples of promotions are:

·       Immediate offers and discounts;

·       Vouchers and discount coupons;

·       Cumulative promotions;

·       Promotions with special conditions;

·       Loyalty programs.

For each of these topics, there are several promotional actions that can be implemented in order for the objectives of the campaign to be achieved. Here are some examples you can (easily) implement in your brand's e-commerce:

1. Free shipping.

For the customer, the payment of shipping may be a barrier to the completion of the order (especially if there is a competitor nearby who has a physical store).

The offer of the shipping fees (in all orders, belonging to the group of offers, or in purchases above a certain value, belonging to the group of promotions with special conditions) may be a way of getting round this problem, showing the customer that ordering online does not only not imply an increase in the cost borne by them, but is also more practical, convenient and simple.

2. Offer one product in the purchase of another.

Usually, this is a promotional action for products of frequent use (beauty, cleaning and hygiene products are good examples).

This is a traditional ‘Pay 1, Take 2’ campaign, where the customer receives two products when buying a particular product. This promotional action can be interesting for several purposes, including customer loyalty, the presentation of a new product or the disposal of stock (example: in the purchase of a unit of detergent A from the brand X, offer a unit of detergent B – a novelty from brand X).

3. Offer of a special product / discount on purchases above a certain value.

A good way to encourage customers to buy more than they had stipulated is to offer them an extra product or discount if the value of the purchase exceeds the value predetermined by the brand.

If, for example, the difference between the amount spent and the amount needed for the offer is inferior to the value of the offered product/discount, or, in the case of a new product that the clients want to try, the clients are more likely to spend more money on products they know.

4. Offer of the lowest value product.

Allowing the customer to choose the products that he likes or are more useful to him, is a way to encourage him to increase the number of products to order, as well as the value spent in the store.

If the customer buys three products and is offered the lowest value product, he will probably not order just one product – he will order two to receive the third.

5. Progressive Discounts.

This is another way to encourage the customer to increase the average number of products per order and, consequently, the value spent on the e-commerce.

As the name indicates, a progressive discount is the one that increases as the number of products (or value spent) increases. Example: in the purchase of a product, the customer has 10 % discount, but in the purchase of two products, the customer receives 20 % discount.

6. Promotions based on a special criterion.

Here it is assumed that several products will be discounted, provided they belong to the same group (brand, category, color, type of product...).

Good solutions to put this campaign into practice will be, for example, days of thematic promotions (ex: free shipping in all products of the World Children's Day collection), weeks dedicated to a category (ex: 50 % discount on all models of shorts during the first week of October) or discounts that are not applied to the entire online store, but to a certain brand (ex: all products of the brand X have 20 % discount until 11.59 p.m. on January 4th).

7. Promotions for regular customers.

Customer loyalty can also be achieved through online store promotional actions. By implementing a system of benefits that invites the target audience to return and make new orders, the cost of acquiring the customer will be easily reduced.

These campaigns may include, for example, discount vouchers for future orders, free shipping or products on a particular order.

8. Discounts codes.

Discount codes are not only a good way to attract new customers and offer advantages to those who already place orders in a particular store, but also to monitor the origin of the customer.

If the used discount code has been sent in a newsletter, for example, the e-commerce manager will know that that customer subscribes to the store's newsletter and that it was a certain e-mail that incited the sale.

9. Combined Promotions.

Promotional actions can be combined to generate more satisfactory results for the brand. The online store may have several campaigns going on at the same time and it may make sense to keep them.

A fairly common example is the offer of shipping fees in purchases above a certain value, even when this value is reached with the sum of the promotional products added to the cart.