Online Coupons Can Reward Sellers, Too

Consumers have increased their use of coupons as a way to stretch buying power. The use of coupons has been aided in part by the ease of distributing coupon offers through digital channels. Yes, coupons benefit buyers by enabling them to save money, but payoffs from coupons extend to the sellers that offer them according to the Online Shopper Intelligence study. Findings from the recent study revealed that 57% of online shoppers that made a purchase online would not have made the purchase had they not had a coupon they received online.

It is not surprising that coupons might influence consumers’ decision to buy. A rather unexpected outcome from online coupons is that consumers apparently are willing to spend more money when they use a coupon. In the same study, the average amount spent by consumers with a coupon was $216 compared to $122 for shoppers that did not have a coupon. The upside of the expense a marketer incurs to offer an incentive to buyers may be rewards that come in the form of a higher dollar transaction.

The potential payoffs of online coupons suggest three situations to leverage through digital coupon distribution:

1. Attract new customers – Buyers conducting searches using general product category keywords may be unaware of individual brands. Reaching first-time buyers with online offers is a way to introduce them to your brand with reduced risk to them.

2. Gain competitive advantage – Placing coupons online is a wise strategy given their importance to many buyers. Make access to coupons easier for buyers and more rewarding for you by PPC and SEO strategies that bring attention to online coupon offers. Connecting couponing with search marketing strategies is a way to set a brand apart from competitors that have a less integrated approach to their digital marketing campaigns.

3. Influence product sales – Whether the aim is to introduce new products, sell complementary products, or achieve a higher average transaction, results from the recent Online Shopper Intelligence study suggest coupons empower consumers to spend. A strategic approach to couponing should be adopted. Rather than simply giving consumers a price break in the hopes they will buy, structure coupon offers to achieve broader marketing objectives. Some examples: a) offering a discount for buying multiple items can influence unit sales, b) offering a discount on an item when a complementary item is bought at regular price stimulates sales of both items, and c) mining your customer database to appeal to customers who have not bought in a specified time period can be done efficiently in an attempt to bring them back into the fold.

Adoption of online coupons has a long way to go to match the impact of coupons delivered through traditional media. But, many online shoppers seek coupons when making purchases; why not meet their need and possibly be rewarded by higher spending and brand loyalty?

Compete.com - "Coupons Are Good for the Bottom Line"

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