There is a widespread belief that you should not spoil the client with frequent discounts – he will get used to them and will only make purchases during promotional periods. Recently, however, we have noted that non-stop discounts have become part of their marketing strategy for many online stores. And this approach is successful. After all, promotions are beneficial to everyone: both the customer who receives a discount and the store – he gets a reason to remind about himself, new customers who came to the action, an increased average check and more active sales of products.
The question naturally arises about the pricing of a store that gives discounts all year round. We will omit it because we do not have such information. But let’s talk about the promotion methods – depending on the purpose of the promotion and its mechanics, they will be specific.
Although we are talking about a strategy in which stocks follow each other, we recommend that you do not run them too often, as the return on stocks can gradually decrease. The user must have time to form a new need for goods, and how long it takes to form depends on your market. For example, in the FMCG market, the optimal interval between shares is 10-14 days.
Promotions marketing objectives
The goals of promotions are varied. Today we will focus on only four and analyze which advertising inventory will be optimal in each case.
- Attraction of new clients
- Development of loyalty of existing customers
- Encouraging the first purchase
- Increasing the average check
Objective: to attract new customers
Mechanics: discount on everything on big holidays
The client base should grow regularly, and the very events that affect everyone will be an excellent informational reason for reaching out to a new audience: Black Friday (when everyone wants to save money), New Year (when everyone congratulates each other), gender holidays (when everyone expresses admiration for masculinity or femininity).
Since the audience for such holidays is wide, marketers have resorted to reach tools – display advertising. We want to pay special attention to the video posting on YouTube, which, in addition to coverage, also gives good performance results due to the focus on users who are inclined to purchase goods in your category.
If you want to evaluate the impact of advertising on sales, set up tracking post-view and post-click conversions before starting the flights. Thanks to this, you can see how the audience is reacting to ads and how soon after they make a purchase.
After setting up tracking, you can divide users who have made a conversion into three groups:
- We started watching the video, did not watch it and did not follow the link, but later made a purchase (post-view conversion).
- Viewed a video or followed a link but made a purchase later, not through YouTube.
- We watched the video, followed the link and immediately made a purchase.
The first group is traditionally several times larger than the other two combined. This suggests that video ads are working, but have a delayed effect.
With a wide reach of media tools, you will introduce yourself to a large number of new users. A certain percentage will react to ads by going to the site or making a purchase. Any interest shown will allow you to record a user and in the future send a remarketing campaign to him, which will tell you about the next discount.
Mechanics: discount on a specific assortment
Discount marketing is not just Black Fridays and New Years. For those who have promotions as part of their marketing strategy, everything will be a reason for offering a discount: a new book release, a film premiere, the last season of the series, preparing for school, changing collections, and so on. During such periods, a discount is provided for a certain assortment of the store.
In the essence of the action there is already a limitation – the discount is provided for a certain assortment, and not for the whole. This requires a more targeted promotion approach. And then we would recommend turning to the standard Yandex.Direct and Google Ads tools: promotional ads in search campaigns and banners, text and image ads and responsive display ads in YAN and Display Network. In campaigns, you will need to pay attention to the choice of semantics and targeting of the promoted sections and products. In YAN, these are most often keywords, in the display network – special audiences formed by the necessary keywords.
Mechanics: discount within an hour
If the rest of the discount promotions last two to four weeks, and for about a week the store announces the launch of the promotion, then the “Discount within an hour” can be called a lightning event. It does not require global preparation, so you can resort to it if necessary.
This graph shows how the volume of transactions changes when these types of promotions are launched. With the right approach, discounts per hour can increase the number of purchases by 2-3 times.
The short-term nature of this action dictates its own terms of promotion. In particular, it makes sense to use tools that have a countdown counter. For example, in Google Ads ads, you can count down to the start of a promotion or, conversely, until its end. We recommend promoting such promotions in campaigns based on brand and competitive queries.
Goal: development of loyalty of existing customers
Many stores have their own club of privileged users who receive various bonuses. There are many scenarios for encouraging regular customers. One way to show your special affection to this group of customers is to give a discount before the big “everyone” promotion kicks off.
To target only your favorite customers, you can use the Yandex.Audience CRM segments and upload a hashed customer base to Google Ads. For this audience, ad creatives must differ from generic ones – for example, contain an indication that the promotion is closed.
In the following graph you can see the results of two stages of the campaign: the first surge is views and conversions of the CRM audience, the second – “everyone else”.
The graph explains why the promotion should first be carried out for cardholders – this is how the store provides its loyal customers with the opportunity to have time to purchase goods of interest to them.
Purpose: to encourage the first purchase
The first purchase is a certain milestone that the user must overcome in the relationship with the store. The perfect purchase helps the client understand how comfortable the cooperation is. And if everything goes smoothly, then the next interaction will no longer cause reflections, doubts, it will happen faster and, probably, with a large check.
Therefore, it is important for online stores to help the user take this first step. A discount will help here for those who wanted to buy something for the first time, but stopped halfway.
The audience for this type of shares is formed on the basis of data from analytical systems – Google Analytics and Yandex.Metrica. It includes site visitors who added items to the cart but did not start checkout, and those who started checkout but did not complete it. In the future, the user will be “chased” by a banner in the YAN or CCM with a reminder of the forgotten basket and a discount on it. Since you do not know the reasons for the suspension of the process of this particular purchase, it is better to offer a discount for the entire assortment, and not only for the “forgotten” item in the basket.
Our practice shows that such promotions are one of the most effective. Their CR in the FMCG marketplace is often comparable to branded search campaigns.
Goal: to increase the average check
The ideal customer of the store buys often and a lot. But there are hardly any perfect clients. And when the store needs to buy, if rarely, then at least a lot, a promotion is activated that stimulates an increase in the purchase volume. Its simplest and most obvious mechanic is to promise more discount the higher the purchase price. For instance:
- 5% discount for purchases from 2000 rubles;
- 10% discount when buying from 5000 rubles;
- 20% discount for purchases over 10,000 rubles.
The peculiarity of this promotion is that it is aimed at users who are ready to buy, which means that we must work with sales funnel tools that are responsible for the generated demand. Contextual advertising is a reliable companion of such promotions. In branded campaigns, you can change the standard ad to announce a promotion and mention its terms. Thus, those who are already ripe to buy and are looking for you or your competitors will find out about the promotion.
Remarketing campaigns are also suitable for such promotions – by returning a client to a website or to a forgotten basket, inform them that on certain days for a larger volume of purchases, you can get a good discount.
Our experience shows that these promotions do an excellent job with their tasks – the check grows on average by 20%.
Life hacks and recommendations
It is important to understand that when you add promotional ads to ad groups that include regular non-promotional ads, the systems display them unevenly by default. The display is based on their effectiveness: click-through rate, user behavior on the site, etc. Since promotional ads do not have accumulated statistics, the following situation may arise: at the beginning of the campaign, they will receive a very small amount of impressions. By the time the system realizes that these ads are working well, the promotion has already ended. To avoid this, you can use experiments in Yandex.Direct and Google Ads.
Pay attention to a common mistake when creating an experiment in Yandex.Direct. Many people think that when two experimental campaigns are paused with a start date for tomorrow, they will start automatically. This is not true. Yandex alone cannot transfer a campaign from “suspended” to “active”. This is done by the user. However, if a campaign has a start date of July 30, then impressions will not start earlier than this date, even if the campaign is active.
By default, in Yandex.Direct in search campaigns, you cannot select to show ads only to the audience you need, but you can turn off the display of ads for a specific audience. A double negation will help here: adjusting bids of -100% for an audience that did not complete any of the actions you want. When working with Yandex.Metrica goals, a similar solution works, but significantly reduces the number of impressions.
And in conclusion, let’s recall two more important aspects when working with stocks. The first is creativity: Create original themed promotions that will set you apart from the competition. And the second one – regularity: Run your promotions systematically to get users to wait for them.