For over a century, coupons have been an effective tool for influencing and motivating consumers. In general, the concept of couponing hasn’t changed much. However, methodologies for distributing them have changed drastically… and for good reason.
You are exposed to coupons and other promotions every day. They’re in the stores you shop at, in the paper you read, and can be found online or on your phone. The reason they are seemingly everywhere is because almost everyone uses them. In fact, the Inmar 2014 Coupon Trends Report shows that, in a three-month duration, 96% of shoppers will have used a coupon at least once. Consumers use coupons to save money, and will look for deals that pertain to goods that they would buy normally. However, as coupons continue to evolve, we are finding that what they are capable of offering is much more than a simple discount.
For years, the primary methodology for distributing coupons has been through Free Standing Inserts (deals that can be found in the paper, magazines, etc.). They are used to push offers on a large scale by casting a wide net. They aim to incentivize repeat purchases, or perhaps prompt customers to buy a newly introduced product. The downside to this approach is that the targeting is very generalized. Another limitation, and possibly the most significant, is that it is nearly impossible to gather analytical data/ information that could supply valuable consumer insights.
Coupons That Keep Up
Our world is changing, and consequently, so are consumers’ behaviors and habits. Therefore, you will need the tools that will allow you to better accommodate their expectations. The introduction of digitally distributed offers has revamped the marketplace. Whether you are printing an internet-delivered coupon or receiving codes straight to your mobile device, the benefits (to both the company and the consumer) are setting the bar for all distributed promotions.
Some of the key benefits include:
- Data gathering – collect, analyze, and gain valuable insights on your consumers.
- Strategic agility – easily fine-tune or modify offers (appearance, value, etc.) on the fly.
- Superior retargeting – efficiently and effectively manage your promotional strategy.
- Distribution control – retailers and manufacturers can regulate exactly how many offers will be claimed and redeemed.
- Personalized offers – use collected data to push individualized promotions.
- Cost savings – digital provides a cheaper alternative to print.
- Security – combat coupon fraud by tracking your customers using tools such as embedded codes (check out CoupCheck™ to learn more).
Digital offers work great if your goal is to:
- Target a specific consumer population
- Encourage a shopper to switch brands
- Incentivize customers to repurchase goods
- Introduce a new product or service
- Save money while establishing a healthy consumer database
Promotions That Show Promise
Although traditionally distributed offers are still the conventional approach, digital promotions are quickly gaining momentum and are responsible for ever-increasing redemptions. In fact, the Inmar 2014 Coupon Trends Report stated that, “Overall, digital coupons are attracting more new buyers than print coupons by a margin of 35%.” In five years, it is projected that the population of mobile coupon users alone will nearly double from the current 560 million to 1.05 billion users (Mobile Coupons: Consumer Engagement, Loyalty & Redemption Strategies 2014-2019).