You have probably noticed the trend of retail stores organizing a sale whenever the festive season is around the corner.
In the United States, Black Friday is a popular part of retail culture and it happens to fall around the time of Thanksgiving. In India, retailers incentivize shoppers to buy more with discount sales on premium products around the time of Diwali.
The logic is simple – happy customers are more spendthrift and the general happiness of people is above average during festive season.
Online retail stores are not numb to this trend. Amazon and many other big online retailers organize big sales offering attractive discount offers.
If you run a WooCommerce store, it naturally makes sense to start a discount sale campaign at an appropriate time. It makes perfect sense to ride the wave of a festive season and increase revenue.
The real challenge is actually making a sales campaign successful. Most big online retailers have the resources to promote a sales campaign widely and get people excited.
How can a small-time WooCommerce store generate excitement and sell more during a sales campaign?
The following piece offers a step-by-step guide on running a sales campaign on a WooCommerce store.
Step one – Choose the right time to run a sales campaign
Running a sales campaign is not simply a matter of cutting down the prices and announcing a sitewide sale on your WooCommerce store.
There are many other factors at play, one naturally being the timing of a sale.
We mentioned earlier the procolivity of retailers to start a discount sale during a festive season. A festive season is a good time to start a sales campaign because people are more likely to spend more.
Not all segments of the audience are ideal to target during a festive season. The right time to start a sales campaign varies depending on the type of products in a store.
For example, let’s say you have a website selling mountaineering gear. Your primary target audience belongs to the United States. Is it wise to start a sale campaign during the time of Christmas?
The answer is naturally no as the best time for mountaineering is during the spring and summer months. Selling mountaineering gear during the peak of winter in December makes no business.
Thus, the category of products being put up for sale also play a key role.
Identify the right time of the year to run a sales campaign and organize your resources accordingly.
Step two – Create a coordinated marketing strategy
There is no point in starting a sales campaign if you cannot get people excited and aware about it. This speaks to a larger reality in the world of WooCommerce stores – there is little effort to plan a creative marketing push.
Big online retailers leave no stone unturned to make their audience aware about a new sale. These efforts are not just restricted to deploying a digital marketing blitz. They even rollout expensive TV and newspaper ads to raise awareness.
It is unlikely that a small business can launch a promotional campaign at a similar scale. However, companies running a WooCommerce sales campaign must still have a marketing strategy to generate some interest.
The following points highlight the steps companies must take to prepare a marketing strategy for a WooCommerce sales campaign
#1- Evaluate scale of inbound resources
The first step in shaping a marketing strategy is identifying the kind of traffic a website can bring organically.
The traffic a website gets is generally segregated into two parts – inbound and outbound.
Inbound traffic covers all the visitors a website can bring in organically. This traffic generally refers to search engine traffic. However, it can also mean traffic accumulated from other inbound structures like email marketing, social media, and direct traffic from regular customers.
How does an accounting of inbound traffic help?
Every sales campaign first begins with a target volume of sales. If the incoming organic traffic is not large enough to meet this target, companies deploy additional outbound campaigns.
An accounting of inbound traffic thus helps companies identify the resources they need to spend on outbound traffic.
Generally, the target volume of sales is more than what inbound traffic can deliver. The entire point of running a sales campaign is to sell more products than usual.
#2- Identify the right outbound channels
There are many ways you can spend money and bring traffic to your WooCommerce store. Almost every prominent platform enables advertisers to gain greater visibility.
Running a successful paid campaign on all outbound channels is a fool’s errand for a small company with a WooCommerce store. A small business has to recognize practicalities and focus on ROI before deploying paid campaigns.
Not every platform guarantees the same returns. Some platforms promise a high conversion rate while others do not. It is upto marketers to identify the platforms that perfectly suit the products they wish to promote.
Furthermore, marketers should go beyond the usual platforms they target. All companies running WooCommerce stores think of running paid campaigns on Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram, and so on. Going beyond these channels and targeting more niche forums where conversion is high can promise a much higher ROI. This is not to mention that it will allow marketers to reach new segments of audiences that their competitors don’t know about.
#3- Create essential marketing material
Money is not the only resource one needs to run a successful campaign to promote a WooCommerce sale.
Good content is also essential. All the money in the world won’t save a campaign if the marketing content is thin and vague.
Companies need to call upon their best copywriters to write the best possible content for any given platform.
Besides content, many ad campaigns also involve the use of visual content. This creates the need for graphic designers and video creators as well. Identify the content resources you need to run a successful outbound campaign and deploy your content team to create it.
Step three – Do the discount math
Why do retailers in any given segment offer discounts?
Let’s assume you run a stationery store. You sell a hundred pens everyday and make a profit on each sale. One day you decide to organize a sale. You cut down the normal price of your pens. You thus reduce your profit percentage. What then is the point of running a sales campaign?
The point is this – you won’t just sell a hundred pens like any normal day when running a sales campaign. You sell more than your usual volume. The reduction in profit percentage is covered by the overall increase in volume.
Starting a sales campaign is not as simple as offering a WooCommerce sitewide discount. Offering a discount means losing some margin. The loss in margin is generally overcome by the overall volume in sales.
The important point to remember here is calculating the overall effect of the discounts on the ROI.
If the large volume of sales doesn’t actually help cover the reduction in your profit margin, revise the discount again. Don’t just offer any eye-catching discount. Do your discount match properly to ensure you come out of the campaign with positive ROI numbers.
Step four – Setup the tactics
You know when to launch your sales campaign. The marketing side is ready and the discount percentages are set.
The next step is setting up the tactics. There are many ways of offering a discount. The following sections cover some of the tactics you can employ in your WooCommerce sales campaign. We will also cover the WooCommerce plugins you can use to set up these sales campaign tactics.
#1- Simple Discounts
Simple product discounts are generally the ideal way to offer discounts to an average user. This is because most users immediately understand the significance of a simple and direct discount.
Direct discounts are also easier to promote from a marketing standpoint. You don’t need to explain anything to visitors arriving at your WooCommerce store. They can directly see the discounts you’re offering and make up their own minds.
You can naturally add a number of caveats to the discounts you offer. Minimum order discounts is a prime example. You may not want to offer discounts on every small order. Setting a minimum order amount makes sense in such a case.
Another variation includes offering discounts on a specific category or product. This generally works when a particular product is very popular but too expensive for the target audience. You can leverage a sales campaign to sell such products.
Best plugins: WooCommerce Discount Rules and Woo Product Category Discount
#2- Coupon codes
Coupon codes have become popular off late as a way to promote products. Almost every online store these days offers some kinds of discount coupon codes.
Why use coupon codes when you can always offer discounts? This is an interesting question for those about to start a sales campaign.
The general advantage of coupon codes is that they offer stores a way to learn valuable information about prospective customers.
Coupon codes are a means to an end. They must only be used as a way to increase the potency of a sales campaign. Simply creating coupon codes without any plan makes little sense.
Let’s take an example. Assume you decide to develop a shopping app for your online store. To make the launch more exciting, you also decide to organize a sale on the day of your launch.
Creating an app is not easy. You bypass developmental issues and use a mobile app creator to go from WooCommerce to Android mobile app without coding.
Then comes the time to promote your sales campaign and launch. You create two sets of creatives. The first set only mentions the discount percentage you’ll offer. The second set asks users to download your new ecommerce app in exchange for getting an exclusive coupon code.
Even if the first set of creatives gets higher engagement, there is a good chance people will forget about your sale. The second set of creatives can get you more app downloads. You can then use the push notifications to promote your sale and forge a deeper connection with the users.
Best plugin: WooCommerce Smart Coupons and Coupon Creator
#3- Premium member sales
The premium member sales tactic works if you have a large enough user base and you want to make them part of a paid subscription club. The Prime membership Amazon offers is an example of premium membership on an ecommerce platform.
The goal is to offer good discounts to customers if they become part of a premium campaign. This is also an excellent way to diversify your revenue model. Simply relying on sales forever is not a viable option. Creating a loyal base of premium members portrays longevity and brand value.
Best plugins: WooCommerce Memberships and WooCommerce Subscriptions
#4- Free shipping
A study recently showed that at least ninety percent consumers consider free shipping the most attractive incentive to buy a product.
Nobody likes shipping costs. Customers hate them because they have to pay them. Sellers hate them because shipping costs make their products less attractive and decrease overall conversions.
How does one offer free shipping though? We mentioned premium memberships as a viable option to add another stream of income. You can use the same extra income from premium members to offer free shipping and further incentivize sales.
Another option is marking up the product price 10-15% and using the extra margin to then offer free shipping. This is a more psychological trick than an actual solution, but it can work well for dropshippers.
#5- Miscellaneous offers
Miscellaneous offers include many popular tactics retailers often use. These include product of the day discounts, buy one get one free deals, discount on the next purchase, and so on.
These offers generally work in an off-season when sales are low and visitors need an extra push.
However, they can also become a part of a sales campaign. The one thing entrepreneurs must ensure is that the numbers behind these offers add up.
Step five – Create a native mobile app for WooCommerce website
The next step of creating a successful sales campaign is building a native app for your WooCommerce store.
App development is not an easy task. However, reliable ways to make an app like using a mobile app creator are gaining steam.
Consider AppMySite as an example. It essentially enables users to go from WooCommerce to Android mobile app without coding. The story doesn’t stop at creating an app either. AppMySite also offers a ton of options to customize the design of the app and improve its performance with add-ons.
There is no point in discussing the obvious benefit of having an app for a WooCommerce store. Almost 85% of online shoppers prefer using mobile apps over mobile websites. The overwhelming preference for mobile apps makes it necessary for an entrepreneur to consider creating an app for their WooCommerce store.
Using a reliable online app maker, entrepreneurs can realistically convert WordPress website to Android app.
Step six – Analyze sales campaign in real time
The last step is studying the sales campaign in real time. There are many tactical changes companies can make during a campaign to increase sales. These changes can range from updates to Facebook CBO campaigns to product landing page optimization.
How does one analyze a sales campaign? You can track the progress of your sales campaign directly on your WooCommerce dashboard. To track ad spend, check your social media business account.
What if you also went into the mobile app market simultaneously? After all, app builders make it easy to convert WordPress website to Android app.
You can track the traffic on your app through various mobile app analytics tools like Firebase, Flurry, and so on.
A sales campaign can do wonders for your WooCommerce store. The only caveat is that you need to do it right.
This piece provides a step-by-step analysis of running a sales campaign for your WooCommerce store. Each step will make you question your approach and address some pre-held suppositions.
A part of the piece also covers the importance of creating a WooCommerce app for your online store. AppMySite is the ideal solution in case you decide to bring an app to market.