How to offer a gift with purchase on Shopify

September 12, 2017


During the holiday season, thousands of brick-and-mortar retailers will offer "gift with purchase" promotions, where customers who spend a certain amount during a sale will receive a free bonus gift.

These types of promotions are great for increasing the amount that customers spend on every order that goes through your store, also known as the average order value

TIME's business section wrote an awesome article on the benefits these types of offers can have for a retailer.

One of the more interesting highlights is the brief description of the "reciprocity principle" studied in 2005; when consumers receive a free gift, they feel as if they've been done a favor, and that they should reciprocate it (by spending more) even though they didn't ask for that favour.

Don't have time to read the whole article? Watch our "How-to" video above.

How to set up your "gift with purchase" sale

To run this type of promotion, you'll need Bold's Sales Motivator app. The app comes with a 30-day free trial, and has two versions; you'll need to upgrade to the Premium version (for no extra cost while you're in the trial period) to be able to set up this offer.

Install Sales Motivator for FREE!

After the app is installed, you'll need to make sure that the Duplicate and Hide code is installed correctly. This will prevent customers from adding the free gift to their cart before they've met the spending target.

All done? Than let's get started.

Step 1: Plan

Planning a gift with purchase promotion is fairly simple, but requires as much attention as any other facet of your business. Here are a few items that are worth considering before you launch:

  • What are you going to offer? The item should be of enough value that customers are incentivized to spend more. Basically, make it something they want. 
  • Do you have enough stock? You'll need to make sure that you have enough stock of your free item to be able to handle the increase in orders.
  • How much will it cost to ship this additional gift? If it is a small item it likely won't dramatically increase the order's weight, but larger items might require a larger box to be shipped along with your order. Take that into consideration when setting your spending threshold.
  • What spending target will customers need to reach to get the gift? For the best results, we recommend looking at your average order value and rounding it up to a number that customers can sensibly reach based on your product mix. For example, if your average order value is $58 and you sell products priced around $15, a $75.00 gift goal should be close enough that customers will be willing to add an extra item to their cart.
  • Will you need to promote the offer? Bold's Sales Motivator app will do the work of promoting it on your storefront, but you may wish to promote your sale on your social media pages to spread the word and drive traffic back to your site. You might even consider posting an image of the free gift to get your followers attention.

Step 2: Set up the Motivator goal

Next, we'll use the Sales Motivator app to promote the offer and actually add the product to the customer's cart.

Creating a new goal in the app

First, set the goal amount; this is the spending target that customers will need to reach in a single order to receive their free gift.

Next, enter in your text to make the pitch. This will be shown to the customer on a banner at the top of your store the first time they visit, letting them know that if they reach the spending goal, they'll have a free gift added to their order.

Sales Motivator Goal Creation screen, showing the goal amount and the "make the pitch" message

It is important to make this message exciting and energetic (keeping in mind your brand's tone), while being succinct and descriptive so your message is clear.

For my fidget cube store, I used Welcome! Today only, spend over $75 (before taxes + shipping) and get a FREE fidget spinner!

After this, you'll enter a follow-up and a congratulations message. These are both very important as they not only encourage customers to increase their spending, but have the added benefit of giving them personal recognition.

This should keep them around for longer, leading to fewer abandoned carts since the shopping experience has become a little more personalized.

Motivator Banner Congratulations.png

Step 3: Setting up the free gift

Lastly, we'll select the free product that will actually be added to the customer's cart.

Check off the Enable free product box at the bottom of the page. Now you'll be able to select the item that you want to give away to customers from the list.

Product selection in Sales Motivator

It's important to note that this only works for one specific variant of a product; the shopper won't be able to choose a different variant (such as a size or colour) of the free gift they receive. If they need to be able to do this, we recommend having your fulfillment team follow up with them to determine which specific item they'll receive.

Other awesome Sales Motivator features

There are a few additional options that you can activate to target this offer more specifically, in particular geo location and scheduling.

Geo location 

Geo location allows you to target the offer only to visitors from specific countries, so if your free gift is only stocked at your U.S. warehouse, you aren't offering it to shoppers from South Africa. This can also be useful if you're trying to increase sales specifically in a particular region.

Note that this works based on IP address which can easily be spoofed to appear as if it is coming from a different country, so ensure that you're reviewing orders with free gifts to make sure they aren't being shipped anywhere they shouldn't be.


Scheduling allows you to show the offer only during certain days and times. This can be useful if you're trying to drive sales during a time period (perhaps an hour before your shipping cut-off?).

You also have the option to run the promotion only on specific days of the week, or every day between two specific times.

Well done!

You just created a gift with purchase offer on Shopify: giving your customers a free product by encouraging them to spend a little more. Using Sales Motivator is one of many tricks in our arsenal to increase your average order value.

Still need the app?

We know our Sales Motivator app can help every single Shopify store out there, so we're offering it FREE for 30 days using the link below.

Download the app by clicking the button below, and start seeing your AOV explode.

Install Sales Motivator for FREE!

What strategies are you using to make your promotion stand out? Have you seen an increase in your average order value? Let me know in the comments below. 

Topics: App "How-to's"

Aubrey Kotelko

Written by Aubrey Kotelko

Aubrey is a marketing strategist at Bold Commerce. He drinks a gallon of milk every single day, which isn't really something to be proud of.

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