It’s hard to grow a business and create a market in a highly-competitive industry. Ironically, a competition may also be the best way to pull ahead of your rivals. It takes a carefully planned and executed strategy to get a business up and running, and competition as well as giveaways go a long way towards bridging the gap between aspirations and reality, as long as you understand your target market and the message you want to convey.

The success of an ecommerce competition depends on three aspects:

  1. Have you defined your goals?
  2. Have you targeted your audience?
  3. Have you incentivised your target?

Knowing what you want to achieve with your ecommerce competition is the starting point. Next, you need to ensure that the audience you target is appropriate for your business, and that you have provided your audience with a reason to act with an irresistible prize.

Types of competitions to move the needle


Who doesn’t like free stuff? When we all have to make our way through the rough and tumble of life, the prospect of getting something free is always an enticing idea.

That’s the reason the online world goes buzzes when someone promises a free incentive in return for an engaging activity. It doesn’t take much time or effort for someone who spends considerable time online to take part in a fun activity such as liking a social media page, following an Instagram account or commenting on a post, which also could win them an attractive prize.

You can benefit from giveaways without spending a lot. For instance, if you have excess stock that you want to clear, you could use it as giveaways.

  • If you have been thinking of ways to grow your email newsletter subscription list, giveaways would see them grow by the minute.
  • They increase your brand awareness and drive new traffic to your online store.
  • Getting social media followers is a tough ask – with giveaways, you could experience substantial increase in your social media followers.

Discounts and promotions

Discounts are another way to increase customer engagement through social media. They are different from giveaways in that you do not have to get rid of your excess inventory, and you don’t have to invest in expensive prizes to execute your social media campaign.

If there is a specific product that you want to promote you could build a community of followers by advertising discounts on the product for a specific period of time. You could promote the product as part of a contest, where the winner could take the product at a steep discount.

There are multiple benefits of providing discounts in promoting a product:

  • Introducing the product to a new set of customers increases product and brand awareness
  • Offering discounts on the product incentivises your competitors customers to try yours instead.
  • You could build a community of followers, who you could engage with to win market share

At the end of the day, you would have achieved increased sales and product turnover, which would not have been possible without the discounts and promotions offered as part of the competition.

Branding as the ultimate reward

Small or big, domestic or international, businesses strive to create that lasting impression in the minds of the customer, the value that the company and its products stand for and claim to deliver – branding. Branding sets your products and services apart.

A well executed competition is a clever way to ramp up strategic growth, as they:

  1. Grow your audience base
  2. Gain more leads through email capture
  3. Convert your cold audience into a warm audience by generating more interest in your brand
  4. Increases conversations about your brand between customers
  5. Provides valuable data for new re-marketing campaigns

A successful ecommerce competition creates that brand by engaging consumers. One way you could go about creating your brand is by conceiving a competition that involves customers voluntarily submitting their names and email addresses. This requires you to think from the consumer’s perspectives. What is it that your consumer values?

Identify and define the precise target market that you want and create a competition that adds value to the segment. Irrespective of your campaign, have branding as the ultimate goal. This would serve your immediate purpose and also lead your business towards long term differentiation and brand awareness.

There are numerous ways you could run a successful ecommerce campaign, and giveaways, discounts and promotions as well as branding are some of the key ways in which you could maximise the returns from your investment. Identifying the purpose of your campaign, defining your target audience, and placing branding at the centre of your pursuit are ways in which you could leave a lasting impression in the minds of your target audience.