Effective Promotions using Magento
If you do not tell your customers the amazing stuff you have, they might not come to know, know it late or go to someone else.
One of the most important parts of any business is promotion. This is especially important when in this clutter of choices and hazy distinctions, customers many a times are unable to decide what to buy and what else to buy along, this usually ends up in less than optimal revenue realisation per customer for the retailer, as well as less than optimal satisfaction level at the customer’s end. Now you can definitely help customers make more informed choices.
Magento offers host offers hosts of features to enable an e-retailer to effectively promote the products to its prospects, customers and visitors. Magento has many features which come bundled with the standard packet (Magento CE and EE packets), in addition to this there are so many readily available extensions (plug-ins) in the Magento Connect market place that you can use.
Lemme try to cover this topic of promotions in detail. (I will try to cover only Product Promotion facet, though promotions are a part of Marketing in a way, Marketing as a topic on Magento is rather exhaustive and needs to be addressed separately and in parts. I’ll cover its various facets in subsequent posts)
So, back to promotions
Magento’s standard package:
- Up-selling, Related Products, and Cross-selling
- Catalog and Shopping Cart Price Rules
- Auto generating Coupon Codes
- Special Prices
- Tier Pricing
- Product Group Pricing
Let’s cover them in detail one by one:
Up-selling, Related Products, and Cross-selling:
In Magento you can set and change on the fly; the set of product(s) you may want to upsell/cross sell and also set the related products you would want to showcase while the customer is browsing for (on the product detail page) or has decided to buy (at the check-out page) a particular product or a set of products on your website. Lemme elaborate:
Let’s say you are an electronics goods store and a customer chose a Laptop, you can prompt the customer to buy a better quality, more expensive, more popular product, or simply the one which fetches you more margins. These products appear on the Product Information page and are known as upsells. In this case you may offer the customer to buy one with a better hardware configuration, or simply one from the brand which fetches you more profits. These products are showcased in the product detail page.
A person buying a Laptop might also be willing to buy a mouse, a printer for example? Related products are the ones which can go along with the product which the customer is intending to buy or is browsing on. These are again shown in the product detail page.
These are impulse buys, have you ever noticed the candies and chocolates etc that the traditional store owners keep at the time of checkout at a grocery store? Or the socks/Deos/hankies etc. at an apparel store. In eCommerce parlance these are products that you can showcase as impulse buys at the time of checkout, these products are offered as suggestions in addition to the products already in the shopping cart.
Catalog and Shopping Cart Price Rules:
- Catalog price rules: These rules can be applied for the whole catalog, for example, you may want to make the whole collection of Tshirts to go on 10% sale in Dec, you can also make this rule eligible for specific customer groups, these rules can also be condition based (like 10% on Tshirts which are above $30)
- Cart Price Rules: You can specify these rules applicable at the time of check out ( for example, if the customer bought more than $100 of items, you may want to give an additional 5% discount on his cart), you can apply this rule to specific or multiple items from your SKU list.
- Now there can be many variations to the discount rule like: discounting the 1st five products in the cart by say 10%, discount applicable after first 5 products in the cart, discount can also be applied in steps (discount of 10% till 5 products are bought, then 6th to 10th product no discount, then again 11th to 15th 10% discount on entire cart)
Auto generating Coupon Codes
For shopping cart price rules, you can auto generate batches of coupon codes, track and manage their usage. You can specify the codes quantity, time validity, code length and format etc. You can track and manage the usage of codes through reports/analytics on usage etc.
You can set up special prices for certain products for a specified period of time (like Christmas sale items)
This pricing model enables e-retailers to set different prices when higher quantities are purchased (Like buy 5 to save 10% and 10 to save 12%)
Product Group Pricing
The Product Group Price feature enables you to set different product prices for different customer groups at the product level. For example you may want to set up a different price for your wholesalers or regular buyers.
News letter is a powerful tool to reach out to your customers or prospects directly with specific messages or information. Magento provide a good newsletter management tool which helps you create newsletters using easily configurable templates (WYSIWIG editor), you can time/queue your newsletters.
Magento has an amazing Market place for plugins and extensions where the developer community has contributed more than 35K extensions; these extensions can be easily integrated to your Magento store to add extra functionalities and features. I have pulled out some relevant links to a few extensions available in the area of Promotions on Magento Connect:
Any other interesting feature that you think can further enhance product promotions apart from the above can be custom built on top of the standard pack because as you know Magento is an open source platform.
Did you find the information interesting and value adding? Please add your comments and let me know how I can help you in your ecommerce journey or in any way possible. You can write to me at email@example.com for any guidance, help or suggestions anytime.
[I also run Connecting Dots, a consulting led deep engagement driven software services organisation. We are eCommerce web development experts and help our customers achieve success by combining our business, functional and technical know how in the ecommerce domain, we are Magento experts and Magento Solution Partners, to know more about our Magento Development expertise, please visit here]