4 Tips to Run Better BOGO Sales

Not all sales are created equally; there are BOGO sales, 20 percent off sales, and flash sales, to name a few. Although these are all different types of sales, they have the same main goal of ramping up your retail sales, using psychological triggers to encourage shoppers to check out, and hopefully acquiring new customers.

The BOGO sale is a species of its own, with a wide array of variations. In this blog post, we’ll dive deeper into BOGO sales and how retailers can capitalize on this popular kind of discount.

BOGO Sales

In a survey done by AMG Strategic Advisors, 93 percent of shoppers have taken advantage of buy one, get one free sales. BOGO sales are an attractive discount, as they appeal to consumers and improve retail sales. Most often, the main goal of BOGO sales is to get rid of inventory quickly, while maintaining profitability. By offering a free product or 50 percent off the second product, customers are enticed to buy more.

Additionally, retailers receive a better response from shoppers. Consumers perceive a better deal when retailers offer “buy one, get one free,” than “50 percent off,” because shoppers want free, not cheap. The AMG Shopper Panel found that 66.1 percent of shoppers prefer buy one, get one free promotions, as opposed to the 9.6 percent of shoppers who prefer 50 percent off.

This is also beneficial to retailers. Although the gross margin is the same as 50 percent off sales, BOGO sales bring in more profit per sale. For example, consider a pair of jeans that sell for $80 and your store purchases them for $20. If you offer a buy one, get one free sale, you make a profit of $40 ($80 revenue – $40 cost of two pairs of jeans = $40). On the other hand, if you offer a 50 percent off sale on jeans, and you sell one item you make profit of $20 ($40 revenue – $20 cost of one pair of jeans = $20). BOGO sales ensure you sell two or more products, helping revenue increase quicker.

While at the end of the day the retailer earns the same margin, with proper planning, BOGO sales can help retailers sell more inventory faster, and boost sales. Here are four tips to run better BOGO sales.

Tip 1: Select Your Target Audience 

The first step to planning a successful buy one, get one sale, is to narrow down and select your target audience based on the item on sale. Picking a niche market can help you decide where and how to advertise. For example, if you want to offer buy one make up item, get one free, you can narrow down your target market to shoppers who have purchased make up in the past year. By only advertising to your target market, you can save advertising dollars and time.

Tip 2: Advertise on the Proper Channel

Where to advertise is easy to decide once you’ve established your target audience. Looking at your target market, you can analyze the demographic, psychographic, and media segmentation, which can help you decide where and how to advertise your BOGO sale. According to Alliance Data, 74 percent of consumers want to learn about promotions via direct mail, 69 percent via homepage promotions, and 59 percent via TV ads.

Using competitive intelligence, you can analyze your competitors’ promotional activities. This can provide insights on when and where competitors had promotional mentions, in addition to what type of promotion they shared (BOGO sales, percent off, free gift, etc.). With competitive intelligence you can outsmart and outperform your competitors’ promotions.

Diving into psychographics can reveal more relevant data. For example, if your target consumer is American moms, you can advertise your BOGO sales through social media, as moms are 20 percent more likely to use social media than the average consumer in the U.S.

Tip 3: Leverage Social Media

Social media is growing and retailers cannot afford to ignore it. In fact, 52 percent of adults who use the internet actively use two or more social media sites. Depending on your target market, how you use social media should vary to match their usage patterns. For instance, if you are targeting baby boomers, you should share your BOGO sales on Facebook as opposed to Instagram.

Additionally, not only can you use social media to advertise your BOGO sales, you can also use it to address complaints and receive feedback. Consumers who are satisfied with their purchase and share their experience on social media can provide free advertising. Of consumers who leave a negative review or comment on social media, 57 percent said they expect the brand to reply. Of those, 93 percent said their loyalty to the brand would be negatively impacted if the retailer didn’t respond.

Utilizing social media actively to respond to customers and share sales can be beneficial, as 71% of consumers who have a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others.

Tip 4: Create Urgency

Like any other promotion, creating urgency is essential for a successful BOGO promotion. By setting up a deadline for your BOGO 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.


BOGO sales can be one of the most effective types of promotions. If executed properly, you can see higher sales, bigger orders, and better conversion rates.

Contributing Writer: Patricia Montenegro

Min-Jee Hwang

Min-Jee is the Director of Marketing at Wiser. She has extensive experience working with SaaS companies and holds a BA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from NYU Stern.

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