Importance of Online Coupons for Shoppers, Retailers, Affiliates

Coupons and salesA few days ago, having registered that in April 2010 “35 million consumers visited coupon sites” (a number that was up 5% from the year before), Compete reminded us of the findings of their “Online Shopper Intelligence” study originally released in February 2010.

In the ranking of sources / tools on which consumers depend while shopping online Coupon Sites (used by 35% of online consumers) are second only to Search Engines (used by 61%):

Tools used by online consumers while shopping online

The numbers of Coupon Sites’ users are growing as it was expected [see my Bright Future for Coupon Affiliates December 2009 post], and it was interesting to review Compete‘s findings regarding online coupons and coupon shoppers:

  1. Coupon codes can make or a break a sale — 57% of consumers who used a coupon code during their last online purchase said that if they had not received the discount, they would not have bought the item(s)
  2. Consumers who use a coupon spend almost twice as much — The small discounts consumers receive encourage them to spend more money ($216 AOV with coupon versus $122 without coupon)
  3. Coupons can increase customer satisfaction — They are an effective way for retailers to build good will with their consumers. Of those that did use the coupon, 92% were satisfied with their shopping experience (as opposed to 88% who didn’t have a coupon to use). The difference of only 4% may, however, be deemed a pretty insignificant one to make a conclusion. Hence, Compete’s usage of the word “can” there.
  4. Coupons can increase customer loyalty — Those who used a coupon said they are more likely (91%) to buy from the retailer again when compared to those who did not use a coupon (86%).

More (with charts too) in the Coupons Are Good For the Bottom Line post on Compete’s blog.

If you’re an affiliate, and aren’t using merchant coupons in your marketing mix, I hope the above convinces you otherwise, and another big reason for that is that coupons help increase affiliate conversion (substantially, I must add). The above study didn’t look at things from the affiliate marketing angle, but comparing conversion rates of coupon versus non-coupon affiliates, I see a significant difference in conversion. It doesn’t mean that all affiliates should turn into “couponers”, but adding coupons into the mix will benefit any type of affiliate.

8 thoughts on “Importance of Online Coupons for Shoppers, Retailers, Affiliates”

  1. The numbers are staggering, great for bizz! Looking at your Dec. 2009 post, I had no idea the numbers were projected to increase that much by 2014.

  2. Pingback: Bloggers Digest June 2010 « Get Elastic Ecommerce Blog

  3. Over 70% of internet users claim they’ve used online coupons in the last year. 84% with incomes over $74,000 say they’ve used them 4 times or more! Businesses NOT using coupons as a marketing strategy are ignoring a huge population of prospective customers. Especially ones with money to spend!

    1. I believe this was for the U.S. only, Alex, but the first sentence has links to pages with contact info of the folks from Compete who can answer your questions.

  4. OK, I use coupons in my program, but I have to add something a bit to the negative.

    We’ve been training our customers (and the purchasing public at large) To want to get items for less and less. after a while 40% off or 50% off isn’t inspiring anymore. It takes a very talented Marketing Team to plan their creative. I’ve seen on more than one occasion where the same coupon code amount was given every month for a year, and then they complained about poor performance, and overall decreased sales. As a marketing team you’ve got to put in a valiant effort to create a value for your brand, and as a reseller maintain the MSRP agreements to help that brand retain value.

    This report might show the value of coupon affiliates now, but it also shows overall that consumers aren’t willing to pay MSRP for anything, OR trust a retailer that what they are selling it for is the fair market value.

  5. Interesting article and great tips. As an affiliate marketer myself have not ventured to try coupons in my business but recently opening my services for local businesses I believe that this will give both the local business marketer and our business the edge over competitors. Thanks for the great tips.


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