Part of the guide

Using Discounts and Coupons to Increase Sales

See other chapters
guide cover image
Using Coupons and Discounts
Show value, create an experience and always strive to exceed customers expectations. Shep Hyken

Alright, you now have an extensive knowledge of how discounts and coupons can be used to support and promote your online business. Now the question is “Okay, but in a year I’ll have used all of this information and need something new, what then?” or “How do I keep my sales fresh?” or “What about trends? How can I use those to my advantage?” There are lots of methods to keep sales going strong without becoming redundant.

Keeping It Fresh

Reusing the same coupon over and over, or having the same discount is dependable but boring. Customers will get bored knowing that the same stale cycle will continue and check out other stores to see new options. This is a disaster for your hard earned business, so you have to continually change things up to keep your customers attention.

Holidays

Holiday coupons and discounts are abundant and expected. However, if you theme your online sale coupons to a different idea you can make your online store stick out from the crowd. For example, Valentine’s Day markets to lovers, so go ahead and market to those left out: the single people. Instead of “This Valentines Day, make sure you and your sweetheart have...” say, “This Valentine’s Day, celebrate not having to do the dishes from that elaborate dinner with my product!” or “ So what you don’t have anyone on Valentine’s Day? You are awesome by yourself! Plan a relaxing night in with my product (i.e. movie, bubble bath, etc).”

Christmas and Halloween are great holidays to theme differently too. “Tired of being scared? Go for this cute but only slightly creepy product of mine! It brings Halloween to a whole new level of cuteness!” or “ Christmas just got funnier with this great ornament that I sell here!” Feel free to change up your advertising to whatever makes your brand of online store different. If you are tired of all the same advertising around the holidays, your customers are too, so having a new, weird or quirky take will get them thinking about your online store over everyone else’s.

Flash Sales

Using Coupons and Discounts

Surprise your customers with a ash sale- only for 24-48 hours long, it makes them jump on the deal quickly. Send out a ton of promotion on social media, and once again theme it to something interesting. “ Surprise Flash Sale to honor National Cookie Day!” or some other silly idea makes it fun. Your customers will appreciate the smile you bring to their faces, and the sale they didn’t expect to get. Before just randomly announcing a ash sale, do some preparation. Have your product stocked up, and be sure the theme is cohesive with your online store, even if it is out there. National Cookie Day won’t work if you sell, say bath products, but it will work if you sell a cookie scented bath product. Be creative within your store products.

Now Trending

Trending items can be a little tricky to work with. Be sure you fully understand the meaning behind the hash-tag, since some of them refer to vague ideas or events. Also, be sure to read it correctly. Not having spaces can create words that weren’t intended- remember when Cher wasn’t dead? The hash-tag #nowthatcherisdead was misinterpreted from “now Thatcher is dead”, referring to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, not the singing legend Cher. Do your research so you don’t have a stack of RIP Cher t-shirts that aren’t needed. Research is key!

Using Coupons and Discounts

Once you have done your research and spun your angle, promote as fast and as much as you can. Send it out on all of your social media accounts frequently, be sure to include the hash-tag, and send out emails to everyone on your list. Trends usually change quickly, so get your sale done while it’s still a hot topic and not yesterday’s news.

Seasonal trends, especially in fashion, have a slightly larger window of time. Generally each is a few month’s long so a longer sale time is available. This type of trend would be great to add into your coupon booklet. Plan for upcoming trends, such as crochet swimsuits or in nifty scarves, in advance. Research for this type of trend can usually be found in magazines or on specific topic blogs, so discover the trend before it hits and be ready. This type of sale can hold more risk than others, since sometimes the trend is a miss, and then you are left with an unsellable product, so make sure to do an extended amount of investigation, much more than you would for shorter- lived trends.

Using Discounts and Coupons

Reusing Popular Discounts

Once you get into offering coupons and discounts, there is going to be one sale that does better than the others. This could be a clearance item selling out faster than expected, a promotion coupon selling out, or a discount bringing in more new customers than anticipated. With any of these scenarios, it’s great for your online store, and really shows how well you are doing with your sales.

Mark these ones down as special in your records, and whenever you are having a sales slump pull them back out. Try to use the popular coupon code or discount once or twice a year to make it a special event for customers.

You can try rebranding it as well. If a 20% off store discount sale was a hit around the Christmas season, try it again around Valentine’s Day to see if it has the same effect. Customers might think that 20% off is a great sale and might like it no matter what time of year it is offered. The same goes for coupons- if a buy one get one coupon on one specific product was a major hit among your customers, try it on a lesser selling product. The sale might be the same, but the product or season it is in keeps it from becoming overused.

When A Sale Isn’t What You Hoped

Sometimes sales aren’t as profitable as you had hoped they would be. No matter what sales you decide to use, your online store will benefit. Even if the sale is not as big of a hit as you had anticipated, you are still getting valuable customer information. If one type of sale didn’t work, try another. If you are anxious about a sale not working out as well, check out the competition. See how many of their items sold out during their sale, and what kind of sale it was. Then flip it over to your own online store and make it a little bigger or available for a little longer than theirs. Coupons and discounts are an invaluable resource to your online store; so if one doesn’t work as well, try another that ts better. Practice makes perfect, and after reading this book you will have tons of valuable knowledge to apply to your online store.

Using Discounts and Coupons

Coupons and discounts are always a good option for your online store. Keep your sales fresh and fun for both new and returning customers, follow trends for extra pro t and keep popular discounts on hand for special occasions. Not all of them will do as well as others, but even a small sale with profit is still money in your pocket! Selz, a website hosting platform, can help you with all of this and more. The next chapter explains how to use Selz to increase your online store to bigger dimensions than other website hosts with easy software that includes how to set up coupons and discounts!

Tons of resources

We're here to help you build your business