Top 3 Coupon Strategies

Coupons are one of the easiest ways to improve e-commerce conversion rates. However, did you know that you can do much more with them than just send out discounts to acquire customers? Coupons can be used to grow your social media following, recover abandoned shopping carts, increase average order value and drive referrals. They are a crucial component of every e-commerce store marketing strategy. Here are the top 3 strategies that can help you grow your shop revenue.


Offering discounts for new customers to sign up for your e-mail newsletter is a no-brainer. They save money, and you get a very valuable remarketing asset, their e-mail address. Remarketing to your newsletter house email lists is a core part of generating new sales consistently. But how much do I give away? Well, it depends on the average price of your products and at what stage of the buying cycle they are in.

So, at my Shopify store, I sell high ticket items like sheds, carports and greenhouse kits. My average sale price is $1,700. So what would be more impressive for you, to Get 3% Off, or Save $50? Really, the $50 offer has more perceived value. If you were selling $50 items on average, then 10% Off would be more attractive in terms of value. Obviously keep your profit margins in mind here, but giving away as much perceived value off price is ideal to get customers to take action.

It is also important to consider the stage your customer is at with buying. If you are e-mailing a reminder follow-up to remind them of an abandoned cart, then couponing is typically not even relevant yet. Most of the time, people get distracted and just forget or don’t complete their cart. For the first 2 or 3 e-mail reminders, I suggest not even using a coupon. But if it’s a month later, then a coupon maybe just the thing to put them over the edge. It is typically a time for your biggest possible coupon offer at that stage. What have you got to lose?


Reviews and word of mouth are key. Adding a good referral program to your store will add 10% to 20% to your revenue. We know, since that is what our Gravy Shopify App is all about. Coupons are a great way to incentivise referrals for your customers. People love sharing and giving their friends deals so they can save money too, while at the same time they can make some money. It’s really a win win!

And did you know that research says people are more likely to want to “give” discounts to friends, rather than just “get” dollars off? It’s true, we are very charitable and giving beasts. So promoting your referral program is all about helping your customers GIVE discounts to their friends and family, rather than only GETTING discounts for themselves. Leverage this idea of giving in your sales and marketing copy, and you will see dividends.


Most marketers know that 2/3rds of shopping carts are abandoned. This is typically because people want to see the “bottom-line” cost to ensure that there are not extra shipping charges. Having a 3 e-mail followup sequence for your abandoned carts is key to recapture sales. A same-day reminder a few hours after leaving the cart, then a day and 3 days later is ideal. You can add increased discounts, or the same discount, but with a time-limited factor on the final send. Something like “Last chance to save $50 on your cart we saved for you. Offer expires in 48 hours.”

And again, since most of the time they are abandoned for reasons of cost, you need to give them a coupon discount to sway them back to your store. To make it more enticing and add urgency, it’s often good to limit the time of the discount, especially after the 1st email in your sequence. Something like “We have saved your cart. Get $50 off if you make a purchase in the next 48 hours.”. I encourage you to test variations of coupon amounts and urgency.

Our free Shopify Gravy App includes customer follow-up emails which can be used for coupon promotions and more.

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