5 Ways to Incentivize Without Coupons

We've all been there - shamelessly sacrificing our emails or phone numbers to get an extra 20% off when shopping online. If you're an eCommerce merchant, this strategy can be a blessing and a curse - but when done correctly, discounting can, of course, be effective. After working with over 10,000 brands including Hanes, NCR, Everlast, and The Economist, we have been able to prove that there are quite a few other ways to create customer incentive without sacrificing your bottom line. Below are the top five strategies on how to do just that. 

1. Contests & Giveaways

  • This method is great because the incentive is capped -- either a dollar amount or a set number of winners. You can evaluate the max risk up front and don't have to worry about coupon codes leaking out.

  • Another benefit with contests is that email capture opt-in rates are typically much higher than any other incentive you can offer (including the standard “Enter your email for X off your next order” promotion). One of our clients surpassed their normal email capture rate by 224% with a contest!  

  • Successful examples of contests are:

    1. “Enter your email for a chance to win a gift card”

    2. “Share to Win”

    3. A selfie contest

    4. “Win Your Wishlist”


2. Shipping Upgrades

  • Want to help increase conversions? Consider offering a shipping upgrade. This works because there is no discounting of the actual product and you get it into the hands of your customer faster.

  • Free or expedited shipping can be offered a few different ways: as a membership perk, a brand perk, or when the order value reaches a certain amount. However, unless you’re major shipping giant like Amazon or Zappos, make sure you use this approach conditionally, the last thing you want to do is train your customers to expect a perk you can't always offer.



3. Free Promotional Items

  • Everybody loves a freebie! The promotion approach is a good one too because there is no discounting off your cash cow products, samples are typically less expensive than offering a discount, and it can lead to incremental purchases of the products you give away.

  • Here are few ways to work in free promotional items:

    1. Include free samples with a purchase

    2. Include a gift after a certain minimum spend

    3. Bundle a gift card with other products or partners

    4. Offer free extended warranty.

All of these strategies are effective, just make sure your fulfillment team has the ability to execute it successfully!



4. VIP Status

  • Everyone wants to feel special, and there are great advantages to rolling out the red carpet for your customers. It works because once it's in place, a VIP program doesn’t incur additional cost and it helps segment out your most valuable customers.

  • Effective perks for customers in these programs include:

    1. First access to new products

    2. Exclusive offers for members only

    3. Early access to sales.

Just remember to keep the members educated and engaged as it is going --customers don't respond well to changes that aren't in their favor.



5. Loyalty Points

  • Loyalty points live in the same neighborhood as VIP programs. They drive repeat purchases and boost brand advocacy among members. Some desirable customer actions that you can incentivize with loyalty points include:

    1. Leaving reviews

    2. Referring friends

    3. Creating an account

    4. Purchases

    5. Sharing their experience via social media

However, like VIP programs the rules are hard to change once they are put in place, so make sure you put a lot of thought into creating one. 



As you can see, there are many ways to incentivize, drive a higher conversion rate & reduce cart abandonment without discounting or couponing. I hope you learned a lot!

I’m Katie Oates, the Channel Partner Manager for AddShoppers. If you are interested in learning more about any of these examples or utilizing  any of these strategies in 2016, contact me at [email protected] or check out our website at www.addshoppers.com to see for yourself.
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