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Sun Aug 18 2013 15:12:04

How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?

By: Julia Wilkinson

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Amazon recently announced that sellers in many media categories would be able to create several new types of promotions: namely, "Money Off, Buy One Get One and External Benefits." (External benefits are things like loyalty points, etc.). I have created two new promotions on my Amazon pro seller account, and extended them to my entire catalog; one for a $10 off over $50 order and another for free shipping. This got me thinking about not only how effective these types of promotions for sellers, but whether the online marketplaces are doing all they can to show these promotions to buyers.

I'd like to hear from you about the different kinds of promotions you've run and how well they worked for you. Meantime, the new Amazon promotions have led to some confusion among sellers as to when buyers will see the promotion details; on the main product listing page, or on the page under "condition" type listing all the various sellers of that item? Or only when the buyer gets so far as checkout?

The answer for the product detail page seems to be that, Amazon says, "We display your promotion on the product detail page only when your offer wins the Buy Box." And even if you do not win the buy box, at least for the listings I checked, my promotion was at least shown under my seller name in the list of various sellers of a product's specific condition type. For example, when a shopper clicks on the "Used" tab for a book I'm selling, they will see my price and "free shipping" offer listed along with the offer of the one other seller of this used book.

However, some sellers in the Amazon community thought that customers would only see the offer when they "stumble upon it on the final checkout page if their purchase qualifies for it" if you don't have the buy box. Buyers would be "oblivious to it prior to then," they wrote.  And although I did see my offer on the list of sellers page, another seller said that a given promotion "may (emphasis mine) be displayed on the detailed offer page (the one that shows the list of sellers by condition type)."

I don't know why it only "may" be. What purpose would it serve not to show the offer at that point?

I also decided to check my "Markdown Manager" promo items on eBay. When you click into a specific listing for a blazer I am selling, a green "20% off" banner is visible across the upper left of the main photo. However, when the jacket comes up in the search results list, there is no such banner or anything to indicate that the item has been marked down 20%, which in this case on a $598 jacket adds up to a hefty $119.60 savings. Wouldn't it be nice if eBay could show these markdown banners when the item shows up in the search results and not just in the listing itself?

So, please share your stories of the promotions you've run and how well they've worked, or not. What can marketplaces to make promotions more effective? And will you try Amazon's new promotion types? Post a comment here!




Comments (9) | Permalink

Readers Comments

How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?   How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?

by: lemonsandlemonade This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 18 21:30:27 2013

Ebay used to show items on sale in the search result listings.  They do not anymore.  I would like to know their reasoning on it.  

How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?   How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?

by: maxsmom77 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 19 01:09:11 2013

We have offered a Buy One Get One Half Off in our ebay store for years now. We also give FREE shipping if they buy 10 or more items. It used to be for everyone. Our International business went through the roof, until USPS raised their prices so high this year we had to end that and raise their rate of shipping up significantly.  

We end up paying full price on the fees, because ebay does not allow us to give a discount larger than the shipping - which is a HUGE pain for us to ''bill'' them. If it's larger than the shipping, we have to send a Paypal invoice or they have to pay the ebay invoice and we refund them the discounted amount through their payment.  On top of that, if we tell them we're sending them a Paypal invoice, ebay rejects the message saying it looks like we're trying to sell something outside of ebay.  Which is completely untrue. They are just afraid of missing out on their fees.  We have a lot of dealers from all over the world buy from us. It gets complicated if there is a language barrier but we've always managed.  

Does this work for us?  Heck yes!  Don't get me wrong, our sales dropped significantly in 2008 and have never recovered.  Due to the volume we ship, we can not ship every single day, therefore we lost our Top Rated Seller discount, which of course benefits ebay, especially at the volume we sell. I work 80+ hrs a week on ebay and have gone back to school, so we can eventually quit ebay. So sad it's come to this, but what I'm going to be doing is so amazing, going into my senior years!

How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?   How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 19 09:39:09 2013

''Ebay used to show items on sale in the search result listings.  They do not anymore.  I would like to know their reasoning on it.'
Because they can.
Just felt like doing something (that justifies paycheck-changes)
ebay fears of ''you might succeed''
ebay execs are just plain stupid.
The list can go on and on - just like the bunny.
 

How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?   How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?

by: Soconik This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Aug 19 09:49:35 2013

This is interesting. I have customers on Amazon that want a shipping discount but I was never sure how to approach that. I don't like refunding after the fact. It would be nice to incorporate a shipping discount into multiple item purchases.

My normal shipping discount is is 3.99 for the first item and .50 cents each additional (for media items) so I think I will try to incorporate that into the program.

I think this could be a big plus for sellers who don't do FBA like myself.

How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?   How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?

by: Cloud This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 19 10:54:34 2013

Personally I don't like discounts unless it is to:
-Quickly clear out old discontinued inventory.
-As an incentive to purchase from my personal website
-Volume discounts to create larger orders.

I think if you have too many discounts buyers will wait for the discounts to shop with you. It also says to your customer that they are being overcharged when there isn't a discount.

I do think a percentage off or a set amount is a good incentive for buyers to make their next purchase at your personal website where, in my case, prices are lower because my cost are. Also, the buyer sees this as what it is. A chance to buy an item at less and get a little bit of a bonus discount for taking the chance that they'll get the same great service.

I also offer volume discounts, for example, if a buyer purchases $100 worth of items they get 5% off or $500, 10% and on up. I've noticed since I've introduced these volume discounts my average order size has increased dramatically. The increased volume more than makes up for the price reduction.  

How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?   How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww

Mon Aug 19 11:31:33 2013

Lemons, I did not know that (or remember) lol. Yes I'd like to see eBay go back to that...I can't think of any reason why they wouldn't show the discount banner in the search results listings; can anyone else?  

How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?   How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 19 16:39:37 2013

Amazon took a healthy cut $1.35-(going by memory) for fee in shipping - media. We sold books with an offer of only 1.00 each additional book. Sold 7 at one time. We really took a bath on that one. Learned the hard way as Amazon does not refund partial shipping fees.

How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?   How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 19 20:53:42 2013

"Wouldn't it be nice if eBay could show these markdown banners when the item shows up in the search results and not just in the listing itself?"

but but but, then the smaller sellers might beat the bigger ones and we can't have that.

;)

How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?   How Effective Are Discount, BOGO and Other Promotions?

by: LAbay This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 20 00:36:10 2013

I had a 20% off sale while I was out of town shopping for new items for my eBay store.  It was a very successful sale and help me with funds to purchase new items. I think twice a year is a good consistency for this type of sale.



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