How software sellers used coupons to boost their checkout conversion on Black Friday

By Anna Wittrup, 13 Dec 2017, in guide, Black Friday

Black Friday is great for maxing out your checkout conversion, with a huge supply of customers in the market primed and ready to buy. But how do you stand out from the crowd, promote your deals and capture valuable customer interest during this busy time of the year?

We’ve looked at the data from Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017 and this year in particular our vendors have had great success using coupons.


Share of orders via Paddle using a coupon


Conversion rate with coupons vs. price reduction


Average increase in sales vs. no promotion


Best converting coupon discount over BF/CM

How should I be using Coupons to discount my software?

We recently rolled out a new and improved Coupon API, delivering much needed flexibility and ease to what could formerly be a bit of a painstaking process.

Here’s what we learned about coupons over Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

  1. The vast majority of our vendors offered customers a percentage discount (e.g -30%) rather than a flat discount (e.g $10) - ensuring the promotion easily translated across borders, currencies and languages.

  2. The most common coupon discounts offered were between 30% and 50% - mirroring the most effective discount thresholds we observed during BF/CM 2016.

  3. Coupons are aimed squarely at B2C customers, with B2B customers tending to take advantage of different promotion methods including volume discounts and enterprise pricing.

How do coupons impact checkout conversion?

Over Black Friday our overall checkout conversion increased by 7 percentage points.

But once coupons are factored in, we saw an even bigger increase in conversion, with an across the board net positive increase for all coupon types. Armed with a coupon, customers are primed and ready to buy, further driving up sales during the holiday period.

If you offered a discounted price rather than doing nothing, you were 47% more likely to convert. If you offered a coupon instead of just discounting, you were again 90% more likely to convert.

Over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the majority of the coupons redeemed by end customers was for a -30% or -50% discount. Over Black Friday specifically, -30% discounts tended to have the biggest impact on checkout conversion.

But what does an increase in conversion mean for my sales?

A change in conversion is great, but if increased sales is offset by the decreased price that your product is being sold for, the impact can be somewhat dulled.

With coupons, the dramatic increase in checkout conversion is an easy way to ward off this danger, as demonstrated in the following scenario:

Promotion Discount Conversion % Change Orders
Coupon 30% 42% +180%
Discount 30% 22% +47%
No promo 0% 15% -

It goes without saying that discounts, promotion strategies and general marketing should be tailored to your product, audience and business plans, but we’re sure that a well managed coupon campaign using our features can lead to some great results for you and your business.

Who did this really well over Black Friday?

Realmac, the makers of RapidWeaver and Squash, offered customers 50% off all products over Black Friday, fulfilled via a coupon on our checkout. The coupon was automatically applied for customers who arrived at the checkout via Realmac’s promotional materials, and other customers could apply the discount manually with the code BLACKFRIDAY.

Realmac Black Friday email

This resulted in over 90% of Realmac’s Black Friday sales including a coupon.

Thanks to the campaign, Realmac’s checkout conversion doubled on Black Friday, and despite seeing their average order value halve, their sales increased 10x vs. the previous Friday, clearly validating the discount strategy for Black Friday.

If you want to learn more about how Realmac targeted customers and grew their sales over Black Friday, you’re in luck: they’ve shared their tactics and all the numbers, from email open rate to sales - it’s worth a read.

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