7 Do’s and Don’ts for Running a Successful eCommerce Promotion

Creating a successful eCommerce promotion isn’t just about lowering your prices and offering a good deal.

You have to ensure that every element on your website is working together if you want to win as many sales as possible.

That’s easier said than done.

But you don’t have to fly blind with your next promotion to find out what works and what doesn’t. I’ve done the legwork for you and found seven do’s and don’ts that will help you create a successful eCommerce promotion.

First up, let’s talk about how you let people know that you’re putting on an eCommerce promotion.

1. DO Set up Automated Emails

Email marketing and automation are two of the top tactics used by online brands to both acquire new customers and retain old ones.

And when you combine the two, they’re a match made in heaven.

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So when it comes time to tell your customers about your next promotion, email automation is a must-have for eCommerce businesses. You can use them to announce your deal and remind customers that they can save some money.

This tactic is already being used to generate wild amounts of success.

Roughly 77% of companies see an increase in conversions when they automate emails. One brand even saw an 850% rise in  ROI when they combined email automation with small, enticing promotions.

Failing to automate your emails will only slow you down, especially if you’re dealing with high volumes of sales with a promotion. Be proactive so you aren’t caught unaware.

2. DON’T “See What Sticks”

It’s tempting to approach promotions with the attitude of “throw everything at the wall to see what sticks.”

But what that really means is that you don’t have a plan.

That’s a bad idea.

One study asked marketers for their personal view on the best way to create eCommerce initiatives. Only 14% said they preferred an unplanned approach.

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When you’re creating a promotion, your best bet is to use analytics, customer insights, and industry trends to help inform your promotional efforts. Failing to go in with a plan can easily backfire or potentially cost you more money than you can afford to lose.

3. DO Be Upfront About Shipping

It’s important for eCommerce businesses to ensure that their checkout process is as simple as possible—and that includes being upfront about your shipping costs.

You may think that selling your products at a lower price during a promotion is all you need to close the deal, but the data says otherwise. A recent study shared that 61% of eCommerce sales fall apart when shipping costs aren’t clear.

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In fact, one of the main reasons why customers choose to shop online is because they can receive free shipping on their products.

While you don’t have to offer free shipping, you should ensure that your site makes your shipping costs as clear as possible. You don’t want to lose customers just before they finish a purchase.

4. DON’T Forget to Retarget

What do you do if a customer fills up their shopping cart, only to leave at the last moment?

You retarget them, of course.

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Retargeting ads aren’t creepy or needy. They’re a powerful way to give your customers a friendly reminder that they still have items in their shopping cart or that your sale only lasts a few more days.

One brand even made $15 for every $1 they spent on retargeting ads, which proves that they’re a powerful asset when well executed.

5. DO A/B Test

It’s tempting to think that you only need to do A/B testing on your “normal” initiatives, like landing pages, product pages, or your homepage. It’s the traditional CRO cornerstone after all—why not save it for the big picture?

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But that misses the mark in a big way.

Brands from around the world have shown that A/B testing promotions can help you sell more on your eCommerce site. One instance even helped a brand net 121% more revenue.

Don’t be afraid to create A/B tests for your eCommerce promotion. It could be the difference in explosive success and doing “just okay.”

6. DON’T Neglect to Offer Support Options

Customer support is a huge part of closing eCommerce sales and retaining customers in the long run.

As brands pick up steam with omnichannel selling, support efforts are picking up the slack as well. Customers can now get in touch via social media, over the phone, or even on your website.

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You need to ensure that you offer all of this to your customers, and you should take steps to prepare your customer support team is prepared to handle each of these channels.

Even if that means investing in a help desk, it’s worth the extra effort to make your customers feel valued.

7. DO Be Customer-Centric

Everything you do should focus on the wants and needs of your customers. That’s what it means to be customer-centric.

So if you want to get ahead with your eCommerce promotion, the clear route to success is to focus on implementing messaging and initiatives that focus on customer needs. That means you need to actively listen to your customer feedback and try to change accordingly.

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This will help boost retention, improve customer advocacy, and empower you to take control of your branding in the long-term.

It will also ensure that your next promotion resonates with your audience, which means more sales and revenue.

Recap: Running a Successful eCommerce Promotion

The next time you go to launch a promotion, stop yourself and ensure that it hits the points I’ve shared in this article.

Create automated email workflows that announce your promotion and remind customers about the opportunity to save.

Base your promotion on hard analytics, and don’t just go with your gut.

Share your shipping costs, and don’t be afraid to use retargeting ads if a customer doesn’t finish a purchase.

A/B test everything you can and use what you find to boost your sales.

Offer as many customer support options as you can, and ensure that you can handle extra work if needed.

Finally, make sure everything you do is customer centric to ensure success both now and in the future.

Not every promotion will be successful, but with these tips, you’ll have a better shot at ensuring each try gets you closer to your goals.


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