Driving sales is a common goal shared by almost every business, especially when consumer spending is down. Increasing conversions from those who claim to be “just looking” is one excellent way to fulfil that objective, but can sales promotions help to do that, and if so, how?

Using our extensive experience in delivering successful sales promotions for leading global brands, we share how you can use sales promotions to change a “just looking” visitor to a loyal and valuable customer.

Is there really such a premise as “just looking”?

This question is one that has to be addressed first. Whether a consumer is browsing online or has walked into a store, “just looking” is typically a phrase uttered or a mentality adopted to ward off sales attendants or chatbots.

However, there must be interest even to start looking at a product or service. The consumer may just have one or several reasons why they do not intend to purchase immediately. If they had zero interest, they wouldn’t be looking at all.

When creating effective sales promotions, we need to understand this interest and the buyer barriers currently preventing the sale. By designing a compelling campaign with an attractive offer or an intelligent strategy for overcoming these purchase barriers, sales promotions can increase conversions.

Let’s take a look at some examples of how.

Overcoming the price barrier

With day-to-day costs spiralling, many consumers right now are thinking carefully about every purchase, reducing the opportunities for ad-hoc, spontaneous sales. However, if you can provide the consumer with outstanding value in your offer, it can remove this price barrier.

 Cashback promotions are an excellent mechanic to use in this scenario. They highlight the customers’ savings rather than the reduced price point and are proven to motivate purchases. Add a time-limited offer to generate a sense of urgency and prevent consumers from delaying the sale.

Cashback promotions offer valuable benefits for the brand or retailer too. They deliver better cost-efficiency with only the most engaged customers making claims. Meanwhile, businesses can protect their base price, taking care of long-term profitability.

Tackling concerns around quality or reputation

Consumers “just looking” may have buyer hesitation because they are unsure about the quality or reputation of the product. It may be a new or unfamiliar product on the market or perhaps one that has suffered previous concerns around its quality.

These concerns are commonly found when a consumer is considering a larger purchase, such as a slow-moving goods item. With this uncertainty, the consumer needs reassurance.

This reassurance can be provided through a Buy and Try promotion.

Buy and Try promotions boost buyer confidence by offering a satisfaction guarantee, usually in the form of a risk-free, no-obligation trial. The consumer has a designated timeframe to try the product, and if they are not happy, they can return it for a full refund. It removes the customer’s perceived risk, driving an uplift in sales.

Reassurance around a new or unfamiliar product can also come from friends and family via referrals. Equally, it can come from consumer feedback provided online.

Referrals are powerful tools. Customer research has found that 92% of customers trust referrals from people they know, while anonymous reviewers have a 70% trust rate. We help brands and retailers design and deliver referral and rewards programs that offer powerful incentives while making it easy for their customers to refer their friends and family. Referrals not only drive sales in the short term but also support lifetime value by strengthening brand loyalty.

Bringing forward sales

Consumers may be “just looking” with the intention of buying in the future, but not right now. Perhaps they are looking at upgrading their phone or TV but are not ready to make the purchase at this point.

Trade-in promotions are an effective sales strategy for bringing forward these sales and shortening the refresh cycle. Offering the consumer a time-limited reward for trading in their old device for a newer model drives a ‘buy-now’ mentality that triggers product upgrades.

Trade-in promotions can also target competitor brands to increase market share.

Providing a compelling reason to buy

Perhaps the customer has no barriers, such as the ones described above, to buying the product when they are “just looking”, but equally, they have no incentive to buy there and then. A Gift with Purchase promotion can convince them.

When creating our Gift with Purchase promotions, we pair the targeted product with an intelligently sourced, highly sought-after gift that provides excellent perceived value to the customer. We also carefully analyse customer behaviour to ensure the right gift is offered at the optimal time. With these elements considered, Gift with Purchase promotions can be an excellent strategy for increasing conversions and driving a sales uplift.

Instant win promotions are another promotional mechanic that can be used as an incentive to buy. These promotions add excitement to the purchasing process, engaging the customers, not only encouraging them to buy but also to share the promotion with others.

When customers are “just looking”, there is still interest in the product. To convert this interest into a sale, brands and retailers must understand why the consumer is not planning to buy now and provide compelling reasons to get around these delays. With our creative yet data-driven approach to designing sales promotions, we can help your brand do that.