Promotion & Discount Management Software Development for eCommerce & Retail

eCommerce Jun 22, 2020

Do you want your customers to feel smarter when they buy from you? (This is exactly how 83% of customers feel when they find a deal online)

Do you want to win every time your physical store shoppers go showrooming? (77% of customers revealed they checked out prices online when in a shop).

Do you want to capture 69% of people who specifically search for promoted items online?

Do you want to help your clients overcome their first-time shopping experience indecisiveness in 88% of cases?

Then it’s time for a deep-dive into the world of promotion and discount management.

Stick around to find out all about:

  • What is promotion management?
  • What types of promotions are there (3 classifications)?
  • What trade promotion management software is available?
  • What about custom promotion management solutions?

What Are Promotions & Discount Codes? A Promotional Glossary

Promotion is a marketing technique designed to trigger an emotional response in a customer’s mind, prompting a purchase. It offers perceived value through a discount or a higher value-for-money index.

Discount codes are a marketing method for product promotion by means of providing a digital or physical code, enabling a client to receive a discount off a purchase according to certain terms & conditions.

Promotion management is a branch of the marketing domain that entails usage of promotions, freebies, discount codes, and coupons in order to drive sales.

Promotion Management Solutions are software systems designed to help retail and eCommerce industries manage & automate promotions across channels by utilizing big data and predictive analytics.

Promotions Actually Work. Here’s Why:

The promotional market is gigantic.

Groupon was worth $16 billion at the time it went public in 2011, having turned down a $6 billion offer from Google previously. It's now in decline with a market estimate of $2+ billion, but that has nothing to do with promotions losing popularity. It has everything to do with the emergence of social media that permits promotional campaigns to bypass mediators.

In a nutshell, promotions work because they set off all the right triggers. These are triggers that make people happy and make them fear they will miss out.

We all work hard to earn our money, and many have heard the saying “a penny saved is a penny earned.” So when we find a deal online, we feel appreciative of the opportunity to save some money. We feel like we made it by not spending it.

Promotions Use FOMO

Fear of missing out is a huge trigger to action. We like to have what everyone else has. We may act on the spur of the moment when we fear the opportunity is limited.

Promotions Raise Oxytocin levels

Who doesn't like a dose of freshly-generated oxytocin in their bloodstream? Deal hunting does just that. It makes you happy.

Promotions Use Social Proof Trigger

Social proof is probably deeply rooted in the human era when people  lived in tribes and depended on each other for survival. Whatever the genesis of social proof, members of the modern human species still love to hear product endorsements by celebrities and hear customers sharing how great a deal it is to buy 2 products with a discount of 33%!

Types Of Coupons And Discounts

There are a few classifications when it comes to defining types of promotional offers used in retail, so let’s review the major ones:

Depending on the value offered:

  • Percentage-based discount
  • Dollar-value based discount
  • Free shipping
  • Free gift
  • Reward-based promotions: A gift card or rebates

Depending on the technical formula:

(important for custom eCommerce development service solutions)

Buy Get (e.g. BOGO)

Buy X get X free

Buy X get Y free

Buy X get % off

Buy X get $$ off

Spend Get

Spend X get % off

Spend X get $$ off

Spend X get Y (double, triple) points

Promoted Discount

Buy at X% off

Buy at $X off

Promoted Price

Sale Price

Sale & Regular Price

Sale Price Range

Depending on the occasion or basis for offering a discount or coupon:

types of coupons and discounts depending on the offering occasion

How To Use Promotion & Discounts To Drive Sales

Brands feel pressured to provide discounts nowadays because drop-shipping eCommerce is facing the tough, aggressive competition of a cut-throat business. Users are accustomed to or even addicted to sales and discounts right left and center.

Premium brands have always resisted discounting their products, in some instances even burning down the remainder of a collection so as not to dilute the value of the brand.

So what is the right way to utilize promotional marketing?

These are the important factors to consider when mapping out your promotional strategy:

  1. Understand how discounting fits into your overall brand policy. Are you a premium brand that only wants to discount rarely but rather invest in brand loyalty? Are you a low-margin drop shipping business that needs to attract lots of customers? Are you a middle-of-the-road eCommerce brand with high value for money index but poor stock management?
  2. Look around. No need to reinvent the wheel. Learn the local market and the best practices from global leaders in your niche.
  3. Determine your promotional strategy. This is the time to get down into nuances. Get your catalog out and see which discounts or coupons or freebies need to be applied in order to minimize your slow-moving inventory, figure out how to best take advantage of the seasonal sale, and determine the depth of discounting that your margins can bear.
  4. Consider ready-made promotion management solutions. Find out what your competitors use, what their market offering is. Understand the pricing and implementation process.
  5. Check out eCommerce development solutions providers. Ask for a quote. How much will it cost to get a turnkey solution for your number of SKUs and your GEO markets of interest?

Promotion Planning Solutions for eCommerce & Retail

There are a number of solutions on the market that include the promotion planning software module. They usually come as part of the bigger eCommerce kit, but are also available as stand-alone functions.

Such software falls under different categories, depending upon the mix of features available in the system: coupon management system, retail promotion management software, or trade promotion management software.

Trade Promotion Management Software

Coupon Management Software

Promotion Management Software

Loyalty Management Software

Custom Development Of Promotion Management Solutions vs Ready-Made


As you can see from the examples above, there are several diverse solutions for managing discount codes, eCommerce coupon management, and loyalty & promotion management for eCommerce.

They are all packed with different features and may be bulky to integrate into a single solution.

This is just one of the reasons why we recommend choosing custom software development for retail, along with the following considerations:

  • Cutting your software to your business’s specific needs
  • Seamless integration & automation with your existing eCommerce platform
  • Ownership & evolution of software according to your company's needs: be your own boss without dependency on the vendor
  • Innovation and gaining a competitive advantage over the competition with solutions not available to the market in general
  • A survey of all the features found in diverse solutions can result in a list of 5-7 solutions that need to be integrated with your ecosystem, making it difficult to adopt, train, and contract for all of them. Moreover, custom software development may turn out to be cheaper in the long run.

Developing Custom Promotion & Discount Codes Management Software

When developing a custom trade promotion management software, consider the following recommendations:

  1. Research the existing out-of-the-box solutions in the lists above. Compile a list of features that are useful for your business and see how much a set of ready-made solutions will cost for your company.
  2. Shop around for a few vendors offering custom eCommerce development services. Look into Asia & Eastern Europe for the best quality to rates ratio.
  3. To the shortlisted 3-4 companies, based on initial website screening, send a request for a proposal based on your specific requirements.
  4. Compare the pricing among those candidates as well as responsiveness, depth of expertise offered & cases available.
  5. Compare the price of a ready-made solution with that of a custom promotion management solution from the winning candidate among retail software development companies.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost really depends on a vast myriad of factors, such as:

  • What mix of technology & features do you want access to?
  • How quickly do you need the system to be developed?
  • What platform are you using for your eCommerce website?
  • Which country does the development team reside in? (again, Eastern Europe & Asia offer pretty competitive pricing at super quality).

We love giving quotes. If you want to know how much your custom promotion planning & management software may cost you, drop us a line. Providing you with our best estimate is a pleasure.

Zoolatech loves developing user-friendly promotion planning solutions

We specialize in retail website development. But we know how much eCommerce depends on well-planned promo campaigns. Let us help you design a sophisticated, yet user-friendly solution so you stay relevant to your customers and leave the competition far behind.

Zoolatech Team

We are a team of technology addicts eager to transform our clients’ needs into efficient and innovative solutions through high-quality service and reliable customer support.