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Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009 at 10:31 am

Event driven promotions to make a sale

By Melissa Burdon
October 14th, 2009

girl shoppingWhy are some of your visitors hesitating when they get to their shopping cart? What barriers are they running into that stop them from taking action on your site? What are you doing at these points to try and close the sale once you’ve identified that the visitor is hesitating?

I’ve been shopping online a little much this month. I got a new painting for my home office, I bought fabulous athletic sunglasses, and a pair of gorgeous above the knee boots. I cut myself off about a week ago, but happened to be looking on Marciano’s sale section of their site a couple of days ago. I was just browsing, people. Don’t you ever window shop?! The prices were alright. I added a few items to my cart but knew that I couldn’t make the purchase right now.

Now, I’m fully aware that Marciano sends out emails about once a quarter with promo codes that will let you take an extra 40% or 50% off all sale items. Since I cut myself off, I’m not going to spend another big chunk, but if I could find a promo code to take 40% off the total, I would definitely place the order! You know what I did next? I searched for Marciano promo codes, and I tried a few of them to see if any of them worked. None of the codes were successful.

What if Marciano’s web team tagged a couple of unsuccessful promo code entries in their shopping cart as an event, whereby they would then feature a pop up with a 20% off promo code? I, for one, would have followed through with the purchase.

First ask yourself what the possible barriers are that result in hesitation from your visitors and then ask what actions your visitors are taking on your site, which identify their hesitation? Finally, what are you willing to do to make the sale and help the visitor overcome her barrier or hesitation? Would this lead to higher conversions and overall revenue?

Worth a test, right?!

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Comments (43)

  1. We don’t have a shopping cart but our contact form is the lifeblood of our website. We our experimenting with different text to make them feel comfortable submitting case reviews to us. Thanks for your insight!

  2. Hi Melissa,
    I am glad you wrote this post, especially this point: “what the possible barriers are that result in hesitation from your visitors?”. Based on the research I read, I would say that visitors often want to do more research to get more comfortable and familiar with the product. Consequently, I would argue that if you bring as much info as possible on your site (so you don’t have to leave it), then the shoppers will be more comfortable and are less reluctant to make the final step.

    I hope you don’t mind if I post a link to a visualization I created that summarizes this concept: http://bit.ly/6pNos.
    Thanks for the post again,
    -Stas Antons
    SmartSymbols Interactive Technology

  3. Yes sometimes giving discount or some form of incentives will make them complete the sale without too much of hesitation.

  4. Doesn’t giving too many discounts and having too many promotions diminish Brand Value?

  5. What an awesome idea!

  6. it really depends on the product. apparel a discount code seals the deal, appliances % + free warranty, take x off your next purchase, free samples. you have to test what works for the product you are selling. tracking customer groups buying habits work as well and targeting promo’s to them seem to also boost your conversion. i just received a 6 month 30% anytime use coupon from a well known lingerie brand and they will definitely have my business for the next 6 months :)

  7. I have always found shopping online to be cheaper. Shopping outside is time consuming, you eat bad food, spend on gas and other stuff. Besides you always can find some code/discounts online..

  8. Hi Melissa,
    You wrote nice and impressive post and I am glad you wrote this post, especially this point: “what the possible barriers are that result in hesitation from your visitors?”. Thanks a lot for sharing this information.

  9. i receive all kinds of online coupons from several coupon code website as a membership.but just a few of them can be used on all purchase.i like the coupons x% Off on everything.

  10. Brilliant idea. Really an informative one. Thanks for sharing your precious ideas.

  11. Doesn’t giving too many discounts and having too many promotions diminish Brand Value?

  12. Doesn’t giving too many discounts and having too many promotions diminish Brand Value?

  13. Doesn’t giving too many discounts and having too many promotions diminish Brand Value?

  14. yes man > What an awesome idea!
    all the best!

  15. i like what you wrote above.
    it is informative
    i totally agree Event driven promotions are gonna make a sale

  16. I think we can all agree that any sale type coupon can easily add to more conversions. Let face it most consumers easily fall for the “sale” mentality.

  17. I think your idea about a pop-up window coming up with a promo code is after a few unsuccessful attempts is wonderful! I have not seen that done before. I will keep this in mind for my commerce site.

  18. Good text. Thank YOu.

  19. Very informative indeed

  20. oohhh… what a great little idea. why not pop-up a discount on every unsuccessful promo code / coupon attempt. “We’re sorry, that coupon is no longer available. However, save 10% off your purchase now with this code — SAVE10.” Off to implement…

  21. I too window shop online and create a wish list of products just to see prices etc, with no intention of following through. This last miniute bonus is a great idea, I’m gonna give it a go.

  22. I find that event driven promotions work best for me when it comes to conversions. And it seems as though any “event” is effective (holiday sales, “I need to pay my taxes” sale, “my daughter is getting married” sale etc).

    And it seems as though a lot of major retailers hold weekly or bi-weekly sales based on events.

  23. This is a great post and have kept it in my bookmarks. Will continue to read it as I’m very new to a lot of the points you mention! Thanks though, I’m glad some people share good stuff like this!

  24. Promo codes and MLM marketing is a string business. Findong coupon codes is sometimes hard but it worts

  25. This is a great post and have kept it in my bookmarks.
    I’m glad some people share good stuff like this!

  26. [ What an awesome idea!
    ]

  27. Think this concept will work.

  28. The ideas I get here are priceless

  29. No, michael, give away! its good.

  30. [...] Source:Event driven promotions to make a sale Share and Enjoy: [...]

  31. Melissa,
    You search promo code for discount on internet, me too.
    Maybe I ask it from my friends on FB.

  32. Promoting events are really helpful for sale. Thanks for sharing this info with us :)

  33. Good idea, I wonder how many businesses search the web looking for their own promo codes to see what’s out there? Surely if you use promo codes you should also make sure they are easy to find in search results within the first 1 or 2 places. That way customers can find them.

    As you say you could fire an event using your web analytics package and even capture the promo code for later examination. This way you will know what promo codes are failing and you can do something about it, especially if its business critical.

    You may even decide to segment visitors by promo code (using custom _setVar() variables (in Google Analytics) for example. This would let you see the biggest revenue winners in terms of promo codes.

  34. I thank you for this informative article. And I thank you for this I follow your vendors. It’s verry good. I wish you continued success.

  35. awesome promotion for sale and much handsome way to extract out put.

  36. Thanks for interesting discussions in relation to online shopping vs traditional shopping and of course discounts coupons.

    Providing an online site has everything established for user friendly searching and ordering then certainly this beats the traditional running around and dealing with hoards of other shoppers. The discount coupons business appears to be booming on line.

    I would like to know the percentage of population who is using online buying by product segment? Equally the transition rate from traditional to online is another interesting statistic that could support the retailers in their own development and change management from traditional to online. I am also interested to consider how our shopping centers may look like in the future and how this may affect town planning. What type of workforce will be required in the next generation? Just food for thought my friends.

  37. Great ideas, events always bring it home.

  38. Promo codes and MLM marketing is a string business. Findong coupon codes is sometimes hard but it worts

  39. If I reach the shopping cart I am usually ready to buy but often check shipping options at that point.

  40. [...] [...]

  41. Well having free promotional stuff has been a tv selling premise for years. And we will add this and take the price down to that and it works.

  42. Promotions are an awesome attraction for customers. It peeks interest in your site that they may have forgotten about.

  43. I usually just hunt for coupon codes and vouchers on checkout and if I dont find them then no problem. Promotions should sometimes be promoted more, I know I get emails but I ignore them if they have the same generic template as all the other emails I get from the sender…

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Melissa is a Senior Persuasion Analyst at FutureNow.

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