5 Ecommerce Marketing Staples Overshadowed by Coupons

August 17, 2015

When you’re desperate to spread the word about your ecommerce site and get visitors clicking on products, your first thought may be to blast out a coupon to everyone on your contact list. While coupons definitely work, they’re not the only marketing tools you have in your toolbox. Several other techniques exist and have been proven to work. Try some of the following tactics and watch your conversions grow.

Free Shipping

Giving customers a chance to save money is a great way to reel them in. If you’re inundating them with coupon offers, however, the power is diminished. Because the cost of shipping is the number one reason for cart abandonment, it’s easy to see that consumers would love a chance to get the products they love without tacking more money onto the total.

Your offer for free shipping could be all-inclusive, which definitely inspires more shopping. However, you could take a chance on losing money in the long run when the shipping costs outweigh the profit from the items you sell. For short-term campaigns, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You’ll still hook customers who might have otherwise moved along.

For long-term loyalty, free shipping for purchases that meet a certain dollar amount is the way to go. Loyal customers will visit when they’re ready to fill those shopping carts and take advantage of the free shipping.

Exclusive Shopping

You might be surprised how many of your current and past customers would love a chance to see next season’s products before anyone else. If you give them a chance to own them first, they’ll show up in droves.

This works well with almost any industry, not just fashion. Send out new product announcements, catalogs for next season’s styles, and new solutions to old problems. The possibilities are endless, and your customers will definitely respond to their chance to get exclusive rights.


Competition is a great way to get your company and products in front of potential customers who might not have otherwise heard of you. Contests with enviable and valuable prizes get shared on social media, talked about around the water cooler, and even covered by news outlets.

Because contests can’t require a purchase for entry, you have to make them valuable to your company in other ways. Encourage sharing for additional entries or ask for user-generated content. The possibilities are endless.

Tutorials and Guides

When a potential customer is still hanging right there on the edge, there may be a reason. You could offer them a discount to see if they’ll budge. More often, they still have questions you need to answer before they’ll commit. By offering tutorials and how-to guides, you may hit the nail right on the head. 

You can be quite sensitive to those customers who are ready to purchase by following their movement through the buyer’s journey. Keep an eye on the content they’ve viewed, the items they’ve placed in their carts, and the questions they’ve asked on social media. You’ll know the right time to offer answers.

Gift Suggestions

Keep in mind that buyers aren’t always out for themselves. If they don’t have a reason to buy something, they probably won’t. If, however, you remind them that others in their lives might love your products, you could spark a purchase. 

Gift guides for birthdays, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, anniversaries, graduations, Christmas, and pretty much any other holiday will prompt purchases. You just have to organize those gift guides and get them into the hands of your customers. 

With these plans in your toolbox, you’ll never need to offer another discount again. If you’re not planning to cancel your coupons completely, consider pairing the special savings with a couple of the ideas above. If something really works out for you, let us know. We like sharing ideas with others!

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