Everyone loves a deal. Whether it be free shipping, BOGO, a percentage off or a free copy of the Kama Sutra with any order over $100, deals are a major influence in a shopper’s decision to hit the “checkout” button.
For me, the one that provides the ultimate stimulation, is free shipping – and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. Many consumers look at the shipping charge and consider it nothing more than a profit center, so when that fee is waived, free shipping is a very effective promotion.
From the eCommerce store owner’s perspective, we know that the only people making a profit off of shipping is UPS and FedEx. Consumers don’t realize it costs nearly $10 to ship a 5lb box from New York City to Los Angeles via Ground Service, so when they see that outrageous amount at the checkout, sticker shock often sets in and they bail. (The highly technical, marketing term for that is called “cart abandonment.”)
Now, I hear ya! You’re yelling at the top of your lungs, “I can’t offer free shipping or I’d lose my underpants!”
I hear ya too, so stop screaming.
If you’re in a businesses that has healthy enough margins to offer free shipping, wonderful! But I know it’s something that most companies just can’t do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t run other types of promotions such as:
- Buy 2 Shirts, Get One Free
- Happy Hour Sale – All Orders Between 5pm – 7pm 20% Off
- One Day 10% Off Sale
- Buy any iPhone Case Get Screen Protector Free
- Election Day Sale – Free Shipping to Washington DC
- All Brand X Items 20% Off
- All Kitchen Utensils 20% Off
The more fun you make the promotion, the more successful it’s going to be. But how do you set these types of promotions up?
Many eCommerce shopping cart platforms have robust and flexible promotional engines built in that should accommodate your promotional sale needs. But, if you’re running a Yahoo! Store, your options are very limited.
“But didn’t Yahoo! just release a promotions manager?”
Yes they did. However, after giving it a spin it lacks a lot of functionality that would allow you to setup creative promotions like the examples above. Plus, it’s considered a beta product. I would never have anything in “beta” that has the ability to impact sales running on my store.
“So what can a Yahoo! Store owner do?”
You can check out the Promo Manager from King Webmaster that has been powering some of the most successful promotions on the Yahoo! Store platform for several years. It’s a Software as a Service (SaaS) product that has a monthly fee attached to it, but that fee is easily absorbed by the increase in sales you’re going to gain by running checkout-inducing promotions.
As a Promo Manager user, I’ve seen firsthand how well creative promotions can boost sales. Everyone can throw out a coupon code in an email and fish for sales. A creative marketer creates promotions that engage the customer, encourages them to increase their order value and rewards them with a deal they can’t refuse.
Did some of the promotion examples I mentioned above catch your eye? Well, all of them can be done with the Promo Manager from King Webmaster and can be setup in a matter of minutes. Several years ago I had Dan and George present the Promo Manager at one of my eCommerce Boot Camps. All but two or three attendees signed up for it and have been using it ever since.
With the holidays coming, your competitors who have systems in place to run unique and exciting promotions are going to be kicking some eCommerce butt and capturing those holiday sales. Now is the time for you to start thinking about your holiday promotion strategy and what types of promotions you’re going to use to hear “ka-ching.”
Email marketing with a coupon code is good. So is a McDonalds hamburger with ketchup only. Email marketing your customers the details on a two hour sale where you offer 15% off everything in the store from 3pm – 5pm, plus free shipping on orders over $150 and a free gift with purchase all without a coupon code is the Angus Deluxe baby! Supersized. With a Red Bull. And vodka.
Which burger do you want?