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4 Technical Tips on Discount Codes

The US independence day is drawing near and it’s July’s trademark holiday. A popular long weekend to fire up the BBQ, beer, and fireworks; 4th July, unlike other big shopping holidays, is also best suited for in-season purchases. The upcoming back-to-school season is the reason why we see many summer items on sale this holiday, pool & beach accessories and patio furniture being the highlight spends. With $304 billion revenue in eCommerce from the US in 2014 and a projected 10% increase over the next 2 years, it indicates that people all over the US gear up to participate in online sales during this part of the year. Many eCommerce sellers experience aggressive footfall on their online stores and the discount and promotions during the Independence Day shopping week makes it most attractive for buyers to flock on those shopping websites.

4h July infographic

Image source: Nextopia

While it is crucial for online sellers to chalk out marketing strategies for this big shopping week, equally critical is to ensure that technicalities of the promotions and discounts are robust and remain so.

That being said, here are some tips on the key to promotions and discount codes.

1) Library of discount/promo code - Make it a habit to maintain a list of codes which are active as well as inactive and the corresponding parameters. A readily available library of the codes makes it convenient to design a new set of promotional codes and plan campaigns. With all other preparations going on for the big sale, you surely want clutter and duplication out of your way.

2) Code configuration - Discount codes are the key driver for any sale. When not configured properly in the system, it can create a chaos of otherwise exciting sale season. The key is to test, test and test before the sale begin so you can rest assured that it’s going to work the way it ought to be. The testing has to work in both the scenarios - meeting the requirement and breaking the rule of the discount. A slight error in the code could hurt your plans a lot. Best practice is to make sure the application developer writes the code to keep a check on both scenarios and then have a user test group, maybe your own team, family members or close friends who can help you test if the system is working fine. The user test group represents your customers and that gives you first-hand information right away if anything needs a fix.

3) Keep new ideas for later - 4th July and for that matter, any sale day/season is never a good time to introduce new discount plans. As an online seller, need to put all your efforts in sourcing and listing the products and entering discount codes in the software. Add to it the shipping plans and payment options. With all these activities taking priority, you will not have enough time to shell out for devising and introducing new promotional codes. Lack of time to test the system can end up in a negative experience if a customer faces a technical or logical glitch. To save yourself from the embarrassment and hassle of finding an impromptu fix, introduce any new ideas during the off season so you are well equipped for next sale with trial and error results.  

4) Keep it simple and quick - As you may have experienced in your previous sale seasons, the traffic on your web store during the big festive sale is a lot more than usual days. Considering that, it is in your best interest to avoid discount codes which put a load on your database. For example, avoid the first time purchaser discount, because that requires the application to search information within your database and that kind of searches typically have a tendency to slow down the system. While it may get you a new buyer, it will also prevent other visitors from making a purchase as the website may return search results slower, impacting the shopping experience on your online store.

Hope you make the most of your 4th of July eCommerce celebrations. Once you have some time to breathe after the big sale, we would love to hear from you what marketing strategy worked best for you this 4th July.