It’s that time of year! We are officially in the holiday buying season and it’s time to add your promotional offers to your eCommerce store. Convert first-time buyers into loyal customers and retain your existing customer base. Let’s take a look at some methods for rolling out promotional offers for your WooCommerce store: from coupon creation to scheduling product sales and tips for promotion.
Your site needs to first opt into the coupon functionality from the settings admin in WooCommerce (WooCommerce > Settings > General > Enable coupons). There is also the option to apply coupon discounts sequentially if multiples are used; it will apply the first coupon to the full price and then each subsequent coupon will discount the discounted price, not the original full price.
Once the coupon functionality is enabled, you can begin adding your coupon codes (Marketing > Coupons).
Customers can input coupons on the cart or checkout pages.
For coupons that can be used by all customers, you may opt for generic coupon codes that have shorter promotional periods. These are good for engaging first-time buyers. For longer promotional periods with more restrictions, you may opt for personal coupon codes. To create a unique personal coupon code, you can use the “Generate Coupon Code” button in WooCommerce. These codes can be auto-populated in marketing emails through services such as Mailchimp or Klaviyo if your store integrates with one of these platforms.
There are a few different discount types out-of-the box in WooCommerce and depending on the additional WooCommerce extensions on your site, you may have additional options.
- Percentage Discount: Discount the product total by percentage. Add restrictions to limit it to specific items.
- Fixed Cart Discount: Discount the cart subtotal by a fixed dollar amount (excludes shipping cost). Add restrictions to limit it to specific items.
- Fixed Product Discount: Discount the product total by a fixed dollar amount. Add restrictions to limit it to specific items.
- Allow Free Shipping: This is an additional checkbox that can be enabled separately or in addition to an above discount. Free shipping must be enabled in the store.
There are a number of possible usage restrictions to enable out-of-the-box and depending on the additional WooCommerce extensions on your site, you may have additional options.
- Minimum/Maximum Spend: Set a minimum and/or maximum spend on the cart subtotal.
- Individual Use Only: Check the box to limit the coupon from being used in conjunction with coupons.
- Exclude Sale Items: Check the box to exclude products that are on sale.
- Products: Enable specific products the coupon applies to.
- Exclude Products: Exclude specific products the coupon does not apply to.
- Product Categories: Enable specific product categories the coupon applies to.
- Exclude Categories: Exclude specific product categories the coupon does not apply to.
- Allowed Emails: Only allow specific email addresses the coupon applies to. This can be a single email or a comma-separated list. You can also use an asterisk to match parts of an email, for instance, allow a specific business domain like *@hallme.com to qualify.
Expiration and Usage Limits
Set an expiration date to ensure the coupon is only usable throughout the promotional period. The code will expire at 12:00 AM on the desired date based on the site’s time zone setting.
Set usage limits per coupon or per user. This may help curb abuse of the coupon code, though it’s not a fool-proof method if the customer uses different email addresses at checkout.
Maybe you don’t want to bother with coupon codes and instead have decided to put specific products on sale. WooCommerce makes this fairly easy out-of-the-box and you can always extend the functionality with additional plugins.
Below the Regular Price you have the option to enter a Sale Price. Beside that is a link called Schedule which, when clicked, will add two additional inputs to schedule the sale. The sale will automatically begin at 12:00 AM on the desired date and expire at 11:59 PM based on the site’s time zone setting.
Marketing and Promotion
Below are five tips to consider when promoting your offer to customers:
- Prominently feature the coupon codes and product sales. Consider enabling the store notice (this will be a sticky bar at the top of the screen for most themes) so the offer is visible to customers on all pages of the site. You may want to add a custom landing page and/or custom banner on the homepage.
- Create an email campaign for subscribers. Consider the right balance of reminder emails so as not to annoy customers. Assess the optimal time of day to engage customers. Think about setting up a link that sends customers to your store and auto-adds a coupon code to make it easy for them.
- Promote offers on social media with Facebook Advertising or Instagram Ads. Get creative. Choose the different platforms and ways of engaging users (gifs, videos, custom graphics, etc.) that work for your business. Consider the impact of influencers and brand ambassadors.
- Create a sense of urgency. You might want to use a countdown clock and/or strategic language to activate FOMO.
- Make sure language is clear and consistent across all marketing channels. Ensure customers do not have trouble entering coupon codes and know exactly where they can do this. Ensure any restrictions and expirations are announced.
These solutions may require additional WooCommerce plugin extensions or custom development.
- Buy One Get One (BOGO)
- Free Gift with Purchase
- Storewide Sale
- Product Bundles
- Expedited Holiday Shipping
- Gift Cards or Store Credit
- Gift Wrapping
- Holiday Themed Products
Ensure your promotions are well-thought-out ahead of time and that you have an organized plan of attack for implementing them over the various end-of-year holidays. Be sure the site can handle an influx of traffic, product inventory is ready to go, and fulfillment processes are buttoned up. If you need help preparing your WooCommerce site for the holidays, contact the experts at Hall.