A Salesperson's Standpoint: This is the first in a series of posts from Unific's Account Executive, Grant Rieger! He'll talk about e-commerce marketing from a salesperson's point-of-view.
There's a lot of hype around coupon codes these days. There are a ton of reasons to implement coupon codes: lead generation, conversions, and customer loyalty to name a few. Keep in mind that using a coupon code is a major decision, one that can damage revenue, margins, and even brand reputation. In this article, I'll go over the key considerations for effectively using coupon codes.
Coupon Codes: Generic vs. Unique
At the highest level, online retailers issue unique coupon codes to protect their brand from sites like RetailMeNot and Honey. The ideal purpose of a unique coupon code it to protect margins on gifts, significant discounts, and other exclusive offers.
Alternatively, a generic coupon code can be used by anyone to create a viral aspect to your store because shoppers can pass along the code. Generic coupon codes work well with everyday promotions like free shipping or 10% off, to reward customers without killing margins. Generic coupon offers can create a feeling of urgency or exclusivity, which can improve conversion.
Coupon Codes: Percentage vs. Dollars
The most popular practice of retailers offering discounts is valuing the coupon code based upon a percentage of the item price. You can do anything from a minor 5% sale to a 50% off clearance, covering a spectrum of discounts. Alternatively, offers based on a dollar value can be positioned by retailers to consumers as "missed money." As an easy rule of thumb, use a percentage offer for items valued under $100; for items greater than $100, choose a fixed dollar amount to be associated with the coupon code. This strategy is a psychological mechanism to optimize revenue.
However, ultimately shipping costs are usually the main reason for shopping cart abandonment. You can offer free shipping while protecting your margins by using the coupon in conjunction with a minimum purchase requirement.
Quick tip: if you've got inventory collecting dust in your warehouse, try offering it as a gift to loyal customers.
How to Use Coupon Codes For Sales
If you're giving something away for free without reason for doing so, you risk devaluing your product in the eye of the consumer. The recipient could think of your product as lower quality or cheap because you can afford to give it away. All you need to do is to have a reason for offering your coupon codes. Holidays are also always a great excuse for offering coupon codes. Using discounts in conjunction with running contests on social media platforms allows you to drive more traffic to your website, capture more leads, and increase visibility. The more noticeable, the better. Be sure to add a scarcity element on your discount coupons to create urgency.
Holidays are always a great excuse for offering coupon codes. Using discounts in conjunction with running contests on social media platforms allows you to drive more traffic to your website, capture more leads, and increase visibility. The more noticeable, the better. Be sure to add a scarcity element on your discount coupons to create urgency.
Thanks to social media platforms, making your products go viral has become more attainable than ever. With one click from the user, your content becomes visible to their entire network of connections. You can achieve a similar massive reach by collecting email addresses of customers for newsletters. Make sure that your discount coupon is highly visible in the email content without being intrusive. As a retailer, you can increase the chance of coupon codes being used by consumers when you include the offer in email newsletters. The customer is more likely to see it at the right time because it remains in their inbox.
Quick tip: set your email and social media headers to images that relate to the coupon to maximize its potency
It's one thing to come up with a great promotion. It's a whole other beast to make sure that your coupon codes are reaching the right hands at the right time with the right message.