Every shopper loves a deal and retailers know it! They know that customers value discounts and great offers all year round, not just holidays. For this reason, businesses often carry out promotions to encourage customers to buy their products and increase sales. Since promotions usually run for a certain period of time, it’s best to find them before you shop as they can really save you money. Here is a list of promotional techniques you can look forward to throughout the year, along with some tips on how to take advantage of them.
1. Coupon Codes
Discount, coupon, or voucher codes are among the most sought-after deals. These codes are entered during checkout to redeem a significant discount, either a percentage or a specific dollar amount.
Wondering where to get these codes? You can find them through search engines, popular coupon sites, or directly on store websites. There are stores that offer discount codes, coupons, or special offers for first time purchases and for everyone on their email list. So, it’s a good idea to sign up for the store’s website, subscribe to the newsletter, and register for email alerts. You can also collect multiple unique codes using multiple email addresses. While promotional emails may bombard you, you are free to unsubscribe any time. Setting up a filter that forwards all promotional emails to a separate folder can also help organize your inbox. In addition, if you follow brands, influencers, or bloggers on social media and like their pages, you can be notified about discounts and offers, and be rewarded with exclusive coupons you usually can’t find on the site, as well as early access to big sales.
2. Flash Sales
A flash sale is a discount promotion offered by online stores for a short period of time. It is a great way for businesses to quickly get rid of excess or off-season inventory. During flash sales, a limited number of products are offered; hence, the competition is high as stocks can disappear in a second.
If you’re planning to get a hand on the product that you’re eyeing during flash sales, these tricks can increase your chances. First, it’s important to have a fast and reliable internet connection to participate in the game. The faster your internet speed, the faster the website will load onto your system; hence, you can quickly complete the entire buying process. Another helpful tip is to login 10 to 15 minutes before the sale starts to avoid site traffic and to refresh the product page every few seconds. Make sure you set up the variant of the product you intend to buy in advance so as not to waste time. Remember, the time and quantity are scare during flash sales, so every second counts. Also, don’t forget to place your mouse pointer or cursor on the “Buy Now” button before the sale starts so you can quickly add purchases to your cart and proceed to the next step. Storing your payment details before the sale starts likewise speeds up the payment process.
A clearance sale is one of the most popular promotion techniques, and is sought after by many shoppers especially those pay attention to price. It is an inventory management tool that helps businesses reduce excess inventory in the store, move previous season’s goods quickly to make room for new season’s merchandise, and increase retail traffic at the same time.
Compared to traditional sales, clearance sales attract more customers because they associate them with great deals due to huge discounts offered. Items on clearance are normally priced significantly lower than traditional sales because they are usually items that no buyer would want to buy unless they are on a bargain. Unlike in traditional sales, the price of an item on clearance will not go back to its original. Therefore, the price you’ll pay for a clearance item depends on how long it is up for clearance.
To benefit from clearance sales, you first need to know where and when to shop. The best time to get to the sale stands is when the weather starts to change. You’ll find plenty of out-of-season clothes that you can stock up early for next year. If you have a budget to follow, another trick is to go straight to the clearance rack and not be blown away by the beautiful selection you’re about to go through. Don’t be afraid to ask a salesperson to confirm whether an item is actually on sale or not before proceeding to checkout. To receive sales notifications, it is a must to be connected to your favorite stores online. Search all your favorite store websites and sign up for email or mobile alert lists. Also, always know or inquire about the return policy. Finding clearance items are often a great deal. However, if you can’t return them if they don’t suit you, you won’t be able to maximize your savings.
Be sure to check out our Clearance Sale Directory. Here, we have provided hundreds of direct links to the clearance sales pages of your favorite shops. Search products or categories that you love and enjoy browsing this huge list.
4. Subscriber Specials
Newsletter subscriptions offer many benefits such as discounts or exclusive offers. While some stores do not give subscriber specials, newsletters can be a great source of information about sales, business events, and other promotional offers that you can take advantage of. Don’t forget to include your date of birth when registering, as some stores will send you a birthday discount or free gift for your big day.
5. Free Returns
In recent years, a growing number of retailers have been offering free returns shipping to provide customers a smoother shopping experience. Free returns give the customers peace of mind that in case of returns because the product was damaged, incorrectly sized, or not what’s been expected, the customer will not pay for the shipping. Make sure to shop at stores that extend such policy to avoid hassle and to save money.
6. Product Giveaways / Branded Gifts
Everyone loves freebies! Because of this, product giveaways or branded gifts are among the popular promotional tools used by retailers to boost brand awareness while rewarding loyal customers. When shopping at your favorite store, keep an eye on product giveaways or branded gifts. Who knows, you might get something you want for free!
7. Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs are designed to encourage customers to make repeat purchases. The most common loyalty program allows customers to collect reward points for every purchase made, which can be exchanged for discounts or freebies. If you shop regularly at a particular retail or brand, it’s a good idea to sign up for a loyalty program. While participating in a loyalty program can reap rewards, you are likely to be bombarded with emails every day. To keep your inbox clear, create a special email account as suggested by the experts.
8. Price Match Promise
Price match promise has become one of the most popular ways to promote a brand, especially when there are many competitors. Some retailers agree to match a lower price from a competitor in order to maintain a solid customer base and to stay one step ahead of the competition. With this, it is advisable to register not only with your favorite stores, but also with their competitors. This will allow you to compare quotes and request a price adjustment when you can do it cheaper elsewhere.
9. Value-Added Offers
In order to attract more customers and to thrive in a highly competitive market where price is no longer the factor that differentiates the competitors, companies offer value-added or extra value to their core products or services. Value-added offers are additional features that enhance the original product or service to make it more appealing to customers. Examples of these are freebies, better customer and after-sales services, free delivery services, loyalty programs, and more.
10. Geographical Discounts
Did you know that there is such a thing as geographic discount? This type of discount is given based on the location of the customer or the distance between the business and where the customer is located. This means that customers who are close to retailers can purchase goods and services at lower prices compared to customers who are distant. Next time you’re shopping, you can ask about geographical discounts.
11. Early payment discount
With an early payment discount, you can receive a price cut on the goods and services you purchased by paying earlier than the agreed-upon terms. If your cash flow allows, always settle your payments before the due date to save money.
12. Cart Abandonment Offer
If you are unsure about a certain product and want to think about it before checking out, consider leaving it in your shopping cart for a moment. If you are a subscribed customer, brands are likely to nudge you to complete your purchase by extending cart abandonment offers such as personalized discounts, coupons, free shipping, or better prices.
13. Tripwire Offer
According to Ryan Deiss, a tripwire is an irresistible and low-cost offer usually ranging from $5 to $50 specifically designed to turn prospects into buyers and expand the customer base. Tripwires are given not for profit, but as a starting point for the core offer. Some examples of tripwires are books, mini online courses, spreadsheets, low-cost software, and more. If you are interested to receive tripwire offers, make sure to subscribe to email list of your favorite brands.
14. Buy One, Get One
Two items for one? Everyone loves to get items for free. Hence, “Buy One, Get One” (also known as BOGO) is one of the most popular types of sales promotions. Getting two products at a lower price makes any customer happy. This promotion is also beneficial to businesses as it allows them to quickly move less desirable and old inventory while maintaining profitability. If you want to save a few bucks, take advantage of Buy One, Get One offers next time you shop!
15. Multi-buy Offers
You often see promotional offers such as “Buy 2 get 1 50% off” or “Buy 3 to get 1 free item”, don’t you? These offers are known as multi-buy deals that retailers offer to encourage you to buy in multiple quantities to quickly clear their inventory.
16. Referral Bonuses
Did you know that you can be rewarded by referring friends to brands you already use, sharing shopping portals to friends, and collaborating with brands? Yes, there are many stores and websites that can actually provide referral bonuses or cash, discounts, or store credits. If want to make money online, gear up and be a brand advocate!
17. Snail Mail
While nearly every business today focuses on digital marketing such as email and social media to reach a customer base, did you know that snail mail promotion is still around? Snail mail isn’t a thing of the past for some companies that offer exclusivity and want to make their target recipients feel special. According to reports, customers who receive personal notes and parcels via snail mail have responded well to the promotion that resulted to purchase.
18. Rebates / Cashback Promotions
With a rebate or cashback incentive, a certain percentage of the product’s cost is returned to the buyer at a later date after purchase, once certain conditions in the contract are satisfied. In order to receive a rebate, you must apply for it and meet the criteria, which is different from a discount where the price reduction is given upfront, at the time of purchase. This type of long-term sales strategy is used by retailers to reward loyal customers and not just those looking to save money, drive sales, and increase market share.
19. Free Trials and Samples
Free trials are becoming increasingly popular with e-commerce retailers. This “try before you buy” promotion is a great way for users to try new products for a specific trial period. This can be beneficial to you as consumers, as you can try the product and return it if you are not satisfied.
To introduce a new product to the market, retailers also offer free samples. You can see this method at work in stores like Costco and Whole Foods where you can try free food samples to encourage you to buy as quickly as you want it.
If you want to make sure you are satisfied with the product you will buy, take advantage of free trials and samples so you won’t regret making poor purchasing decisions.
Look for pre-order discounts, freebies, early access, or extended product feature offers during pre-launch. These perks are offered to increase brand and product awareness even before the official release and keep the target audience anticipate the launch.
21. Upgrade Instead of a Price Cut
Discounts and price cuts may not always grab the attention of all customers especially when competitive prices are offered at every site. Hence, an upgrade or added functionality on the product or services is provided at the same price or for free to acquire competitive edge. Complimentary upgrades are typically offered to existing customers of salons, spa, fitness centers, or consulting businesses.
Have you experienced being handed a raffle entry upon checkout in a supermarket or a grocery store? A raffle is a very common sales promotion that involves prizes, either in cash or in kind, as a reward for the purchase of a product. With the hope of winning the grand prize especially if it’ a big amount or a high-ticket item, this can lead to repeat purchases that can build brand loyalty in the future.
To maximize brand engagement, retailers often make use of game-based promotions. Because games contain the elements of challenge, thrill, and fun, they become more interesting and attractive to customers. Examples of games often run by stores are spin to win promo, collect & win promo, matching, trivia and puzzle games, and much more. However, to participate in these games, you must first register with the shop or website.
24. Social Media Contests and Giveaways
Social media contests offer customers an opportunity to win prizes such as cash, store merchandise, vouchers, or giveaways. To enter a contest, most stores require you to tag a certain number of people in the comments, share the post on your story, and post with a specific hashtag.
To get updated with social media contests, be sure to check the posts of your favorite pages regularly. Facebook recently optimizes its newsfeed, which means you’ll see less from brands or publisher pages that you follow. Don’t worry, you can still customize what you see on your feed by clicking on the three horizontal dots in the top left corner of the screen next to the Newsfeed tab, and the “Edit Preferences”. To avoid getting lots of emails, you can create a separate account just for contests. You can also use filtering technologies such as Google’s promotions tab to filter out contest-related emails from your main account.
25. Trade Prices
A trade price is the price of goods that a retailer pays to a manufacturer or wholesaler. To encourage more sales, some retailers offer trade prices to certain products. Keep an eye on this once offered as this can save you money.
26. Shopping Sprees
One of the most exciting promotions retailers run is the “enter to win” contest that allows the winner to do a shopping spree in their store. This promotion encourages customers to learn about their offerings by choosing from merchandise that are up for grabs. To join a sweepstakes for a shopping spree, shops usually will require you to buy an x amount worth of goods.
27. Military / Senior / Student Discounts
If you are a military member, senior, or student, you are lucky enough to receive exclusive discounts from participating retailers. While military discounts are active year-round, they can double up around Veteran’s Day with more freebies, specials, buy-one-get-ones, and great discounts on furniture and appliances. Active military and veterans should do their homework before shopping and always ask about discounts as most retailers don’t advertise these savings at the register. Being a senior has perks too. Among them, they can enjoy discounts on many of your favorite restaurants, retail, grocery stores, entertainment, and travel destinations. College students are also entitled to many privileges and discounts, especially around back to school season. They can score great deals on laptops, tables, software, food, entertainment, travel, clothing, cosmetics, and more. If you belong to these groups, always remember to carry your ID when shopping as this is your arm to big savings and incentives.
28. Buy Now, Pay Later
On a tighter budget? Don’t fret as many shops are offering “Buy Now, Pay Later” scheme. This structure allows you to complete online transactions without paying the full amount up front. By allowing installment payments over time, it increases your purchasing power. This strategy is designed to drive additional sales, quickly remove products from inventory, and reduce abandoned carts.