Whether you’ve been in business for a while and have been offering print-based coupons for some time, are a new business just getting off the ground or are a hybrid of the two interested in learning more about how to offer coupons on your website, there are numerous options. Keep reading to learn more about how to successfully offer coupons on your company’s website.
Why Offer Coupons Online?
It’s been demonstrated time and time again that coupons can increase the effectiveness of marketing efforts that may already been in place by increasing conversions. These coupons can be used to drive new traffic to your site, to increase your position in the marketplace over competitors who do not offer coupons, to thank loyal customers for their business or to remind past customers that you’re still around. The options are endless.
Is there proof behind any of this? What proves that coupons are effective? It all comes down to science. A recent study by Coupons.com and Dr. Paul Zak of Claremont Graduate University set out to look at the reasons coupons are a positive for companies seeking to increase customer satisfaction. What the study found may come as a surprise.
The study found that coupons like these offered by brands online increase oxytocin – the feel-good hormone commonly associated with positive social interactions and happiness – by 38 percent. In addition to an increase in oxytocin, coupons reduce customer stress by lowering respiration rates, heart rates and sweat levels. Put simply, customers shopping with coupons that are easy to find and use feel better, experience less stress and are happier in general.
Ready to get started? Check out a few options for offering online coupons.
1. Make it Easy to Find Throughout the Process
There’s nothing worse from a customer’s perspective than finding a great coupon code on a company’s site, then losing it during the checkout process. For some, this might discourage shopping altogether, or at least add frustration to the process.
Make it easy. Sites like Shutterfly display coupon codes at the top of their homepage, then leave them there throughout the process. It’s easy for shoppers to access the codes and to complete transactions with overall satisfaction and a lack of backtracking.
2. Think Front and Center
A customer that is made aware of sales from the initial site visit forward is more likely to complete a transaction. For this reason, boldly displaying coupons front and center can play into your overall promotional strategy. Retailers like Kohl’s use their entire homepage to broadcast deals, sales, promotions and coupon codes. There’s no question about what’s included in the sale; it’s laid out from the start.
3. Work With Discount Sites
Sites like RetailMeNot.com used to be the enemy of online retailers. Because the site allows users to upload unauthorized coupon codes that might be designed for a specific market, many retailers grew frustrated with the service. Sites like this do not have to play against your strategy; why not work with them?
One of the first brands to do this was Best Buy. By working with RetailMeNot.com to publish only authorized coupons that link back to the brand’s website, customers are offered legitimate deals and are pleased to find that the brand wants to clearly broadcast these deals to all shoppers. It’s a win-win situation at its best.
4. Use Social Media
Why not use social media and your website in conjunction? You probably do in other areas. Think about it; when you publish a blog post, you probably link back to your social media accounts to increase your exposure. Offering coupons should be no different.
Last year Gorjana-Griffen, a high-end accessories retailer, had an online sale. However, social media followers were able to access an additional coupon as thanks for their loyalty. While the idea of the secret campaign was to increase followers, it provided a sense of exclusivity that any brand could use to its advantage in offering online deals and coupons in conjunction with other sales or independently.
The benefits of offering coupons are obvious. Think of new ways to offer them and remember to look for methods that keep your customers engaged and satisfied throughout the process. Coupons could provide your brand with the boost you’ve been searching for.
Image by Dogancan Ozturan