Thrive’s Holiday Guide to Promotions

Tips and Tricks to Optimize Your Promotions During the Holidays

Starting with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, shoppers are on the hunt for the best deals and discounts they can find. And with 20% of the U.S. retail industry’s annual sales coming from the Christmas holiday, how can retailers increase traffic, better convert shoppers and ultimately drive more revenue, without crushing their margins? We’ve put together five ideas to leverage your promotions and improve your top line and bottom line during this important 4th quarter holiday season.


Take advantage of increased ‘promotion’ search traffic

Regardless of your promotional strategy, shoppers are on the lookout for a deal. And shoppers are active and savvy in finding them. In a 2015 Thrive Commerce survey, 54% of shoppers said they are most likely to search for a retailer’s coupons in the 4th quarter, which is more than double the search volume of any other quarter.

During the 4th quarter, searches like “Shoe Carnival coupons,” “Advance Auto store coupons” and many other similar keyword searches, are heavily searched by high intent deal hunters.  So how do you leverage this increased area of search in both SEO & paid media for your brand’s coupon terms? Create high quality, engaging content designed to win these important searches and turn them into revenue by having an easy to navigate, centralized place for your shoppers to land when searching for a deal.


Have a centralized place for your shoppers to find your deals

Regardless of a retailer’s promotional strategy, shoppers are searching in mass for retailer deals. 85% of shoppers look for a coupon prior to visiting a retailer and over half of them (55%) spend 2+ hours a week looking for a deal. Yet, retailers struggle to capture this traffic, and coupon affiliates like RetailMeNot feed off of it, especially during the holiday period beginning with Black Friday and stretching until the end of the year. To leverage this opportunity, we suggest creating a centralized, multi-page portal such as which should be carefully optimized for effective SEO and paid media.

Additionally, by updating promotions frequently and driving a sense of urgency around your deals, retailers are set to drive massive incremental revenue this holiday season.


Incentivize shoppers to further loyalty

With shoppers having so many choices this holiday season, the promotions and incentives your brand provides not only helps convert shoppers on the spot, but can also help bring them back for more. Nearly 90% of all brand loyal shoppers use a coupon — so during this holiday season, give your brand-loyal shoppers a reason to come back by giving them incentives such as rewards/perks points or additional savings on future purchases. These tactics can create loyal customers who don’t ultimately come back through other paid marketing channels, which for marketers, means higher LTVs. After all, you want your most loyal customers being loyal to your brand, not 3rd party coupon affiliate sites.


Stop paying unnecessary affiliate commissions (and protect your most important asset — your brand!)

Typical behavior for shoppers is to begin their quest for a coupon or promo code via Google search. And in many cases, it is after they’ve perused your products and added something to their shopping cart. A majority of shoppers will find coupon affiliates like RetailMeNot or when they Google search for a retailer’s deals. Looking back 10-15 years ago, this was cool and new, — the idea shoppers would only find retailer deals on these niche deal sites. But times have changed and shoppers and retailers are far more savvy. It’s time for retailers to capture and convert these types of searches in order to (i) avoid paying unnecessary affiliate commissions, (ii) protect their brand by controlling the message and maintaining customer loyalty and (iii) create a better, less frustrating experience for customers.


Leverage your promotional strategy to achieve key marketing goals

Online and in-store promotions don’t have to erode margins; they should be designed with your brand’s key marketing goals in mind. Is our average order too low?  Am I looking for top line revenue?  Do my shoppers spend 2x when they arrive to our stores?  Do we generate the highest LTVs on shoppers that download our brand’s mobile app?  These are some of the questions retailers are asking themselves as they carefully consider the many important marketing factors when finalizing their brand’s Q4 promotional strategy. There are a million different types of incentives to achieve these goals such as minimum spending requirements, taking a dollar amount or percentage off additional products in a transaction, targeted discounts to motivate app downloads and newsletter sign ups, in-store exclusive offers, and many more. If done properly, your marketing team is not only nailing its Q4 budget, but also setting itself up nicely to succeed in the new year.  


Promotions don’t have to be a necessary evil for you this holiday season. A well SEO & paid media optimized deal portal should help you drive more traffic, increase conversion and earn more top line and bottom line revenue, and will create happier and more loyal customers.


To learn more about Thrive’s Omnichannel Promotions Engine, or to request a platform demo, contact Danny Morrissey at

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