Buy one, get one free: The marketing strategy to boost sales for e-commerce


There are many different methods to increase your sales. Discounts and free coupons are effective short-term strategies that retailers use to attract more and more customers. Buy One, Get One Free (BOGOF) is not an exception.


In order to have a further understanding of this promotion program, we need to have basic knowledge about BOGOF. Therefore, now, we – MageSolution will help you with that. This article contains all the basic knowledge and tips about Buy One, Get One Free for you. If you take note of this blog’s advice, your engagement and conversions will rise, which leads to major growth for your brand. Let’s dive into it!

What is Buy One, Get One Free (BOGOF)?

It goes without saying that shoppers like getting items for free. Shoppers generally overvalue the benefits of “free” even when compared to higher-quality items at a discounted price. That’s when Buy One, Get One Free (BOGOF) is born. BOGOF is a proven sales tactic with many variations. It creates a sense of urgency, pushing customers to make a purchase. On the other hand, a flash offer prevents customers from getting used to buying on the discount terms. Without saying, the Buy One, Get One Free strategy is a great discount technique to use to appeal to consumers.

 How can retailers benefit from BOGOF?


Retailers benefit from BOGOF strategy

BOGO promotions convert better than other discounts, so your engagement rate will already get a boost. To help your business boost sales and profits, we point out 3 benefits of BOGO.

1. Clearing out inventory while profiting

The great thing is that BOGO promotions rarely cost anything. In fact, they’re designed to boost revenue. Forget your anxiety about your less desirable inventory because BOGO can help you get rid of them quicker but still increase your profit. Instead of lowering the price of those products, just provide one item for free together with selling another at the initial price.

The shoppers’ behavior would surprise you about the difference between the two methods which seem to have similar revenue. It can be explain by human psychology as to shoppers, no matter how large the discount, it does not stand a chance against “FREE”. Consider this example for a moment:

  • Take Product A that sells for $10 and has a $2.50 cost. If you sell that for a 50% discount, you’ll end with $2.50 in profit ($10 * 50% = $5 minus $2.50).
  • Now instead of a 50% discount, the promotion is to buy one of Product A and get another one for free. The sale value is $10 now and the total cost of sales is $5, leaving $5 in profit, doubling the profit compared to the 50% discount promotion.

In some cases, you can profit even more other promotion campaign. By giving away a specific product in a sale, you can possibly move some of your older stock that you are struggling to sell otherwise. As you know that, some products such as garments or other things consume a lot of inventory costs. So, buy one, get one is a good strategy for getting rid of old inventory and get new fresh cycle of inventory. On the other hand, getting cash for slow-moving stock means you can reinvest that cash elsewhere.

2. Better Response from customers

It is undeniable that BOGO is a win-win strategy for both business and consumers. According to a recent report from AMG, 67% of consumers admit that they like BOGO the most out of all discount promotions and 95% of respondents report that they have taken benefits of BOGO promotions at least once. While consumers think that they’ve got a good deal from a website, sellers get both profit and shoppers’ satisfaction which has long-term benefit to any business.

3. Sharing the profits with the customers

Buy one, get one free marketing strategy helps your business improves the brand by sharing the profits with the customers instead of with the shareholders. Also, many a times there is no direct margin from product sales. Typically company’s profit includes how much money or revenue is received overall, and how much cost is incurred. And this may work company achieve other objective of business such as market reach out, company liability, brand building ..etc. Furthermore, it is good way to encourages trial or use of the product and inspire the shoppers to switch from their normal brand.

Tips to run an effective Buy One, Get One Free Promotion

Even as both consumers and shoppers appreciate a Buy One, Get One promotion, differences remain between a good BOGO deal and a poor one. Let’s explore what you can do to set your next BOGO promotion apart from your competitors.


Buy one, get one free program on MageSolution

1. Perfect Timing for BOGOF

BOGO promos are often referred to as “self-liquidating”, so if you’re sitting on a lot of stock that you want to clear out, this promotion could be a good option. Perfect timing  to use this promotion:

  • To move inventory when you’ve got a lot of stock to shift.
  • To sell edible products with a sell-by date.
  • On unit-based and bulk products.

Besides, not all product types are equally good for BOGO(F). Best suitable products for this promotion are:

  • Expendable: If customers like your product (body cream, for example), they’ll come back for more when they run out of it.
  • Usable in two: You don’t want to offer two similar jackets, do you? Two pairs of socks for the price of one are much better.
  • With at least a 50% margin: If your product’s margin is 50%, then your sale is break-even. Try to include at least one product with a higher margin to come out ahead.

The total price of the deal should fit the amount that customers are ready to pay. To be on the safe side, you can check out your average order value and aim for a little bit more.

2. Find and create your target audience

Once you’ve figured out what you’re selling, it is important to know whom you’re selling to. BOGOF strategy can help you achieve one of the biggest retail goals and create loyal customers. So, in order to maximize the opportunity, the best method is to find a target audience. Creating a target audience can help cut costs and time because you know what you’re focusing on, rather than trying to appeal to everyone.

With a target audience, you can decide what items to exhibit in your Buy One, Get One Free promotion efficiently. Creating a target audience can help you win the hearts of shoppers and make a promotion efficient. This will lead to better conversion rates, increased sales, and skyrocketed cash flow.

3. Create and maintain the urgency atmosphere in your Buy One, Get One Free period

Like any other promotion, creating urgency is essential for a successful Buy One, Get One Free promotion. By setting up a deadline for your BOGOF sales, you can incentivize shoppers to act sooner due to the fear of missing out.

Through an online platform, retailers can use countdown clocks to show the remaining time of the sale. The clock shows the time running out and can create urgency for the shopper to purchase the item sooner rather than later.

4. Multi-channel advertising integration

There are many different platforms and methods available for you to advertise your BOGOF promotion on.


  • If you own a brick and mortar or pop-up shop, you can go old school and advertise your BOGOF promotion offline. Flyers, banners, and leaflets are great ways to promote your program offline. Also, visual merchandising is a great tool to grab shoppers’ attention and advertise Buy One, Get One Free promotion.
  • There are many opportunities in traditional online advertising to promote your BOGOF deal. By investing in on-site advertising, you can reach out to your target audience with the websites they visit most.
  • Mobile is a huge part of the online retail industry. According to a recent survey, about more than 5.1 billion users are using smartphones with an Internet connection. This is about two-thirds of the worldwide population. Advertise on mobile channels by leveraging social media and email marketing to reach out to shoppers is the most effective of all.

Take advantage of all channels to ensure you create the most buzz possible.

5. Social media for a great Buy One, Get One Free program

Social media is growing and retailers cannot afford to ignore it. In fact, in 2019, the percentage of US adults who use social media is about 79%. However, it depends on your target market to use social media variably to match their usage patterns. Additionally, not only can you use social media to advertise your BOGOF sales, but you can also use it to address complaints and receive feedback.

Actively utilize social media to respond to customers and share sales can be beneficial. This is because 71% of consumers who have good social media service experiences with brands are likely to recommend it to others.

Final words

No doubt, BOGOF is an excellent solution to use in your conversion mix. BOGO deals also work with more than just product-based businesses; they also is very effective for service-based businesses. For examples, fitness studios, spas, salons, consultants, and trainers can provide BOGO deals on their classes or trainings to fill their schedules or attract new customers during a slow season. Because the service-based businesses are more time- than product value-related, the only cost is time. So especially if you have time to spare, this is a perfect strategy to try.

Besides, if you are looking out for a cost effective Magento package for your eCommerce store, then look nowhere other than Magesolution. We not only offer an affordable Magento Development Package for all size and budget but also ensure that it helps your online business grow and sustain. Contact us for a free consultation!


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