Coupons can be the catalyst for a sale when customers are comparing you to a competitor and keep them coming back.
We’re not talking about clip-and-save coupons in your local paper that promise 50 cents off a large pizza. We’re talking coupons that mean big business: big brand awareness, big reach and big customer loyalty. An effective coupon strategy for online retailers can increase brand reach and loyalty, and drive sales even further.
How coupons fit into your marketing plan
First things first: why even bother offering discounts? Well, it’s safe to guess that the majority of retailers who have at least some idea about online marketing will already have the big three already set up: social, web and email. They’re all key to any digital marketing plan, but there’s one online arm that many retailers forget about: coupons.
In a world where consumers will spend two hours a week hunting for online deals, it’s worth understanding the place that coupons have in your marketing plan. Just as your website acts as your shopfront, your social media channel is a friendly face, and EDMs are regular customer touch points, coupons can ensure the loop is closed by enticing customers to complete the sale.
When it comes to online shopping, low prices are number one in customers’ eyes, so coupons can help give a brand some clout above competitors, helping to stand out and cut through the price-comparison noise.
How coupons help you reach more customers…
For anyone still skeptical how coupons can help get new customers, we’ll just leave this here: Recent research found that 78 percent of consumers are persuaded to buy a brand they wouldn’t normally because of a coupon. Offering discounts can open up your brand to a much broader audience than before. Plus, as many coupon sites have a broad reach and a huge user base, coupons can be disseminated quickly and efficiently, maximizing your ROI.
78 percent of consumers are persuaded to buy a brand they wouldn’t normally because of a coupon
…and keep the existing ones happy, too
An effective coupon strategy can also help your existing customer base, boosting brand loyalty. Coupon code giant RetailMeNot found that 68 percent of consumers believe that digital coupons have a positive impact on a brand. Maintaining a positive brand image is vital for holding onto your current customers and encouraging repeat business. Brand loyalty is not just a buzzword: it’s vital for getting customers to choose you over competitors.
How coupons can increase brand awareness
Similarly to how a coupon strategy can help you get new customers, it can also help build your overall brand awareness. Excellent coupon deals often go viral, with internet users sharing the deal on their social media accounts and on forums like OzBargain.
Why coupons need to be deployed with a purpose
Before getting excited about all of the new potential customers you’re going to get, you need to develop a solid foundation for your coupon strategy. What are your objectives? Do you want to push a particular product? Encourage upselling? Or just get more customers in the (virtual) door? There are a multitude of different ways you can offer a discount, so define your objective and create your coupon around that. For instance, if you want to encourage upselling, you could create a coupon that offers 20 percent off purchases above $100.
Next, consider timing and your projected sales cycles — if there’s a particular month where your company usually enjoys good sales, you probably wouldn’t want to introduce a coupon then. It’s also important to consider your coupon channels and your overall demographic: Are your targeted customers more likely to be browsing on RetailMeNot, or checking out Facebook? Being selective about how you distribute your coupons is just as important as deciding what offer is on them.
A thoughtful and strategic coupon strategy can certainly help businesses build their customer base as well as improve their brand loyalty, but it’s vital that they first consider their approach.
I’m the co-founder and CEO of Commission Factory. Our affiliate network helps retailers and e-commerce brands increase their sales by an average of 20%. Click here to learn more. We are trusted by The Iconic, Surfstitch, Debenhams, Woolworths, Virgin Australia and 400+ other fast-growing brands.