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3 Innovative Retail Solutions To Promote Digital Coupons

Customer shopping online using digital coupons

The digital age calls for innovative retail solutions to attract the modern bargain hunter. Online and mobile coupons in particular are playing a growing role in what customers buy and where they shop.

A blog post on Shop.org discussing its latest Snapshot report highlights this growth: Coupons influenced 54 percent of online back-to-school shoppers on where to shop. The post also discusses a projection by eMarketer that the number of people using mobile coupons will increase to 48 percent by year’s end, up from 39 percent last year.

With such promising forecasts, it makes sense that electronic coupons should be appealing to retailers. Sending coupons via direct mail is costly and only targets the masses. But an electronic coupon — whether it’s sent via email or a text message or even posted on a website — is much more cost-effective and timely.

Electronic coupons allow retailers to target people who are most likely to make a purchase with the deals. Plus, if coupons are sent via a mobile app or through a loyalty program, retailers can track the response. For instance, a retailer could know how many people viewed a specific deal or downloaded a coupon.

To entice the throngs of shoppers during the holiday season, retailers should come up with innovative retail solutions that make mobile and digital coupons easy to find and redeem. Research by Prosper Insights and Analytics identified three key ways to achieve this:

  1. Use email and websites: Shoppers get coupons from emails and websites nearly as much as from ad inserts, magazines or newspapers.
  2. Encourage online engagement: Two in five women said coupons triggered online searches for products.
  3. Use the web to steer customers to your store: Shoppers said online coupons, more than any other type of coupon, impacted where they shopped and what they bought, especially for apparel.

Of course, every retailer is different, meaning there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for digital coupons. A high-end fashion boutique isn’t as likely to use coupons as a grocery store would. Consider home improvement retailer Ace Hardware’s approach to digital couponing: Its stores in Northern California “encouraged in-store shoppers to text them for a coupon,” the Shop.org post reports. That helped to increase customers’ average basket size along with the number of participants in the retailer’s text message loyalty program.

As with any strategy or promotion, retailers must decide how it best relates to what they’re selling and to their audience.

Source: Shop.org, September 2013