What drives sales most for an ecommerce site? According to a recent survey by Forrester, 59 percent of consumers say digital coupons are more influential in purchasing decisions than any other promotional method. By comparison, the next most influential factor, “sales,” prompts only 28 percent of consumers.
Digital coupons are especially influential at the point when consumers are wavering about a possible online purchase. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of consumers say a digital promotion or coupon is enough to get them to buy when they’re undecided. Using digital coupons reduces shopping cart abandonment rates and helps convert browsers to buyers.
Here’s the really interesting thing: 68 percent of consumers say that digital coupons make them more loyal to a retailer—and not just when sales or deals are available. In fact, fully half of consumers agree or strongly agree with the statement, “I am more likely to buy a product or service at full price from a company that offers online coupons or promotion codes.” In addition, 68 percent agree or strongly agree that they are more likely to refer friends and family to a company if it offers online coupons or promotion codes.
How can you put this information to use in your marketing?
- Don’t overuse digital coupon codes. Consumers aren’t stupid, and if your business constantly offers 40 percent off half its merchandise one week and 40 percent off the other half the following week, they’ll be conditioned never to pay full price. Use digital coupons selectively.
- Make your coupon codes really special, offering discounts that add up to substantial savings for customers. (Think of the frenzy that Nordstrom sales cause because the upscale retailer holds them less often than most retail chains.) You can add to the “exclusive” feeling by offering discount codes to select segments of customers such as social media followers, frequent buyers or customers who make purchases over a certain threshold.
- Prominently display digital coupon codes at the top of your ecommerce site’s home page so consumers are aware of deals when they’re shopping. Also put them on shopping cart pages so consumers get a reminder when they’re assessing whether to buy. Be sure any boxes to fill in promotional codes at the checkout process are easy to see.
- Enhance loyalty and word-of-mouth by providing incentives for customers to earn digital coupons. For example, tell customers they can get a digital coupon if they get X number of people to sign up for your marketing email newsletter or follow your business on social media.
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.