E-Commerce Strategy

8 Discount Strategies to Sell More Stuff

March 1, 2021

You don’t just have to give a percentage off to make a splash. Next time you want to create a buzz try one of these discount strategies instead.

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Founder and Chief Email Geek at Shop Pop Marketing. We create retail emails that look good, sound good, and make good money. Let's make your shop pop!


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Ahh, the ole discount. Customers love to get em and shop owners hate to give em.

But even the most discount-averse brands know that there are seasons when a “sale” is just the carrot a customer needs to feel great about their purchase.

Keep scrolling to get eight exciting discount strategies you can try in your shop.

1. Loss leader

A loss leader is when you sell one product at a loss in order to get customers in the door. On Black Friday, these are called “doorbusters.”

But some companies, like grocery stores, do this year-round! They take a hit on the $0.99 avocado but make it up when you buy two bags of tortilla chips.

Just make sure that once your customer is in the door to snag the too-good-to-be-true deal, you have a strong up-sell/cross-sell strategy in place — either through an on-site app or through automated email marketing flows.

2. Free X when you spend $Y

Similar to the loss leader, this discount strategy is when you give your customers something free when they hit a spending threshold. Cosmetic companies are famous for this! (Free tote with a $75 purchase, anyone?)

This carrot can drive up your average purchase value and give your customers the feeling they are gaining something very valuable for free. For instance, if you give away something that retails for $12, but it only costs you $4 to give away, that’s a GOOD DEAL! For them and for you!

3. Store-wide sale 

On a big-discount holiday like Black Friday or Cyber Monday, it’s common to offer a store-wide sale like 15% of 20% off everything. These are particularly exciting for your customer if you have items that rarely go on sale.

4. $X off a purchase of $Y+

Dollars off a minimum purchase is a great alternative to a store-wide sale. This discount strategy caps the amount of discount you give AND retains the value of your products. So instead of your customer seeing the item as “worth less” because it’s on sale, they get rewarded for buying more at “full price.”

This kind of discount also works as X% off a purchase of $Y.

5. Buy more, Save more

A tiered promotion incentivizes people to buy more to save more. (10% off when you spend $Y, 15% off when you spend $Z, and so on!) This one can do wonders for your average purchase amount, too!

PS – If you’re selling on Shopify or a similar platform, you’ll need multiple discount codes or an app to help you make sure it all works out at checkout!

6. BOGO X% off

A good Buy One Get One is perfect for gift-giving seasons when your customers are shopping for multiples. Consumers know BOGO 50% off is essentially 25% OFF, but that 50% looks better than 25% in an email or social post! 

7. Special Collection Pricing 

If you don’t have the margins to put everything on sale at a consistent discount, you can build a special collection of manually marked sale items.

For instance, item A can be 55% off, while item B is 8% off. Then in your email marketing, you can say, “up to 55% off select items.”

8. Free Shipping

Finally, never underestimate the power of free shipping, Friend! Studies show that shipping costs can keep us from making a purchase. (Basically, Amazon Prime has made us all very entitled!)

So ask yourself how much of a hit you’re willing to take on shipping to win the sale. If you can’t offer it on every purchase, set a minimum purchase amount!

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hey there!

I'm Katie, your email-obsessed BFF.

My team and I help retailers turn stuff into sales with emails people actually like. 

We're email geeks, so you don't have to be. (Because, you have better things to do than stress over subject lines.)

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