How Buy One, Get One Can Improve Your Sales


There are many different methods to increase your sales. Discounts are an effective short-term strategy that retailers use when inventory is moving slower than expected. Contrary to popular belief, not all discount techniques are created equally. Though the traditional discount sales are effective, Buy One, Get One (BOGO) has become one of the more popular choices for retailers lately. To help you boost sales and profits, we broke down how and why BOGO works.


Free vs Percent Off

It goes without saying that shoppers like getting items for free. According to behavioral economics researcher Dan Ariely, shoppers generally overvalue the benefits of “free” even when compared to higher-quality items at a discounted price. For example, people would choose a free Hershey’s Kiss over a 14 cent Lindt truffle. We see this happening in the retail industry all the time. When Amazon first introduced free shipping in some parts of Europe, they saw a significant increase in sales for all places except for France. The reason why France’s sales were not on par to the other countries was because instead of free, shipping’s cost was mistakenly reduced to 1 franc (about 10 cents). To shoppers, no matter how large the discount, it does not stand a chance against “free.”

Benefits of BOGO

BOGO is a great discount technique to use to appeal to consumers. Big companies such as TOMS and Chipotle have seen a lot of success with BOGO promotions. Here are a few ways you can benefit from the strategy.

Moving Inventory While Profiting

BOGO is a great tool that can help you get rid of your less desirable inventory quicker and maintain profitability at the same time. Imagine that you are selling an item for $10 that cost you $2.50. If you place a half off sale on this item, you would make a $2.50 profit from selling one. Now, if you offered the item in a BOGO sale, you’d be able to make a $5 profit ($10 revenue – $5 cost = $5). By selling multiple items at once, you can solve your case of slow-moving inventory while staying in the positive.

giphy (1)
Better Response from Shoppers

Both retailers and shoppers love BOGO. In a recent report from AMG, 66% of shoppers say that they like BOGO the most out of all discount promotions. They also found that 93% of shoppers report that they have taken advantage of BOGO promotions at least once. Professor Priti Salvi of S. V. Institute of Management, Kadi found that shoppers are more likely to participate in BOGO promotions because the products seem to have no extra cost and are more valuable due to the deal. Get on shoppers’ good sides with a BOGO promotion.

Tips to Run an Effective BOGO Promotion

Create A Target Audience

Once you’ve figured out what you’re selling, it is important to know whom you’re selling to. BOGO can help you achieve one of the biggest retail goals, creating loyal customers. The White House Office of Consumer Affairs found that on average, loyal customers are worth up to ten times their first purchase. To maximize on 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 BOGO promotion efficiently. For example, if you’re trying to promote backpacks, the target audience for your promotion would generally be students, meaning you would try to advertise on platforms that students frequent. Creating a target audience can help you win the hearts of shoppers and make a promotion efficient.

Create Urgency

Creating a sense of urgency is essential for a successful promotion. By setting up a deadline for the promotion, you can incentivize shoppers to act sooner due to the fear of missing out. If executed properly, you can see higher sales, bigger orders, and better conversion rates from your BOGO promotion.

Advertise on Multiple Channels

There are many different platforms available for you to advertise your BOGO promotion on.

  • If you own a brick and mortar or pop-up shop, you can go old school and advertise your BOGO promotion offline. Besides covering your store with flyers, you can use your store layout to advertise your BOGO promotion by leveraging music, product displays, lighting and even climate control to present the best shopping experience as possible. Visual merchandising is a great tool to grab shoppers’ attention and advertise BOGO promotions.
  • Mobile is beginning to take over the online retail industry as IBM expects it to make up 56% of eCommerce traffic by December 2015. Advertise on mobile channels by leveraging social media and email marketing to reach out to shoppers on the go. According to the Verge, of the 1.32 billion people who use Facebook each month, the majority of them use both mobile and desktop, while about a third of them only log in with their phones.
  • There are many opportunities in traditional online advertising to promote your BOGO deal. By investing in on-site advertising, you can reach out to your target audience with the websites they visit most. For example, if you’re targeting rock climbers, post on-site advertisements on rock climbing blogs and forums.

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


It is easy to see why retailers have jumped on the BOGO hype. With the proper advertising and planning, BOGO can help you boost sales and profits. So, hop on the BOGO train now to get your shoppers ecstatic for your store.

Image Source

Image Source

Image Source

Contributing Writer: Don Dao


About Wiser

Wiser provides a complete suite of solutions to give retailers, brands, and manufacturers the edge to stay both competitive and most importantly, profitable.

Want to learn more about what Wiser can do for your business? Sign up for a free 14-day trial here.



Arie Shpanya

Arie is the COO, Executive Chairman, and Co-Founder of Wiser, a dynamic pricing and merchandising engine for online retailers and brands. He has extensive experience in business development with a focus on eCommerce (eBay and Amazon), and is a guest blogger on Econsultancy, VentureBeat, and more.