Online Marketing: The Rise of Coupon Codes and e-Commerce
Everyone loves a deal, and business owners are well aware of the fact. It’s why you get buy-one-get-one offers in your newspaper circulars, or come out to your car to find 30 percent off coupons slipped under your windshield wipers. Online Marketing allows this basic promotional opportunity to be effectively tracked, maintained, and immediately shows the impact to the business. The rise of coupon codes and e-commerce platforms have just started to scratch the surface in consumer engagement and AI.
In a very real way, coupons buy customers’ good will. The familiarity with a store or a brand can go a long way toward turning someone from a one-time shopper into a repeat customer, and it’s why so many stores are coming up with so many different ways to reward customer loyalty. The hope is that, by offering customers a special discount, they’re more likely to come in, have a look around, and buy something. Not only that, but because they bought something at a good price, those coupons make a positive impression on a shopper.
The Rise of Coupon Codes
Modern coupons were pioneered by Coca-Cola in the late 1800s, and the first major buy-one-get-one campaign resulted in 1 in 9 Americans getting a free coke, according to Time. The sheer success of this campaign meant that Coca-Cola very quickly expanded its market, and quickly became one of the most dominant drinks in America. Positive marketing, a solid product, and a good company image were all aspects of this success as well, but the first real coupon campaign in history created a trend that other businesses learned to follow.
Traditional coupons weren’t cheap, though. You had to design them, decide how many to print, and then you had to pay for distribution (putting them in newspapers, magazines, the aforementioned circulars, etc.). Those overhead costs could add up quite quickly, particular for big campaigns.
Then came digital coupons, and coupon codes.
Digital coupons did away with most of the overhead costs of traditional coupons. Companies still had to design them, but once these digital coupons were created all they had to do was email them to members. There were no printing costs, no distributing costs, and no wasted prints. This lowered the cost dramatically, making special offers and deals a lot easier on a company’s bottom line.
As technology evolved past dial-up Internet, and as we grew into the age of the smartphone and online shopping, coupon codes became the dominant form of deal. Simple, no-nonsense offers, coupon codes were nothing more than a string of letters and numbers. These codes could be used for online or offline purchases, and they could be used by anyone. As more people started carrying an Internet connection in their pockets, coupon codes became easy to find, easy to use, and they are definitely here to stay.
Coupon Codes As A Reward
Getting customers to come in once is relatively easy; getting them to keep coming back is significantly harder. That’s why savvy businesses use coupon codes as a way to reward frequent shoppers. VIP programs, or special guest programs, collect shoppers’ information (name, email, address, etc.), and then send them coupon codes, special offers, and unique discounts that the general public doesn’t get access to. This gives them incentive to come back (since everyone loves a bargain), and it increases customer loyalty because they’re being given special treatment.
With coupon codes someone can even patronize a store without even getting off the couch. Coupon codes, like regular coupons, often come with an expiration date. With regular coupons someone would have to get off the couch, get dressed, get in the car, drive to the store, and hope there’s something in stock that he or she wants to get. Coupon codes, on the other hand, means that someone can shop whenever it’s convenient. So if a code is going to expire at midnight, it’s possible to buy something at 11:30pm from home. If someone can’t make it into the store because of work, it’s possible to shop during a lunch break. That convenience, combined with the low overhead, makes coupon codes a powerful tool in any business’s marketing strategy.
The Rise of E-Commerce
Of course, there’s Amazon and a slew of other major online stores. However, a small to medium sized business can grow exponentially without the overhead of a traditional brick-and-mortar store. Our client consistently experienced double digit growth year-over-year as we manage their online marketing and e-commerce platform. And you guessed it, coupon codes are the best way to attract new customers, retain previous customers, and monitor the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns. It’s a smooth integrated marketing approach to growing a business and keeping track of customer engagement.
Online marketing is ideal for e-commerce shopping sites. Grow your business with secure portals, quick shopping cart set-ups, and definitely add coupon codes to attract and retain customers.
For more advice on how you can take advantage of online marketing, coupon codes, and e-commerce for your business, contact Beholder or call 844-234-6537.