3 Promotional Tools That Drive Apparel Ecommerce Sales

August 23, 2015

Upshot Commerce StockIt’s estimated that 1.623 billion people will shop online in 2018, a 50 percent increase over 2013. As more and more consumers are shopping online, the promotional tools used to boost your apparel ecommerce storefront are expanding, as well.

Both online and on mobile, first impressions matter more than ever. Well-curated images and punchy copy will set your products apart from vendors selling similar items, but what will keep your customers moving from their first click to checkout?

It’s not easy. An average of 68.53 percent of shoppers abandon their shopping carts before checkout, according to the Baymard Institute. But one thing is certain: Customers won’t shy away from a good deal, whether it’s free shipping or $ 20 off a purchase.

Here are three proven ways to drive your ecommerce sales of apparel:

Get creative with coupons. The most common type of coupon provides a percentage or dollar amount off the original price. While effective, you must start thinking outside the standard coupon box to really grab your customer’s attention. A complex rule-based system allows you to offer more than just a straight discount.

In a complex system, you base your discount on a set of logical rules. A coupon generator built on logic manages how and when customers are actually using those coupons on your site. For example, try offering a $ 10 discount on a boy’s t-shirt when the customer purchases a pair of boy’s shorts. This gives a friendly nudge to conversion on both items and secures the sale.

Surprise customers. In a rule-based system, you can also set specific promotions for a certain category of customers—for example, those who’ve shopped in the last year, but not within the last six months. This will encourage customers to check back into your site for new items to purchase.

When a targeted customer logs into your site, your rule-based system will recognize her and mark her as eligible for the promotion. Keeping this process as streamlined as possible will increase the likelihood of a successful sale and strengthen the bond between you and your customer.

Try combining flash (or time-restricted) sales with private sales, too. For example, offer your top customers a private sale the week before Black Friday to help encourage earlier shopping. This inevitably creates positive exclusivity for your most loyal customers.

Don’t forget about email marketing. Email has a return of investment of 4,300 percent, according to the Direct Marketing Association. Plus, 70 percent of consumers use the coupons from a promotional email.

In a flood of other promotional emails, what will set yours apart? For one, an eye-catching subject line. Use words like “private” or “secret” to amplify exclusivity, and mark the discount amount and the day and time the sale expires in a large, bold font.

Always make sure your marketing team is aligned with the message in your promotional email campaigns. Sometimes changing just one word makes all the difference.

Work with your ecommerce platform to set up the tools necessary to implement these incentive-based programs. Once they are in place, take them for a test drive. Experiment with the language used for email promotions and discount codes that people are mostly likely to use, or discounts on certain categories but not others. Examining the effectiveness of promotions will help you make the best marketing decisions for your business.

Creating frequent incentives for your current and prospective customers (while not stifling your profits) can be a delicate combination to balance. But once you test the promotions and strategically look into the complex rules that target the customers you’re aiming for, extra profit will be right around the corner.

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