What Are the Different Types of Promotions Ecommerce Stores Should Offer?

Did you know that 57 percent of consumers would not have made a first-time purchase from a new company without a discount? If you’re not giving any discounts for your ecommerce shop, you may be subconsciously turning away almost half of your potential consumers! Coupons can also assist in customer retention, with 91 percent of coupon redeemers saying they will return to a store after receiving a discount.

Are you unsure where to begin when it comes to offering discounts for your ecommerce business? We’ll go over the five most prevalent sorts of ecommerce discounts, as well as three approaches for how and when to implement them, in this post.

The 5 most common types of ecommerce promotions

The most popular and most successful email marketing campaigns are outlined below.

Dollar value discount

Customers may feel like they’re getting “free money” rather than merely saving it if you provide a dollar value discount, such as offering ten dollars off. According to a study cited by Entrepreneur, providing a dollar value discount can result in up to 170% more income and a 72 percent greater conversion rate than offering a percentage discount.

If you want to prevent the discount from expiring, set up a formula for it. This might be done in a variety of ways, but one option is to make it dynamic and dependent on how much money a client spends, such as by offering $10 off purchases of $100 or more and $25 off purchases of $150 or more.

Ecommerce Percentage discount

A percentage discount is flexible; you may give a certain amount off of a specific product or order. Smaller percentage discounts (think 50% off or more) are effective for piquing customer attention, while larger discounts (think $50 off or more) are ideal for liquidating unsold inventory.

The following table summarizes the differences between percentage and dollar value discounts for individual items: If the item you’re discounting originally costs less than $100, use a percentage reduction. If it costs more than $100, use a dollar decrease. This technique helps to ensure that the customer perceives the greatest perceived value possible.


The acronym BOGO stands for “buy one, get one.” A BOGO discount might be expressed as “Buy one, get one 50% off,” while another example is “Buy two shirts at full price and receive the third for $10.” This deal format encourages customers to purchase additional goods and spend more than they planned.

Free gift

Offering a free item with purchase is another effective method to increase sales. Offering as a gift unsold inventory from certain businesses is also a wonderful way to move it. However, the University of Miami discovered that providing a secret gift with purchase in specific sectors is more likely to encourage consumers to buy than ruining the surprise.

When a customer makes a purchase below a certain amount, we recommend providing them with a free gift. This encourages customers to make larger purchases. And, as an added benefit, the Journal of Marketing discovered that consumers who received a free item discussed it 20% more than those who paid for it — free advertising!

Ecommerce Free shipping

Last but not least, free delivery may be one of the most successful types of discounts. One of the main reasons consumers abandon their carts before completing checkout is due to high delivery costs. While many sellers always provide a free shipping option, offering complimentary transport as a limited-time offer can be a smart move for those who don’t.

Customers are more inclined to accept a free shipping deal than a $10 overall discount, even if shipping costs would be lower than $10, according to Wharton marketing professor David Bell. Requiring a minimum purchase to utilize a free shipping offer may also boost the average order value. Just make sure you have the proper ecommerce fulfillment approach in place.

How to offer ecommerce promotions

Here are some critical tasks that you must perform first.

Build an email list

In order to send emails, you’ll need a list of consumer email addresses. Email marketing may be an extremely effective tool for ecommerce businesses, but in order to do so, you’ll need a list of shopper email addresses. Promotions are an excellent method to get people to sign up for your email list or newsletter.

According to Adestra, 85 percent of email list subscribers joined up as a result of receiving a discount. Continue providing special savings to your email subscribers after you’ve acquired them, too. Customers highlighted discounts in emails as the most important factor in their purchase decisions, according to the same Adestra research.

Reward loyal shoppers

Don’t forget to reward your repeat customers for purchasing with you repeatedly. It costs businesses 7x more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an old one. Whether you offer exclusive discounts to your client list or build a more complex points-based loyalty program, offering incentives to your consumers may be profitable in the long run.

Returning customers spend 120 percent more than new ones, according to Stitch Labs’ research. With a statistic like that, your company can’t afford not to appreciate client loyalty.

Given the numerous advantages accrued by maintaining your existing consumers engaged with your brand for the long term, it’s also a good idea to vary your messaging slightly so that every email they get isn’t an urgent discount or a special offer. Create high-quality, unique content that your target audience will find valuable. Come up with some blog post ideas that provide value to your consumers in a variety of ways—whether it’s product comparison reviews, instructional tutorials, value-adding guides written by industry experts, or narrative case study campaigns about how your product aids real people.

Evangelize your customers

You may also enlist the help of discounts to spread the news about your business. If your company is relatively new, word-of-mouth marketing can be quite beneficial in establishing a client base. There are two common types of incentives used to thank customers for talking about you: social media campaigns and referral bonuses.

Promotions on social media networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, encourage consumers to share their ecommerce website with their social networks by posting or liking items. For instance, giving a 10% discount or a free small present if a customer retweets a certain tweet.

Another effective method to encourage consumers to spread the word about your business with their friends and family is through referral bonuses. Individualized referral codes may be given to each devoted customer for them to distribute on social media.

When your consumers’ friends share their codes, both the original customer and the friend who shares the code will receive a discount. This encourages customers to share their codes and, more significantly, to recommend your store to potential buyers.


Discounts can be an effective approach to encourage customer loyalty, increase word-of-mouth marketing, and expand your business.

To discover more about increasing conversions, developing brand loyalty, and lowering shopping cart abandonment, get “The Ecommerce Guide to Getting (and Keeping) Customers.”