It was Zig Ziglar who said: “Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.”

Sales promotions are one of the best ways to jump these hurdles, proven to drive sales time and time again. The key, though, is to tailor the right sales promo to your market, product and business model.

We took the promotion stats of over 150,000 of our online merchants using Coupon Pop and other promotional apps to bring you the 6 leading eCommerce sales promotion types that convert like no one’s business.

1.The Dollar Promo


The dollar promotion refers to a certain dollar amount that you offer shoppers. This can be either an amount off a total (give x amount off), in the form of a credit (give away x amount to shop at your store) or a free gift (give a gift to the value of an x amount). This is an ideal offer for online stores needing tighter control over their budgets and profit margins. To find the ideal balance between what you can afford and what will draw in potential customers, A/B test a few offers until you find just the right dollar amount.

2. The % Promo


Percentage discounts are one of the most common types of sales promotions, whereby merchants offer a certain percentage off a total order amount. Some good examples of when to offer these types of promotions include: to encourage first-time shoppers, to promote seasonal offers or when you have excess stock. The amount of percentage you offer should be based your profit margins and can be anywhere from 5 to over 50%. Again, it’s important to test your promotions first to see which percentage works best for your target shoppers and to find your discount sweet spot.

3. The Combo Promo


The combo promotion is when you offer a certain percentage off a dollar amount; just as in the above example. With this promo, you would be encouraging shoppers to spend more by dangling discounts on sales over a certain amount spent. This is a great option for businesses with lower profit margins or for products with lower sale prices, to encourage a higher spend.

4. The Giveaway Promo


A giveaway promotion, or contest, is a tried-and-tested promo method that wins every time. Not only does it build your database and reach, but offers online stores big brand exposure. This was proven in our giveaway case study where one of our merchants, Keysocks, was able to gain 10k emails and 5k followers from just one promotion. That is 15k potential new customers who now receive their promotional news straight to their inboxes and who are engaging with them through Instagram. 15k potential customers who they can now upsell to for the cost of one prize.

5. The Social Promo

Combining social media and sales promotions is an awesome way to build your community while converting traffic into dollars. Offering exclusive discounts for shoppers if they like or follow your page on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram ensures that you net as many passing site visitors as you can. Growing your communities results in a bigger audience of fans that you can engage with and upsell too. This promo has big appeal with site users as they feel it’s very little “work” for big rewards. Don’t take our word for it, check out our previous case study where a giveaway was used to gain 1000 Instagram followers in just one month.

6. The Free Shipping Promo


Who doesn’t love free stuff? You only have to see which merchants are killing it, to know that free shipping drives sales in a big way. It has huge appeal to all kinds of shoppers who, when presented with free shipping options, tend to spend more. But of course, it all depends on whether free shipping can be worked into your cost structure without hurting your profit margins.

That’s a wrap! I hope these 6 eCommerce sales promotions ideas help inspire you as you prepare your store for the upcoming holiday shopping mayhem. And remember, don’t be shy with your promos! By adding promos to your homepage you can turn your growing traffic into conversations much quicker.
Have promo success stories for your own? We’d love to hear from you!