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Videos | Leveraging Non-Discount Offers for Success

Many times we assume the only way to see success from "offers" is by discounting the price. That's not always the case. We'll walk through a number of successful strategies e-commerce sites have deployed to increase their revenue and conversion rates without lowering their price point.
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Video Transcript

My name is Zeph Zumlao and I'm the Training and Production Specialist at Miva Merchant I'd like to welcome you all to the first Miva Webinar in 2015. In case you weren't familiar with Miva, Miva is a leading supplier of e-commerce software for small and medium businesses. We power tens of thousands of online merchants and developers and for the first webinar this year we're going to be kicking it all off with a conversation on how you can make offers to your customers that don't necessarily involve discounting the products that you sell. Joining us today is Shawn Williams, the President and COO of Spring Metrics. Spring Metrics has been a partner company with Miva for a few years now and they empower marketing professionals to fulfil their purpose and achieve their goals via Spring Metrics real time and behavioral targeting software solution, which increases engagement, revenue and conversion rates in a quick and effective manner. And on that note, I hand off the mic to Shawn Williams. Good morning Shawn.

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Good morning. I appreciate that introduction and honestly I’m really really pumped about being able to have another session with you and your clients. I really want to make the most of your time today. Obviously time is something that we’re not going to get back so I highly value that for everybody. Now we’re going to be walking through some things that we know and feel are going to bring additional value to what you’re doing, day in and day out. As Zeph mentioned, really what we want to do is talk about how you can leverage non-discounted offers to have success. So there are a few different things that we are going to cover here. Why should we consider non-discounted offers? Everything that we do takes up our time, our energy, and our effort. We want to make sure that it aligns with our “why.” Whether or not we decide to execute a non-discounted offer strategy, depends on whether or not it falls into our “why.” I’m sure for the majority of your ecommerce sites, it certainly does.

We’re going to walk through examples, a few practical examples of what those non-discounted offers are. Some that you might already be leveraging. Some others that you might not be aware of. We’re going to look at how those are applicable to your site. One of the most important parts here, we all know that ideas are everywhere with content marketing being what it is, there’s tons of different opportunities to read up on different things that you could be doing out there. It’s important that we can come up with strategies and be able to execute them in a very clear and simple way. So we’re talking about ways that you can execute on those non-discounted offers. I’ve got some different tools and solutions that we’ve seen be successful.

What we talk a lot about here internally is our purpose. Whether we know it or not, every action we take, every word we say, guides us down a path. What we strive to do is make sure these actions and words are aligned with our organizational purpose, which is to work alongside folks like yourself to help you guys achieve your goals. So in essence what we’d love to do is bring the value to the market. While all of us might have a slightly different purpose from an organizational standpoint, a piece of that always comes back to providing value to the markets that we serve. Obviously it applies to you guys and your sites. Whether it’s selling motorcycle helmets to help keep folks safe, or selling hard to find clothing for a particular segment of society, your products and services make a difference in the lives of your customers and as we continue to walk down that path, we know it’s about building relationships and whether that’s new relationships or old relationships they are all important. So often we get caught up in the day to day of moving inventory or handling this or handling, we become disconnected from the fact that we’re providing answers to the needs of people just like ourselves who go through the same things each day, that they have ups and downs and we’re able to help them again provide a solution for a product that is going to help them move forward. So as you talk about relationships, you can’t not talk about communication and obviously we’re very thankful for the technology. We’re all in the technology realm to some extent or another. It’s fantastic and provides a great opportunity, but what we want to do is make sure we’re leveraging that technology to improve our communication, to improve what we’re communicating to the market that we’re providing those products and services to. Again, as we continue to go down the path of the “why” and talking about technology and communication, we also want to look at incremental improvements.

As an organization we want to see how effective we’re being in our actions and our words and how we’re developing those relationships and communication so we want to make sure to measure those results. Small improvements day to day can and do yield tremendous gains down the road so one piece of incremental improvements that we’ll look at today is of course the non-discounted offers you can have on your site and its results. A couple things to note here. Some of those on this call are clients of ours so you might be familiar with some of these topics as we’ve shared them with you during some of our consultations. We don’t want to discourage discounted offers. They have a great place in what we’re able to do. But so often what we find is that people will default thinking about offers and connecting them to discounts. That’s not always the case. We can leverage offers for non-discounted content to make sure again that we are communicating the proper information to our clients and to make sure that we’re helping them find what they need and helping them be successful along with all of us being successful.

So some of you guys may be familiar with Marketing Sherpa. If you’re not you can read up on him at marketingsherpa.com. They talk a lot about friction and anxiety in the user experience. As you can see, the definition of friction is “the force that causes a moving object to slow down when it is touching another object.” This can be too many forms in your checkout process, it could be the flow that folks are while walking through their visit to your site, anything that’s causing a degradation in their experience on your site. In regards to anxiety, it’s defined as “Fear or nervousness about what may happen.” People are looking for reasons not to buy. Which is why conversion rates are typically between 2-4% for most sites. A vast majority of people are leaving sites without taking action. What we want to do is talk about how we can increase the success or engagement rate with your visitors via these non-discounted offers.


So now we’re moving over to the “What” portion of this presentation. What we’re going to look at, now remember there’s a number of non-discounted offers that can be shown or communicated by your site. We’re going to talk about the four types that are listed here. Those that involve Education, Credibility, Value Added Options and Loyalty. So knowing each site can be unique we’re happy to talk to you all one on one for other options that might be applicable to your industry or site, but in able to cover the most ground possible and deliver the most beneficial content possible we’ll talk through these four today.


In terms of Education offers, a lot of folks are leveraging email marketing, which is a very smart thing to do. Many things we want to do if we’re thinking about when we capture those emails, if you’re using some kind of email capture form on your site, you’re showing that lightbox or you even have that static content area on your site where you’re allowing folks to submit their email address, again, a lot of times we want the default to offer some kind of discount on their next purchase or along those lines. What we encourage folks to do is consider text in those forms that help educator those visitors or how you can provide value to that relationship moving forward. Competition is fierce. There’s new competition coming up every day from every angle, whether it’s from one of the big players out there, whether it’s folks just getting started up, or folks coming in from a smaller niche, competition is there. So we want to make sure you’re able to take advantage and be successful there. Being able to communicate within those light boxes or offers, how you can bring value to the relationship moving forward is extremely important whether that’s a monthly newsletter or information about what’s going on in your industry, you’re personalizing some content, sharing some success stories, your clients, how they’ve leveraged your products, etc. These are all great opportunities to build those relationships.

How to buy is another process you might want to consider. Those who sell clothing on a site, you may want to be able to display a sizing chart or a link to a sizing chart to make sure your clients are getting the right fit, particularly if your product falls into a category that is known to be hard to size without trying it on. You might also want to provide some time of support assistance or provide support that is going to display for folks in particular areas of your site that may need to add additional items. If you’re selling something that might involve needing an accessory, being able to show that while they are on that page so that it’s not a situation where they have to forget about it and then come back and walk through the process again. You can go ahead and have them add it then and there. So being able to communicate that is extremely important and again it helps reduce that friction and anxiety that folks typically have.

Special Offers / Product Availability

Don’t hesitate to communicate product bundles that you’re able to offer or products that will be offered for a limited period of time to create an urgency. This is something that can help walk folks through the process. The flip side of having limited availability is one thing you might want to do is build excitement for an upcoming item by having a pre-launch offer or something along those lines. Having people sign up to be alerted when a particular product is coming in or to know what’s coming down the path for this particular product that you’re really excited about and have them take part in a social campaign, really making sure to help build that excitement and get those offers out there is again, another opportunity to build that particular relationship.


This is something that we could have an entire webcast on in and of itself. Coming back to the fact that yes, we’re all into technology, but at the core we are dealing with people, we’re building relationships and we’re communicating our value to those folks. There’s a lot of anxiety out there people always looking for reasons not to buy. On top of some of the high profile security hacks that we’ve had in the past year or so, folks are going to continue to be aware of this and become more aware that’s something that’s always been there. Again, it’s a situation where it’s becoming more prevalent.


So what should be considered and communicated is why they should buy from your site. The more you’re able to put them at ease, the higher the likelihood that you have of them making a purchase decision on that visit. So producing notification about warranties, or manufacturing standards at the product level, or putting news out there about awards or certifications that you’ve earned can help put people at ease and also move them down the path of purchase. One thing to note here, we mentioned awards and certifications that you’ve earned. You’ve spent time, energy and effort to earn those awards or certifications. Make sure to communicate that to folks. Think about it in the same way that people take pride in. Industry certifications, don’t hesitate being willing to get those items out there and make those front and center on your web site.

Value Added

Value Added offers more opportunities. We want to think about ways that you can differentiate yourself. Opportunities to lower that bar for folks to step across and begin a relationship with your site as a customer. A lot of people are accustomed to free shipping, or at the minimum having different shipping options. Take the time to communicate that to people early on, and by early on we mean ahead of having people add an item to the cart and walking through the process and getting down to the point of shipping options. Make sure you communicate that as early as possible. What you’re doing there is lowering the barrier for them to help them step across and giving them an opportunity to walk through the process with less anxiety worrying about what their cost may be. Drawing awareness to your return policy, that’s an opportunity where you’re able to get that across to folks.


When folks purchase from your site for the first time, we know they follow up with with several additional purchases from your site over the next eighteen months. Typically it’s three to four purchases. So, acquiring that first time customer is extremely important. Offering reasons for them to come back with a rewards program or a price match program can raise that number from three to four to five, six or seven. Each touch points allows you the opportunity to continue to build that relationship in a highly competitive market. That’s something we’ve talked a lot about, competition. We can’t control what others are doing, but what we can control is what we’re communicating to folks. We want to make sure we’re building that relationship while they are engaging on our site, providing relevant content for email marketing, are ways to continue to move the relationship forward.


Where the rubber meets the road so to speak, is the how. Now we’re getting into the execution phase. The single biggest opportunity is how you lay out your site and how you take advantage of it. We’ve all heard the term in real estate, location, location, location. For your website space is limited as well. You want to make the most of your space by the location of different content or how your site’s designed. I’m sure your Miva contact would love to talk to you a bit more about how you can maximize and optimize your site. Retargeting is another way that we can execute different messages to your visitors. When they’ve come to your site and left, and as they are visiting other sites, being able to display content to them is extremely important. A way to stay in front of folks is key. AdRoll is a particular solution that we’ve had a lot of success with here at Spring Metrics.

Two other opportunities to communicate are with a Chat solution and an Email Marketing solution. Obviously these are both different. Chat is real time engagement. What this will allow you to do is converse with folks while they are on your site, which is extremely important. What you can do is take a step back and identify questions to ask in chat that would be centered around the “What” section of this presentation. So think about questions that your folks can ask and pinpoint in real time what people are searching for. What can you identify and then overcome to keep them moving forward with a purchase. Document what you find. We know not everyone is going to engage in the chat, but as they are engaging in the chat, be consistent with the questions they are asking, track the responses, and then build content and offers on your site around that to help lower those barriers of entry.

Email Marketing is the highest performing channel for our client base. I know many of you are already doing that. Take the time to provide relevant info to your customers with a monthly product newsletter, or new product releases. You don’t always have to offer discounts, which is what we’re talking about. A quick example for myself, I’m a big fan of Payway which is a quick server version of PfChangs. Payway does a tremendous job of providing value with their email campaigns, without offering discounts. They send out new menu items, what’s going on, etc.

Finally, we’ll discuss the Real Time Engagement option, which is where Spring Metrics comes into play. What our solution does is allows you to selectively target whose going to see those offers while they are on your site, while their interest level is the highest. It will allow you to reach them with different criteria. What you may want to do is show a particular offer to a repeat customer, but another offer to a first time visitor. A great example for today is you might want to show one particular offer to someone from the state of Ohio that might be more interested in an offer regarding last night’s win versus someone from the North West. So you can segment by location. You can also segment by device type. You have different options based on mobile, desktop, etc. We’re happy to discuss options with you in more detail.

To finish all this up, talking about the “How”, we do want to talk about the testing. Whatever we do, we want to test. We want to test different offers against each other, different results, and we’ve got to measure those results in order to know what’s going to help us move forward. What’s helping us progress. What’s bringing more value to our market. Those incremental improvements day to day are what’s going to yield great progress over time.

Time for Q&A

Q: For credibility items, you say put them front and center, where exactly do you recommend?

A: There are a couple of different ways that you can do that. Obviously working with Miva to determine where to place things within the site design. That’s one way. The second way is to get the offers displayed in real time, which is something obviously that we’re able to do. You can do that a few different ways. We can have those offers displayed as a bar at the top of your browser, at the bottom of the browser, it can show as a slider as an offer that slides in or out from the left or the right hand side, and you can also use a light box to get that information out there and out in front of people. So two ways one in layout and design and where it’s going to fall on the site and then using a bar at the top or bottom or as a slider from the left or right or as a lightbox.

Q: What is AdRoll? I know what retargeting is but not AdRoll.

A: AdRoll is a company that does retargeting campaigns and they are someone who we have used and had success with.

Q: Do we worth through Miva to execute these ideas or Spring Metrics?

A: With Miva’s design and roll with your site that’s their expertise and where they are going to come into play. What we offer, again, is going to be offers that can display in real time on your site. We’re going to be able to show and engage with people while they are there on your site.

If you have any further questions, you can reach Shawn at



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