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20+ Best Sales Promotion Examples & Ideas [2024]

GemPages Team
13 minutes read
20+ Best Sales Promotion Examples & Ideas [2024]

An eCommerce business needs marketing strategies to thrive in the market.

To keep the sales and revenue coming in, brands need to continuously attract leads and engage with potential as well as existing customers.

Sales promotions are among the favorite marketing strategies for eCommerce business owners. A well-executed sales promotion strategy can not only help gain leads but also boost your sales and revenue.

That said, you need to figure out which sales promotion strategy is right for your business. So, in this blog post, we’ll share the best sales promotion examples, ideas, and pro tips that can help you grow your business.

What is a Sales Promotion?

A sales promotion is a marketing strategy to attract new or existing customers to purchase your product or service — with an intriguing discount offer or any other incentive — typically offered for a short period of time.

The primary goal of a sales promotion is to increase sales and revenue; however, it can also help you in multiple ways depending on your strategy. For example, you can also aim at raising your brand awareness, building your email list, or attracting repeat purchases through sales promotions.

Most Common Examples of Sales Promotion

Have you been wondering — what are examples of sales promotion? If yes, you’ve landed at the right place because we’ve got plenty of them.

Let’s get started!

1. Flash Sale

Flash sales are among the most popular sales promotion methods, especially during the festive seasons or other special occasions.

In a flash sale, the brand offers attractive discounts for a short period to entice customers to take advantage of the sale. Usually, it’s held for 24-48 hours but it can even go up to a few days.

The key factors that make flash sales very effective are “urgency” and FOMO (fear of missing out) as customers are enticed to purchase before the sale is gone.

Born Primitive — a workout clothing brand — offers "patriot-inspired" clothing for men and women. Here’s an example of how the brand has created a three-day flash sale for sports bras.

Flash sale by Born Primitive

2. Sitewide Discount Sale

Sitewide sale is another widely used sales promotion method.

In this promotion technique, a flat discount offer is given for all the products listed on the store. So, customers won’t have to think whether the product they’re looking to buy is eligible for a discount.

Sitewide sales encourage customers to explore more products from your brand.

Here’s an interesting idea: you can combine a flash sale and a sitewide sale to create a highly effective campaign. Perfect Bar is a great example of a brand that’s implementing this strategy.

Sitewide sale on Perfect Bar’s homepage

In fact, the brand has combined multiple strategies, i.e., a flash sale, sitewide sale, and free shipping.

Pro tip: You can use Gempages to create a high-converting store design for your flash sale, sitewide sale, or any other sales promotion. GemPages — one of the most popular page builder apps for Shopify — allows you to easily create store pages and landing pages with advanced features and eCommerce elements.

GemPages visual editor

3. First Order Special Discount

You know how hard it is to gain new customers in eCommerce, right?

Offering an enticing discount offer for the first order can help attract new customers. It’s worth offering a good discount considering you can convert those new customers into your frequent buyers too.

Here’s how Lulus lists all its promotional offers with different categories — including the 20% discount offer on the first order.

Sales promotions on Lulus’ website

Pro tip: Create a pop-up with your first order discount offer for new website visitors. You can also give an option to create an account with your store. That way, you can connect with potential customers and attract them to revisit your website, too.

4. Buy One Get One Offer

Buy one, get one free” (also known as BOGO) is another popular sales promotion technique in eCommerce. It gives customers the feeling of getting double value for their money.

While “buy one, get one free”  is a widely used method, you don’t necessarily need to follow the same exact offer. For example, you can even offer — “Buy two, get one free.” or “Buy one, get three free” depending on your profit margin.

Here’s Shoe Carnival’s “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” promotion. The brand has created a nice banner image on its homepage with a CTA button for the collection page.

Buy one get one free offer on Shoe Carnival’s website

Another thing to be noticed here is that the brand has mentioned the offer at multiple places to ensure the customers are left with no questions or doubts.

Collection page on Shoe Carnival’s website

5. Conditional Free Shipping Offer

Many eCommerce brands use free shipping offers to remove that barrier that might stop customers from completing the purchase. However, there are multiple ways to offer free shipping, and you should use it strategically in your marketing as well.

You can offer free shipping on all orders or only on those orders that are higher than a certain $ value. For example, offering free shipping on all orders of $75 or above.

In any case, make sure to highlight the free shipping promotional offer on your website at multiple places such as the announcement bar, banner image, and product pages.

Learn more: How to Do Free Shipping on Shopify? (+Evergreen Tips)

6. Newsletter Signup Discount

Getting website visitors to sign up for your newsletter isn’t quite easy. But if you offer them a reward, many of them would be happy to sign up for it.

This helps you in two ways: 

  1. You can get an order from the customer as they use the discount code.
  2. You get an email subscriber for future marketing too.

Rails has done an outstanding job in setting up a popup for its newsletter sign-up form along with a discount offer. The signup form has options to choose the shopping preference (Men, Women, or Both) which can be very helpful to create personalized marketing campaigns.

Discount offer for newsletter sign-up on Rails’ website

7. Holiday Special Sale

Before or during holidays, customers are in complete shopping mode. That’s why it’s a great opportunity for you to launch holiday special sales promotions.

One of the most common examples is the Christmas holidays as it’s a huge shopping event in many countries. However, there are many other holiday sale opportunities.

For example, here are some of the popular holidays in the US: Valentine's Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter, and New Year's Eve.

Based on your ideal customer profile, identify which holidays could be best for your business and prepare your strategy accordingly. For example, if you’re selling pet items, the “National Pet Day” could be a great occasion for you to launch a holiday special sale.

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Best Consumer Sales Promotion Examples

8. Digital Coupons

Digital coupons are basically discount codes offered to potential or existing customers. You can offer coupons to customers through various channels such as social media, email, text, etc.

You can also create a pop-up for coupons in your store. For example, as soon as we land on SHEIN’s website, it offers discount coupons. You need to sign-in/sign-up to collect those coupons.

Discount coupon offer on SHEIN’s website

9. Free Sample Offer

Who doesn’t like to receive a free product, right?

A free sample offer could be quite effective in introducing a new product to your customers. It gives customers the opportunity to try your product and you can gain more sales — as long as they love their trial.

Sephora — one of the most popular eCommerce brands — offers up to two free samples. Customers can check the range of products available as free samples and choose any two samples (per order).

free sample

Alternatively, you can also offer a conditional free sample with a purchase of a certain amount. Here’s an example of how Estée Lauder offers a free sample with a $45 purchase. The brand also entices customers to purchase more to get more free samples.

Free sample sale promotion on Estée Lauder’s website

10. Social Media Contest

Running a social media contest to promote your products can help create an exciting and engaging sales promotion. Also, it gives you an opportunity to expand your reach to a broader audience.

Social media content gives the gamification element to your marketing campaign. It not only helps you gain higher engagement from your target audience but it also spreads the word among their friends and followers.

Be creative and come up with an interesting content idea. Also, make sure to clearly define and convey the rules and rewards of your contest. As you navigate the competitive steps toward your goals, you'll need a companion to help you create content effortlessly yet professionally - in that case, this is a good one to consider.

11. Loyalty Program Rewards

This is one of the cost-effective methods because you’re not offering an immediate cash discount. Instead, you’re offering reward points that customers can (typically) redeem at your store only.

During certain occasions, you can create reward multiplier events. For example, if a customer gets 10 points per $1 spent on regular days, during this event, you can offer customers 2x (20) points or 3x (30) points.

Sephora’s Beauty Insider is a fitting example of such a sales promotion through a loyalty program. No wonder it’s considered among the world’s most successful loyalty programs.

Benefits of Beauty Insider listed on Sephora’s website

Other Examples of Sales Promotion Techniques

12. End-of-Season Sale

End-of-season sales can help you clear your inventory before the next season starts and gain some working capital for the coming season.

Here’s an example of the end-of-season sales launched by Black Clover — a brand that offers premium clothing, lifestyle apparel, and headwear products. As you can see, the brand has also added a short note to create urgency — “Items in this collection are final sale.”

End-of-season sale by Black Clover

Apart from promoting this sale on your website, you can also let your existing customers know about it through email marketing.

13. Cashback Offer Promotion

When shopping online, customers are always looking for ways to save money. So, getting cashback on an order makes them feel great because it gives them the satisfaction of saving some money.

In cashback offer promotion, when customers complete a purchase, they receive a certain % of money back in their account. Since this cashback amount is saved in their accounts, it encourages them to repurchase from your brand.

Thus, cashback offers not only help you bring sales but also help build customer loyalty.

14. Clearance Sale

If you’re selling items that are at risk of getting outdated, running a clearance sale is a smart way to clear such inventory. Also, products that have excess inventory can be put on a clearance sale with an attractive discount offer.

Papu Design is an excellent example showcasing how a brand should create a clearance sale. The store page for the clearance collection starts with a nice banner image providing details about the sale and its offer.

Also, the brand makes it a point to let customers know that they’re offering “high-quality women's clothing” at a discounted rate. Small details like these are important to assure customers of your brand’s quality standards.

Clearance sale on Papu Design’s website

15. Spin-the-wheel Promotion

Spin-the-wheel promotion is another technique that adds a gamification element to your sales promotions. When customers visit your online store, they are shown a big widget or pop-up where they can click to spin the wheel — and then, it will show a certain offer to the customer.

Dooney & Bourke has set up an interesting spin-the-wheel sales promotion on its website. Once customers spin the wheel, they can win any of the four possible rewards: 10% off, 5% off, free shipping, or a free gift.

Spin the wheel sales promotion on Dooney & Bourke’s website

16. Early Bird Special Discount

An early bird discount is a special discount offer given to specific or selected customers, typically on a new product launch, before the offer is available to the general audience.

It gives customers exclusivity and makes them feel special. It can also help enhance their loyalty toward your brand.

Learn more: 6 Best Shopify Loyalty Apps to Boost Customer Retention

17. Seasonal Sale

As the name suggests, these sales promotions are launched for specific seasons of the year. For example, winter sale, summer sale, spring sale, etc.

Seasonal sale promotions could be an effective strategy for clothing and apparel brands too. “The Summer Sale” by Dooney & Bourke is an example of an excellently designed and curated seasonal sale.

The summer sale on Dooney & Bourke’s website

18. Bundle Discount Offer

Bundle discount offers can help you increase your average order value (AOV).

There are multiple ways you can bundle your products. For example, bundle relevant/complementary products, same product in bulk quantity, or custom bundle where customers can choose what products they’d like to include in the bundle.

Hug Sleep — a popular eCommerce brand that was featured on Shark Tank — makes brilliant use of bundle sales promotion.

Bundle sale on Hug Sleep’s website

19. Lifestyle Discount

Lifestyle discounts are offered to certain professionals, age groups, or other demographics. For example, you can create special sales promotions for —

  • Military professionals
  • Veterans
  • Teachers 
  • Students
  • Senior citizens

Let’s take PacSun as an example. It’s a clothing brand that offers products such as jeans, graphics tees, hoodies, swimwear, and so on. The brand has a special discount offer for students.

Student discount offer on PacSun’s website

20. Pre-Order Sale

Pre-order is a marketing strategy where customers can buy a product that’s about to launch or restock (after going out of stock). It’s a great strategy to create buzz around your product and make sales even before products are made available in stock.

When customers can pre-order products, it gives them a feeling of being an “exclusive customer” by getting an opportunity to try the product before others.

Now, you can take this marketing strategy to the next level by offering a special discount offer on pre-orders.

21. Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sale

When talking of sales promotions, you just cannot end the post without mentioning two of the biggest events for eCommerce businesses — Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM).

Yes! BFCM is a huge opportunity to skyrocket your sales figures with a special BFCM sale that you can run for an entire week. Make sure to prepare a robust pricing strategy because customers are looking for big discount offers during this occasion.

Learn more: 32+ Best Black Friday Marketing Ideas + Tips & Examples

22. End-of-Year Sale

An end-of-year sale (or year-end sale) is the last opportunity for you to maximize your revenue and profits. It can help you end the year on a positive note.

Remember — you could combine multiple sales promotions to come up with an irresistible offer. So, you can combine the end-of-year sale with other sales promotion strategies.

For example, the end of the year is a great time to thank your customers by offering them a special gift. So, you could create an end-of-year sales promotion where you offer a free gift along with a purchase. 

This will make it a memorable experience for your customers and help build customer loyalty.

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Pros and Cons of Running Sales Promotions

Pros of Sales Promotions

  • Gaining New Leads and Customers

A sales promotion immensely helps you attract new leads and customers. For example, the promotion of newsletter signup gives you new leads whom you can turn into your customers through email marketing.

  • Increase in Revenue and Cash Flow

Some sales promotions are intended to increase revenue and cash flow. For example, pre-order sales promotion can help you earn revenue which can be used as a working capital.

  • Launching a New Product

When you launch a new product, customers may not immediately start buying it because they’ve never used it. A sales promotion could help you sell new products, collect reviews, and eventually, you win the trust of future customers.

Learn more: How to Promote Shopify Store: 15 Solid Strategies + Inspiring Examples [2024]

Cons of Sales Promotions

  • Impact on Perceived Value of Your Brand and Products

You must’ve heard some big luxury brands never run a sales promotion. It’s because they want to show it to their customers that their products don’t require sales promotion. So, when you run a sales promotion, some customers may start devaluing your brand or certain products which are put under a sale.

  • Reduces profit margins

While sales promotions help increase your sales, in most cases, it may come at the cost of lower profit margin. Since you’re giving away high discounts or free items, it reduce your profit margin

  • Change in customer expectations

Once you run a sales promotion, it may create an expectation in their mind that you’d keep bringing the same discounted rates in the future as well. Sometimes, customers even postpone purchases waiting for sales promotions.

Create Your Sales Promotion Like a Pro

Now that you’ve gone through a bunch of sales promotion ideas and examples, we hope it inspires you to come up with your unique strategy.

Keep in mind — the eCommerce game is all about testing and experimenting. Sometimes, you may have to test different offers or the way you present them to your customers.

In any case, we’re here to help you with the tools and resources you need. You can use GemPages to not only make your sales promotions look great but also to perform A/B tests which could make your sales promotion robust and effective.

Not ready to commit but still want to kick the tires?
No problem! Get started with GemPages' free plan. Explore wonderful features that can do wonders for your store.

FAQs about Sales Promotion Techniques

Which is a real-world example of a sales promotion?
Most stores in the eCommerce world have some sort of discount offer. When you find any flat or conditional discount offer or any other reward, it’s considered a sales promotion. For example, “% discount on your first order” and “free shipping” are common examples of sales promotions.
What are the most common types of sales promotions?
Here are some of the most common types of sales promotions: 1. Flash sale 2. Sitewide sale 3. Buy one, get one (BOGO) free 4. Free shipping 5. Coupons 5. Free shipping 6. Holiday special sale and 7. Newsletter signup discount.
What is the sales promotion strategy?
A sales promotion is a marketing strategy to attract new or existing customers to buy from your brand — with an intriguing discount offer or any other reward — typically offered for a short period of time.
What are the advantages of sales promotion?
Here are some of the key advantages of sales promotions: 1. Helps you gain new customers 2. Attract your existing customers for repeat purchases 3. Increases your sales and conversions 4. Helps increase your sales opportunities when launching a new product.

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