How to choose and create Shopify discount codes for your store

With Black Friday and the holiday shopping season approaching faster than Santa’s sleigh, now is the time to think practical and get things done. 

In that spirit, here is a super practical guide to help you with one of the most important elements of the holiday shopping season – discounts.

This whistlestop guide will take you through every stage of the process:


Deciding on a discountCreating a code – the basicsDiscount 1 – Percentage or $ offDiscount 2 – Free ShippingDiscount 3 – Buy X, Get Y


How to decide which Shopify discount code to add

The good news is that, with 4 types of discount code available on Shopify, deciding between them is not too complicated. Having said that, there are a few variations for each discount type – we’ll discuss these as we go through the steps for creating that discount code.

For now, let’s just take a look at the 4 basic types on offer:

  • Percentage discount: a percentage is taken off the price of either individual products or the whole order
  • Fixed amount discount: a $ amount is taken off the price of either individual products or the whole order
  • Free Shipping: shoppers are given free shipping on the items they purchase
  • Buy X, Get Y: when shoppers buy an item, they receive additional items either free or at a discounted price

You can spend days analysing your brand, stock and audience in order to pick the right discount for the holiday season. This detailed blog on holiday discounts takes you through the process of how to decide on the perfect discount for your store.

But today’s blog is all about speed, so let’s keep things super simple.

Choose a percentage or $ off discount code if …

  • Your No.1 target is sales volume. Offering simple % or $ off discounts will drive sales, whether these deals are store wide or on selected products.
  • You want a simple message for marketing. Your marketing messages can get more complex with other types of deal, where you need to explain how it applies or what the specifics are. If your audience responds well to simple, direct messaging, percentage or fixed amount discounts work best.
  • Your competitors are offering significant discounts. Pay attention to the deals and offers your competitors are making. Holiday season shoppers will compare sites to find the best deals. Imagine if your competitors are giving 40% or $30 off. Offering free shipping or buy one, get one free deals on your store may not be eye-catching enough in the heat of the holiday sales.

Choose a free shipping discount code if …

  • You have a luxury brand. Are you building a brand that is based on quality and luxury, or targeting a high-end audience? In these cases, heavily discounting your products might damage your brand, as discounted products can appear cheaper and, therefore, of lower quality. Free shipping is a great way round this, as you can still offer your customers a deal without directly discounting your product.
  • You have a young audience. Free shipping is big for them. In a recent survey, 90% of Generation Z shoppers said free shipping has a direct impact on whether they buy or not.

Choose a buy X, get Y discount code if …

  • You have excess stock. One of the first steps you should take in your Black Friday preparations is checking your stock. If you have a lot of stock of a certain product, you can use buy X, get Y deals to boost sales of this item.
  • You value profitability over turnover. It’s important to go into the holiday season with your business priorities clear. Are you just interested in selling lots, or is staying profitable (even if it means selling less) more important to you? If profitability is your goal, then you’ll want to increase the total number of goods a customer buys in one order. This is all down to a concept called average order value, which is explained in detail in this blog. But all we need to know here is that a deal like “buy one, get a second half price” will be better for your profitability than a simple % off deal.
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