Most Popular E-Commerce Discounts

What’s the difference in buying and browsing? Buying starts off as browsing, but at the sight of a discount, turns into buying. That’s right, a whopping 83% of consumers regularly make unplanned purchases because of a promotional offer. And of the customers that were already planning on buying, 65% of them end up spending more than they were originally willing to. So, what are your options to get in on this profitable habit? Here’s some coupon ideas you’ll want to use and ways for you to distribute them.

Types of Discounts

Percentage-Based Discounts

This offer includes discounts such as “site-wide 20% off” or department specific “15% off women’s dresses”. Customers feel as if they’re getting money back just for spending it and are, inherently, more likely to spend the money you’re giving them. However, try to avoid percentages below 10%. The Price Length Effect proves that a single digit percentage isn’t enough of a deal to draw your customers in. The difference between 9% and 10% off could only be a few cents, but the psychological pull towards the double digit discounts varies greatly. To create your own discount in AmeriCommerce, check out our support article regarding percentage discounts.

Dollar Value Discounts

This discount is essentially the same thing as taking $10 off the original list price and yet, it draws in more customers. Users think of all the things they could buy for $10 and it once more, causes them to spend more than they first intended. Unlike percentage discounts, customers are guaranteed a certain amount of money, instead of it being dependent on their purchases. It is that guarantee that makes this offer so appealing and draws in 30% of the consumer population.

Free Shipping

Almost $4.6 trillion are lost to cart abandonment in e-commerce sales every single year. With an overwhelming 61% of online shoppers leaving behind their carts because of shipping costs, that’s $2 trillion lost to the e-commerce community. Offering free shipping is the best solution to the majority of cart abandonment you’re suffering from and will prevent you from being a part of that tragic statistic. The success of this discount can be seen in companies like Amazon, which has grown tremendously since its introduction of Prime membership. Be careful as to only offer free standard shipping, anything else is going further than necessary and can stack costs quickly.

Free Gifts

With the purchase of another product or spending a specific dollar amount, customers can receive a free gift. These gifts can be something as simple as a key-chain, t-shirt, or bracelet. Customers love the idea of getting an entirely free item, even if it’s only a $2 value. To maximize the success of this promotion, give away products that are directly related to the item you’re selling. For example, by offering a free comb with the purchase of a razor, customers are further convinced to by your product because they get an even better deal relating to their need. This promotion can be prove to be beneficial for both you and your customers. You can get these gifts personalized with your brand so that you get free advertisement or you can get rid of a product that you’ve been storing too long. Here's how to setup adding a free gift in your AmeriCommerce online store.

Multi-Action Discount

This type of discount includes offers like 10% off when you spend up to $25 and 20% off when you spend more than $25. In AmeriCommerce this is called a multi-action discount. Instead of the one-size-fits-all approach of other coupons, customers are rewarded in relation to the value of their purchase. This approach appeals to customers that are willing to spend more money because they aren’t getting the same $5 off that you’re offering to customers that spent far less than they did. It gives the sense that your deals are fair and this feeling will encourage them to spend more money just to secure that offer.

Next purchase rewards

This offer would be given in a way similar to “Spend $20 within the next 24 hours and get 30% off on your next purchase.” Although customers don’t immediately receive the discount, they are guaranteed a discount on their next purchase. This drives customer loyalty and helps recurring web traffic because customers feel a sense of obligation to themselves to secure the discount that they already spent money for. Otherwise, it’s almost as if they wasted their money to get a discount they won’t even use.

Ways to Offer Your Discounts

Subscription Email Newsletter

This offer could drastically increase the number of people that interact with your company on a regular basis. More than 80% of customers subscribe to emails in exchange for discounts and almost 60% of those customers spend more than intended when they receive their reward. AmeriCommerce offers the capability to create customer email lists to save your customers emails as they make a purchase. This approach is the most effective way to attract loyal customers. After they subscribe, you have the opportunity to reach out to them to send more discounts or simply remind them of your company. An unexpected appearance in their inbox often leads to them returning to your site and buying more products.

Direct Mail

That’s right, people still check their mail. It may seem a little too old-school in our digital age, but 87% of consumers use the coupons they receive through the mail. Unlike online coupons, these offers reach nearly every demographic and that’s a benefit you don’t want to miss out on. Make sure your card is colorful and visually appealing so that it stands out among the white envelopes surrounding it.

Social Media Posts

In the digital age of social media, there is no better way to reach your customers than to meet them on their own platform. Posting your promotions will ensure that they are seen beyond your website. Social media applications such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest can introduce you to new audiences and maximize publicity for your offers. Social media posts are also more likely to be shared among consumers than other distribution methods.

Checkout Notification

While a customer is in the process of checking out, you may advertise your promotional offer. The customer will often see no reason not to add the coupon or may even return to shopping so that they can obtain that coupon. For example, if they are checking out and see that if they add just $7 more to their cart then they get free shipping, your customer is far more likely to now spend the additional money.


It is best to make the pop-up advertisement appear either the moment the customer enters your site or in the middle of their shopping experience. By immediately introducing the offer, customers will often choose their purchases based on your offer. This ensures that customers will utilize your coupon. In the same way, introducing your offer in the middle of their experience will influence their decisions for the rest of their time.

Confirmation/Post-Purchase Email

Many users will offer their emails during their checkout process, sometimes for offers, other times to simply stay updated. This is the perfect opportunity to reach out to your customer and keep them interested in your website. By rewarding a customer with a discount after their purchase, they are far more likely to return and become loyal to your company.

The AmeriCommerce Rule Engine

The Rule Engine in AmeriCommerce allows each online store more flexibility with discounts than your average e-commerce platform. With it you can create dynamic emails based on customer activities such as order completion, order update, order delete, abandon cart, time intervals, purchase of certain types of products, specific purchase levels, ad code usage, customer type, shipping method and so much more. Other platforms require third party apps that you have to pay for and rely on in order to have such functionality. With AmeriCommerce, we believe in empowering the user instead of limiting them. If you don't already use AmeriCommerce to power your online store, check out a free trial of the platform and give the Discount Rule Engine a try.