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20 Easy eCommerce Promotion Ideas to Boost Sales

Last Updated on August 14, 2020 by Stacey Corrin

Do you want to increase sales for your online store? Marketing your retail business can be a challenge when you consider how many digital retailers are trying the same thing. So in this article, we’ll share our easy eCommerce promotion ideas to boost sales and grow your business.

But first, let’s clear up this common question…

What is eCommerce Promotion?

eCommerce promotion is when you offer sales and discounts to online shoppers in order to get new customers and increase revenue

eCommerce promotion is when you offer sales and discounts to online shoppers in order to get new customers and increase revenue. And more importantly, these promotions can turn new visitors into loyal customers and repeat buyers.

An eCommerce marketing strategy includes activities used both on and off your website. So that you can build brand awareness alongside nurturing customer loyalty, and ultimately increase your online sales. And a range of eCommerce promotion ideas will play a large part in this.

How to Advertise your eCommerce Business

You can use eCommerce marketing campaigns to promote your online store in its entirety or drive traffic to specific product pages.

Here are some great eCommerce sales promotion ideas for your business. And what’s more, many of them allow you to advertise your online store for free!

Table of Contents

  1. Host Contests and Giveaways
  2. Offer Free Samples
  3. Run Flash Sales
  4. Create Loyalty Programs
  5. Make Checking Out Easier
  6. Use Branded Hashtags
  7. Accept User Generated Content
  8. Create Personalized Recommendations
  9. Engage with Live Chat
  10. Sell on Multiple Platforms
  11. Run Cart Abandonment Offers
  12. Create Limited Time Promotions
  13. Offer Complimentary Cross-Sells
  14. Launch Multi Purchase Deals
  15. Run End of Season Discounts
  16. Offer Discounts for Upgrading
  17. Run Gated VIP Promotions
  18. Offer Free Shipping
  19. Accept Payment in Installments
  20. Offer Free Trials

Now let’s dive into those sales promotion examples.

1. Host Contests and Giveaways

One of the most effective eCommerce promotion ideas is to host a giveaway. Contests can raise awareness about new products, reward a loyal customer base, and even attract new customers to your website.

Host a giveaway or contest promotion idea

And when you use RafflePres the best WordPress contest plugin, you can unlock powerful templates to grow your email list and encourage viral sharing too.

It takes a few minutes to create an online contest. And when you’re all set up, you can unleash your giveaway on social media, taking your reach beyond your eCommerce site.

Click Actions to choose your raffle entry methods

Here are just a few eCommerce giveaway ideas you can use:

  • Your own products
  • Customized products
  • New product releases
  • Limited edition products
  • Black Friday products
  • Shopping spree

And for even more proven contest prize ideas, check this article out.

2. Offer Free samples

It’s a challenge to build trust with site visitors so that they believe in the quality of your products. But this is easily overcome by offering free product samples to put their mind at ease. 

You could charge a small fee for shipping only, or even offer a complimentary freebie alongside a purchase, to get it in as many hands as possible.

This idea is best used for small or perishable goods that run out quickly. As it prompts the customer to head back to your website to restock.

Take a look at how this company offers free sample gifts with customer purchases.

offer free samples to promote your ecommerce business

3. Run Flash Sales

Flash sales are promotions run within a certain time period that includes a high-value offer potential customers will find irresistible. These sales promotions could be a high-ticket item at a significant discount, product bundles, or even trending seasonal products.

The time-limits of a flash promotion are often combined with limited stock to create a sense of urgency that entices people to buy. This links into our emotional impulse to buy for fear of missing out (FOMO).

Use flash sales to create the fear of missing out in your online promotions

4. Create Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs have long been popular types of eCommerce promotions. They have the power to improve relationships with customers, gather important customer data, and reduce the cost of marketing.

Yet launching a loyalty program takes time and planning. You can’t just start one up on a whim.

Customers want them to be easy to join and use. They also need regular offers and communication to keep your customers engaged and satisfied with the service.

So plan your loyalty scheme carefully to ensure you and your customers get the most out of it.

Loyalty programs increase customer loyalty and are an effective way to promote your online business

5. Make Checking Out Easier

Having an optimized checkout process can go a long way in encouraging customers to commit to their purchase and return in the future. So it’s one of the most important eCommerce promotion ideas to include in your strategy.

Shopping cart abandonment is a real issue where customers abandon their carts before making that commitment.

Why shoppers abandon shopping carts

So make your check out steps easier to understand and remove as many obstacles as possible.

To optimize your checkout page you could try the following:

  • Let customers check out as guests to avoid registering
  • Allow people to save their shopping cart so they can return later
  • Keep the shopping cart visible on your site to keep it top-of-mind
  • Display security badges to improve your trustworthiness
Make the checkout process for eCommerce websites easier to encourage purchases.

6. Use Branded Hashtags

Branded hashtags are a great way to increase how discoverable your brand is on social media networks. Followers of your hashtags will consciously align themselves with your business as a way to fit in and promote an aesthetic or lifestyle.

To create a branded hashtag, think of a phrase related to your product or business that your target demographic relates to. Then include the hashtag in your promotional materials both on and off social media to increase visibility.

Stylecraft Yarn’s #CleverCrafter hashtag encourages people to share images of what they’ve made using their product line with thousands of results.

Branded hashtags are eCommerce promotion ideas that are great for user generated content

And this brings us nicely to…

7. Accept User Generated Content (UGC)

User-generated content is a powerful eCommerce promotion idea because it leverages social proof to improve the user experience, exposes you to new audiences, and increases your level of trust.

Online brands and retailers can use UGC through:

  • Social media posts
  • Blog posts
  • Product reviews
  • Unboxing videos
  • Customer reviews, and more.

Clothing boutique Evans uses a combination of UGC with a branded hashtag to encourage users to share shots of them in their clothing for the chance to win a gift card. Plus the entire feed is displayed on their eCommerce website.

You can use user generated content in your ecommerce promotions to attract new customers

8. Create Personalized Recommendations

When figuring out how to market an eCommerce store, it’s no longer an option to settle for generic advertising campaigns. Brands need to get creative and personalize the shopping experience based on the individual customer and their activities.

You can make the browsing experience more personalized by showing product recommendations based on a customer’s purchase history or recent browsing habits. Include them in emails, on your website, and even in your remarketing ads.

Nike are great at doing this with their ‘You Might Also Like’ section on product pages.

personalized product recommendations based on customer habits to get more sales

9. Engage with Live Chat

Customers these days want immediate results when they’re shopping online. They’re not prepared to wait around for 2-3 days shipping when your competitor offers next day delivery

And in the same way, customers want their questions answered right away. Their lives are busy!

But there’s an easy way to match this desire for instant action. Include a live chat widget on your website so customers have a direct way to communicate.

This is also a great way to engage with people while they’re browsing and convert them into paying customers.

Using live chat in your ecommerce promotion strategy can engage with customers when they need it most

10. Sell on Multiple Platforms

You may have noticed that many eCommerce businesses now promote and sell their products on other platforms besides their own website. Customers are used to heading to multiple online marketplaces and even social media to secure the best deals.

Brands can tap into this need for diversity by following suit.

Instead of selling products in your online store, make them available for purchase from sites like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, and even Instagram.

Pandora sells on multiple platforms like Amazon to promote their products

11. Run Cart Abandonment Offers

As we mentioned earlier a significant number of people abandon their cart before following through with their purchase. There is however a way to get those potential customers back through abandoned cart recovery. 

This is the process of sending visitors a notification that reminds them they haven’t completed their purchase. And if you include a valuable offer with your notification, you can quickly get them back to finish checking out. 

eCommerce promotion ideas: Run a cart abandonment offer to reclaim lost customers.

12. Create Limited Time Promotions

Using urgency as part of your marketing strategy is a powerful way to hasten customers towards purchasing.

One of the most popular ways to tap into this psychological tactic is to offer discounts or coupons for a limited time.

You can offer these timely discounts when customers subscribe to your email list, or in an ideally placed exit-intent popup that displays when they’re about to leave your site. 

In this example, MonsterInsights uses a countdown timer to offer a limited time discount for new customers.

Countdown timers as ecommerce promotion ideas

13. Offer Complimentary Cross-Sells

Cross-selling is a great promotion idea for eCommerce stores to boost order values. It works by offering customers who are already ready to make a purchase, complementary products.

A strategic way to do this is to offer exclusive products customers can only get when they buy a specific item. This makes the offer scarce and will entice customers to take advantage of it for fear of missing out.

In this example, an airline encourages you book a car alongside your flight which is a classic cross-selling tactic.

use cross-selling to promote ecommerce products

14. Launch Multi Purchase Deals

Multi-purchase deals are eCommerce promotion ideas that have been around for years but it’s still just as effective today.

When you give customers the chance to buy 2 for 1 or buy 1 get 1 free, for example, you’re tapping into the psychology of the customer into believing they’ve got a great deal, which increases the chances of them buying your product.

multi-purchase deals

15. Run End of Season Discounts

As we’ve already mentioned discounts are an effective way to increase the conversion rates of your site visitors because it’s a valuable offer.

Running an end of season discount is a good way to capitalize on this while clearing out your stock-room of products you need to be gone quickly.

What’s more, shoppers tend to put off buying until a sale in order to get the maximum savings on big-ticket items. 

run end of season discounts to promote products you need gone quickly

16. Offer Discounts for Upgrading

Another way to use discounts for your eCommerce promotions is to offer customers a discount when they decide to upgrade a product or service.

This is particularly useful for eCommerce retailers that sell software and digital products as they can include a discount when customers upgrade from a free trial to a paid version.

In fact, RafflePress has its own upgrade discount where site owners who use the RafflePress Lite plugin, can secure 20% off when they upgrade.

And for a limited time, you can even grab lifetime access to RafflePress with 20% off.

offer a discount to upgrade a product or service

17. Run Gated VIP Promotions

Gated VIP promotions are often used to reward customers for their loyalty to a business. And they can be used in a variety of ways.

One way to use them for your online business is to invite registered customers to a sale before anyone else has access.

This can be done by restricting access (also known as gating content) to customers who are subscribed to your email list for example. That way they can secure the best deals ahead of the crowds. 

You can learn all about how to use gated content to increase conversions here.

Gated sales VIP are great ecommerce promotion ideas

18. Offer Free Shipping

What’s the difference between a website that charges a few dollars for shipping compared to one that doesn’t? Easy right?

Well, this is a promotion idea many eCommerce businesses overlook. The simple fact is, any shopper looking to save money will choose the website that offers free shipping over one that doesn’t.

And so by absorbing delivery costs, you can attract more customers and make your site the top choice above your competitors.

Offer free shipping to keep your brand competitive

19. Accept Payment in Installments

For businesses that sell products with a higher price tag, there’s also the option of breaking payments down into smaller installments. Many people who need a new refrigerator, for example, may not have the cash immediately at hand.

Allowing people to pay in installments widens your net to more potential customers by meeting the needs of shoppers from all walks of life. 

Appliances Online, for instance, have payment plans in place where their customers can choose installments that meet their needs.

more ecommerce promotion ideas include accepting payments in installments

20. Offer Free Trials

Lastly, giving people the option of trialing your products is a good way to build trust with your customers. It removes the financial risk from buyers and gives them time to make an informed decision before they make a commitment.

And as we mentioned earlier, free trials can easily be combined with a discount when people decide to upgrade to a paid version.

free trials are effective ecommerce promotion ideas

There you have it! You now have 20 more eCommerce promotion ideas to boost conversion rates, increase sales, and grow your business.

And if you’re interested in learning about the best business giveaway ideas, step right up and check this article out.

We hope you found this article helpful. And if you did, check out our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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