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Develop a winning coupon strategy!

Consumers on the hunt

Coupon Example

As the technological age has allowed the consumer to become better informed about products prior to purchase, it has also afforded them the opportunity to search for the best deal when they make the decision to purchase an item online. They should no longer be merely characterized as “online shoppers”, but in fact they are now sophisticated price evaluators, with the simple goal of paying the very least for what they want.

More and more recently though, the consumer is no longer just satisfied with paying the “On Sale” price for a product; but moreover they wish to have the price even further reduced by the time they reach your website’s checkout screen.  You may ask yourself, how will they do this? Through coupons or promotional codes that the website owner has setup and successfully marketed in order to drive traffic to their site to lead to more sale conversions. Searching for coupons is now an integral piece of the consumer’s strategy in getting the best deal possible, and their strategy is one that is working.

What about you?

Odds are that if you are not offering coupons to your online consumers, your rival web retailers definitely are.  But before you run to create your first coupon, or build upon the ones you may have already made, you MUST develop a winning coupon strategy.  A strategy that begins as a win for your customers in getting a great deal, and ends with a win for you, the business owner, as you made a still profitable sale that may have otherwise been lost if not for a coupon.

You must first clearly identify the objective your coupon strategy aims to accomplish. You may have a popular product that you wish to highlight, a particular brand gives you a high profit margin that you want your site visitors drawn to, or maybe you are trying to simply drive more traffic to your site in order to increase your volume of sales. In any case, specifying a set of clear goals is a crucial step in crafting your coupon strategy.

Now that you have your goal, you must now decide the specific details of the coupon you are creating. Web Shop Manager gives a site’s administrator the ability to not only create a coupon that takes a fixed dollar amount or a certain percent off an order’s subtotal, but also other questions must be answered before you make your coupon known to the public. Questions like:  How long will this coupon be available for use? Will this coupon be available to everyone, or should I apply certain restrictions? Should it be fixed dollar amount or a calculated percent? How much money should this coupon discount? That last question is paramount to answer and one should strongly study before answering. Because remember, a winning coupon strategy equals a win for both the customer and you. When creating a coupon it is very easy to forget that you, the site owner also needs to see a financial benefit.

Get it out there!

So, you have set a goal and created what you know is a profitable coupon for your business that also gives a savings to your customers. But how will anyone use it? How will anyone know it exists? Fortunately, Web Shop Manager gives its site’s administrator vital pieces of information that can be used as an aid to effectively market a coupon.

            Easy Marketing Tips

  • Got Customer Groups? USE THEM! Create a coupon that is only available for use for those customers that you have assigned to a particular customer group, and send out an email to those users with that special code.
  • Turn “Wishlist” items into a real order. In the Reports Section of Web Shop Manager, you can view what users have placed certain product(s) in their wishlist. Make a one total use code and directly email that customer with the coupon you have specifically created for them in order to encourage them to complete their order. (Note: A similar process can also be performed for Orders in Progress).
  • Be Social! If you have a healthy following on Twitter and Facebook, then marketing coupons is really simple. Create a coupon that will discount a fixed dollar amount or percent when purchasing a popular item. Limit the code to be used one time per user (so as to not allow abuse) but allow 50 total uses! Update your Facebook status or Tweet this info out to create a sense of urgency in the customer to not miss this golden opportunity to save.
  • Reward your return customers. Repeat customers spend 33% more than new customers and referrals happen much more frequently for users who shopped your site multiple times versus someone who has only placed one order. These customers are the foundation of your customer base but can easily be taken for granted. Notice a customer who buys from you often? Say thank you with sending them a coupon code that will discount a 10% off their next order. Make this coupon limited to two total uses but onetime uses per customer. Include in the email to them a message to also pass this code along to a friend or family member. You will not only better the relationship with this repeat customer; you may also gain another in the process. 

One more thing

Coupon Example

As a final point, always measure the effectiveness of the coupons you create. Track what orders came in which used a coupon code. How many times was the code used? Who used the code, existing or new customers? And of course, was the coupon profitable for the business? If the answer to that last question was no, then you need to make yourself aware as to what adjustments need to be made before you once again make coupons available to your site visitors. If when the coupon code expires you can answer yes, then you know that you have developed a winning coupon strategy!

 

By: Mark Runsvold
  • Posted on   08/27/13 at 11:00:00 AM   by Mark  | 
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