Sell more and keep customers happy with discounts

in Business Hacks

by
Sophia Eribo (ser)

How online vouchers and promo codes add the feel good factor

"A penny saved is a penny earned."

Benjamin Franklin

You might think it makes perfect sense to cut the price of products you sell in order to increase sales – that it’s an obvious outcome. But you need to maximize your profit by keeping your margins as high as possible, so you can’t (or don’t want to) constantly reduce prices. Knowing how and when to use discounts in the form of online vouchers and promo codes is key. Discounts can be the difference between a customer browsing your site and a customer making an immediate purchase.

A Little Sales Psychology

 If a customer buys a product at a 50% discount, they feel as though they have saved money – regardless of whether or not they were ever going to buy the product in the first place.  They are buying the good feeling that the discount brings, as well as the product itself. If you use vouchers and promo codes as a way of rewarding loyal customers, you're thanking them - and who doesn't like to be thanked?

Which Items Should Get Price Cuts?

One way to stand out from the crowd is to apply discounts on products you sell that lots of other retailers are also selling. If shoppers are searching the internet for the best price on a particular item, a discount can be a major attraction for them - winning you a sale you might not have had otherwise. Cut your prices too often and it could get you the wrong sort of reputation. Customers could see you as a discount site if you overuse promo codes and online vouchers - rather than a site selling quality goods that deserve the full price. If you offer too many discounts, customers will be reluctant to buy anything at the full price. Therefore, think about what image you want to portray and the goals you want to achieve before overdoing it with the discounts.

The Key Ingredients for a Discount

Time

A promo code or voucher only valid for a limited time adds a sense of urgency in a customer’s mind. They immediately start thinking more seriously about how much they want your product for two reasons:

1. If they are going to buy it, they want to get it for the best possible price - this works especially well when you sell a product that is widely available. 

2. It might not be there if they come back later because it might be sold out.

Promo codes and online vouchers have an inate call to action. Limiting the time should add a sense of urgency, with shoppers worrying they might miss out if they don't act immediately or very soon.

Personalization

The more relevant the offer is to the shopper, the more likely they are to use the discount and buy straight away. If you are targeting people who have already bought from you, it might be worth going through their purchase history so you can offer reduced prices on items that are similar to ones they have already bought. In addition, when you tailor the discount to a shopper's particular interests, they will feel more special and be more likely to buy.

Get the Stats!

Promo codes and vouchers can be used to analyze return on investment (ROI) if you use different codes for different codes for different campaigns and track the results. That way, you have data so you can see what works best and make future decisions about discounts. Get customers who use the discounts to fill out a contact form with their details so you can increase your database.

Tips and Tricks

  1. Use referral discounts to increase your customer base and turn those who already buy from you into brand ambassadors. They could receive a special discount for introducing a friend who makes a purchase.
  2. You can use your partners in a similar way. Get them to distribute the vouchers and promotional codes to their contacts. Give the partners a time limit and a commission on any sales they bring you.
  3. Boost your database by getting customers to leave their details by filling in a contacts form before they receive the discount - but keep it short, so they won't mind.
  4. Don't offer discounts on your best sellers - customers are buying them anyway. Use the vouchers and promo codes as a way of enticing people into purchasing stock you are trying to get rid of or items that people are browsing on, but not actually buying.
  5. Make entering the voucher or promo code the final stage at the checkout before payment. That way, all the "hard work" is done before the reward.

Have a go at easily applying discounts to certain items on an online store using our ecommerce app. Edit the public pricelist, define a promo or voucher code and save it. Then go the website and shop to test that it works by adding a product to the basket and typing in the discount code!

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