Top Tips for Creating Holiday Price Promotions and Discounts
“What can I do to make this year’s Black Friday really count?” Navigating holiday promotions can be a challenge for any store owner. The key is to craft thoughtful and effective promotions that resonate with customers and drive sales.
In this article, we explore various strategies, from offering meaningful discounts to creating urgency with time-limited offers, all aimed at making your brand a preferred choice this holiday season.
We recommend you to start by checking the Sufio calendar for the most important dates in ecommerce where we identify the run-up to Christmas as the high shopping season. During those weeks, shoppers are more likely to browse shopping sites and apps and are more sensitive to promotions—and it’s your chance to make it count.
As the next step, decide if you want to focus on new customers (in marketing, this strategy is called acquisition or conquest) or your existing ones (retention or loyalty). Avoid combining these two efforts into one campaign—each type of customer needs different information and responds to different offers.
Be aware that acquisition of customers is generally seen as much more expensive than retention. However, if you are just starting, it makes sense to build your customer base first.
Do discounts, but make them meaningful
Discounts are a simple and effective solution to drive sales up and attract first-time buyers. People like the feeling they “got a good deal” and may even be inclined to spend more when they see your store sells things at a discount.
Discounts can help you move less popular items or older stock; however, be cautious as too deep of a discount can also lower your profitability.
You should also realize increasing the regular price and then offering the items “discounted” at their original price is poor practice (it would surprise you how many stores do this.) If you cannot lower the prices, it’s better to stick to other forms of promotion.
Also, prepare for discounts with enough stock. It often happens that people click on a discounted clothing item only to find out only a few pieces in the smallest and largest sizes (or weird colors) remain available (as this webcomics jokingly points out).
Putting a time limit or a countdown on promotions makes them sound more exclusive. The expiration also adds an element of “deadline” or pressure to purchase, motivating especially the impulse buyers among us.
Use the time limit to build a suspense: Let the shoppers know in advance when the promotion is starting, and when you launch it, keep a visible countdown timer on your website or app.
For example, German clothing retailer Zalando uses a sub-brand called Zalando Lounge to offer remaining stock from previous seasons at lowered prices. Yet by offering the items in “campaigns” that are open only for 72 hours, Zalando gives buyers the impression of an exclusive marketplace instead of outlet shopping on a budget.
Similarly to making the discounts count, make sure the time limits matter. Insist that once the offer expires, the item is no longer offered or returns to its original price.
Create product bundles
If you do not want to lower prices on individual items, try offering “value bundles” where you combine several products into one listing. Product bundles are popular across all segments, from Sephora cosmetics to Bellroy leather accessories.
Even when customers still decide to buy products separately, the bundle gives you the opportunity to showcase the items you have in combination.
Value bundles can motivate customers to purchase products they may otherwise glance over and give you the chance to combine your bestsellers with items that don’t sell as well.
With bundles, you can even take new product pictures. For example, show the bundled items together in use, or add some pop of color or seasonal styling to the photos.
Remember, there are other ways how you can motivate customers to buy extra items from you. For example, Sufio integrates with other Shopify apps that offer the “Customers also bought” feature.
Use your newsletter or an app
You can use the pre-Christmas shopping craze not only to drive sales, but to strengthen your brand and introduce it to new customers.
For example, you can launch promotions or sales campaigns with early access via your newsletter or only in your mobile app. This will motivate customers to subscribe to the newsletter or install the app.
When the holiday promotion is over, you can use the newsletter to promote other products from your Shopify store or showcase new arrivals. The more interesting you keep the content, the more customers will be interested in opening the next issue when it arrives in their inbox.