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May 14, 2024 | 5 minute read

5 Smart Promotion Strategies to Drive Revenue in Slow Seasons

written by Bryan House

One of the biggest questions for retailers today is: How do I drive profitable growth? Instead of growth for growth’s sake, many are doubling down on targeting the highest value customers who are most likely to convert again and again. It gets tougher to drive consistent profitability, especially in the slow seasons. However, by focusing on the right promotion strategies, it’s easier to attract the kinds of customers you want and increase average order values in the process.

Let’s take a look at five strategies you can test and learn from in the months to come.

Take advantage of new loyalty tactics

The first wave of loyalty focused on deep discounts, which can be costly and cut into your margins. However, many retailers are experimenting with loyalty programs that focus on members-only experiences like exclusive product drops, early access, and brand collaborations.

Product drops work especially well with younger customers — 72 percent of Gen Z and bridge millennial consumers who participated in product drops felt greater affinity for the brand with which they shopped, compared to 67% of customers overall. Flash sales and private sales also significantly drove brand affinity, for 57% and 63% of customers, respectively.

Leverage dynamic bundling

Forrester Research shows as much as 10 to 30 percent of revenue comes from upselling and cross-selling via product bundles. Yet, relatively few retailers take advantage of dynamic bundling, or offering customers options of which products to pair with an item in their cart. Static bundles are the norm because of the rigid backend product catalog structure many teams are stuck with from legacy commerce systems.

However, composable commerce systems like Elastic Path make this process much easier to manage for merchandisers. You can select a component, or category of products, from which your customers can choose. From there, you simply choose how many items you’d require as a minimum (having a 0 minimum means customers can bundle any items with their purchase) and set the pricing and imagery for your bundle.

See composability at work

Check out our interactive demo and see how Elastic Path integrates with your needs.

Experiment with different types of offers

Depending on how flexible your commerce system is, there are many types of offers you can choose to turn on or off on any given day. These might include stacking promotions where there are multiple active promotions running at once, with a hierarchy and system for presenting customers with offers. Or, tiered promotions that offer greater discounts the more a customer spends.

Overall, your commerce system should be able to support customized promotions, without the need for custom development work. Merchandisers should be able to set the conditions for their promotions, or apply pre-existing actions to their promotions (e.g. discounting certain items, gifting free items, or offering free shipping).

Create a generative AI product landing page blitz

Generative AI gives marketers and merchandisers a lot more capacity to create variations on a theme when it comes to product landing pages. It used to be that major brands and marketplaces were the only ones that could afford the resources to flood the proverbial airwaves with thousands of variations of SEO-optimized landing pages.

Now anyone has the capacity to take a similar approach with generative AI. Paired with a no-code tool like CX Studio to create shoppable landing pages, this strategy can help more brands get found by the 56% of people who consider search results when making purchase decisions, and the 63% of people using search to learn about products they’ve never bought before.

Take a deeper look at your first-party data

With Google’s phase-out of third party cookies, most marketers will want to look inward at their own first party data. Using a tool like a customer data platform (CDP) can help make sense of this data. It captures information from multiple systems to create a single view of the customer across all of your channels — including in-store, email, chat, customer support, website interactions and more.

As a result, marketers can create more effective, targeted campaigns with the goals of increasing conversions or driving customer loyalty. For example, you can distinguish between discount buyers and highest-margin shoppers, focusing campaigns on each cohort and increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Overall, driving profitable growth is a matter of testing and learning from your customers’ behaviors. That’s why it’s important to have a flexible commerce system in place so you can take advantage of these opportunities to test new promotions, loyalty strategies, search tactics, and more. Composable commerce systems like those available from Elastic Path can make this process much simpler, with tooling designed for merchandisers and marketers to move fast and experiment — with little to no development involvement.

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