How to market an online retail sale

Written on 31 December, 2012 by Karen Lim-Sam
Categories E-commerceEmail MarketingSocial MediaTags online businesssales

If you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer, you’re bound to have mastered the art of marketing a sale. But if you operate a digital shopfront, this prospect is a little trickier. To succeed at online retail marketing, you need to combine left-field thinking with a strong dose of digital savvy. Here are some useful tactics to get you on your way.

Embrace social media channels

Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest, social media channels are powerful tools for cultivating brand awareness and letting your customer base know about your sale. Try highlighting a featured product on your Facebook fan page or live tweeting the countdown to your promotion to generate marketing buzz. Just make sure you keep your posts short, well-timed and relevant.

Offer your customers an online gift card

Your offline rivals reap the loyalty benefits of gift cards, and there’s no reason that you should be left out of this equation. Before your next promotion, try offering your customers an online gift card and extend a further discount if they redeem it during the sale. It’s also worth noting that many e-commerce platforms have a gift card functionality built in. If you plan to offer gift cards on a regular basis, it might pay to consider re-platforming.

Offer free shipping

As far as conversion drivers go, it doesn’t get much better than free shipping – in fact, a Deloitte survey conducted in November 2012 found that 48 per cent of Australian consumers would choose to buy from a retailer who mailed their goods for free. If you can afford it, offer free shipping on all the items you want to discount or promote. Your revenue gains are sure to outweigh your initial investment.

Invest in an affiliate program

Affiliate websites can be powerful allies when it comes to spreading the news about your sale. Hosting ads for promotions or discounts on a trusted partner site can drive traffic and dramatically expand your customer base. Just be sure to pick an affiliate site according to the customers you want to attract – online users are more likely to respond to personalised campaigns than blanket promotions that don’t take their tastes and shopping preferences to heart.

As e-commerce competition surges, it’s vital to take greater measures to highlight your offers and discounts. Netregistry offers a range of e-commerce solutions with various plugins that allow you to run a successful retail sale campaign.

What are your best ideas for making your sale a soaring success?