In some of our previous articles, we wrote about ecommerce marketing promotions to increase traffic and sales. The most popular ways to try and get potential customers to purchase products is by advertising price cuts, coupons, time-limited discouts and special offers. These are certainly great ways to catch the attention of customers in your marketplace; however, sometimes it simply does not work. No matter how good your social media and email campaign was, seems like customers simply did not care about your special sale and discounts and instead of seeing more traffic to your website and sales going up, the campaign fails to deliver. Let’s analyze the most frequent reasons why sometimes ecommerce marketing promotions fail.
Be very careful when putting your products up for 50% (or more) sale
When putting your products up for a big sale, be very careful how you present that particular sale to your customers. See, often the customer will think that a product that has been discounted to half the price wasn’t worth much in the first place. He or she may also think that since it’s discounted so much, its value is questionable in terms of quality. This is why you need to plan carefully your sales and the way you present a particular sale item to your potential customers.
State clearly why the product is on sale: is it because it’s a ‘last year’ item and you will be getting a newer edition to put on display? Maybe you want to reward your most loyal customers so you will grant a discount just to those who already shopped with you. Or, you plan to introduce new lines of products so you want to sell faster some of your products who have been sitting on your “virtual shelves” for quite some time now and deserve to be someone’s latest buy. Whatever the reason is, make sure the customer understand why you are discounting a product and that it’s actually a steal!
When hosting special offers and sales, make sure it’s a one time deal!
One of the dangers of hosting regular sales and discounts is that customers may stop purchasing from you when sales are over just to wait for the next time you have a sale going on. This is why it’s important to market your products wisely when it comes to special prices. The first thing you need to avoid is slashing the price of a product just to raise it up again once the sale is over. If a customer browses through your discounted products and then, a few days later, he or she notices the product’s price has been raised, he or she will always wait for you to discount products again and then consider making a purchase.
Usually, the best way to keep customers from buying only during sale periods is to promote discounted products under the ‘final clearance’ category or, as a one time special offer. Also, plan your final clearances and one time special offers ahead. Don’t do sales too often otherwise the customer will get accustomed to browsing through your products only during sale periods.
Turn one-time customers into loyal fans of your brand
Another mistake that ecommerce managers often make is that even if they do increase the revenues with discounts and promotions, they fail to invest in customer care after a customer bought an item. Every customer is potentially a returning customer, but you are the one who needs to put some effort into making sure customers stick around and come back to do some more shopping.
Once a purchase has been completed, the customer should always get a purchase confirmation email also containing information about future benefits to returning customers or a loyalty program and how it works. Tell the customer to follow your brand on social media to find out about future product launches and giveaways. Inform him or her about all the perks of buying products from your webshop rather than from your competitors. Think about all the ways you can convince a customer to become a fan of yours and return to your shop. Make the customer feel unique and special and most of all, make him or her feel like there’s more to earn if they come back and shop with your brand again.
Remember that your special sales and promotions should always aim at earning you loyal, returning customers rather than short-term revenues and one-time buyers!
What about the disappointed ones who purchased a product just before it was majorly put up for sale?
This is a tricky one. There will be customers who will certainly feel disappointed that they bought a product that ended up being on sale a few days later. So how to prevent these customers from feeling like they’ve almost been cheated into buying a product at a regular price?
This is why we advised you to plan your sales and promotions ahead. If you know you will be hosting a promotion for certain products at a specific period, all those customers who bought one of these products within a month from the ‘clearance’ or ‘special promotion’ campaign, should get an additional benefit for buying the product from you. For example, you may send these particular customers an additional product for free, something they would not be getting if they bought the product during the ‘special promotion’ campaign. Or, grant the customers with a special coupon to be used when shopping again with your brand.
Stop for a moment and analyze your marketing promotions campaigns’ outcome
Finally, if your marketing promotion campaigns don’t perform as you expected, carefully analyze each step of your campaign and any feedback you may have at your hands. Look at your website traffic. Has the traffic gone up during the promotion period? If yes, but your revenues did not, that means your cart abandonment rate is high. Why is that? Perhaps your shipping and delivery options put off customers from completing purchases. Or customers did not think the product on sale was worth buying after all. Maybe your product pages are not well designed and the products are not presented in the best way.
You do need to analyze every single thing that may drive potential customers away or get them to abandon your cart. If you have social media, engage with your customers directly and ask them to give you their feedback on your website and brand. You might get some very useful comments.
If you would like our team to help you with your commerce marketing strategy and campaign, contact us for a free consultation. We will be more than glad to discuss a potential collaboration with you!