Don’t Scrap Coupons Just Yet: Why Create Digital Savings?

Posted by on September 27, 2013 in Email Marketing, Marketing, Retail [ 0 Comments ]

Ditch the print and encourage consumer loyalty with smart digital coupon strategy.

Do you remember the satisfying fatness of the Sunday edition of the newspaper? Do you remember why it was so thick? There were so many coupons, sales inserts and direct mail advertisements in vibrant colors.  While many newspapers are still in circulation, the prominence they once held is waning; and advertisers and business owners have been quick to take note.

Related: Using Promotional Products to Increase Sales 

Coupons Without Constraints

The digital era cannot be denied, and the departure of print to a Web-based medium has given consumers access to an expanding field of sales and deals. Small-business owners have an opportunity to improve their sales and customer loyalty by investing in digital coupons. There is an ample number of examples of companies that have fully integrated this technology in their sales strategy. Even further, the more targeted the delivery system is, the better it will be for your bottom line.

  • Giving customers more control. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer Meijer recently reported it will expand its mPerks digital coupon program after seeing significant growth in the program among consumers. In fact, in 2013 alone, the store has seen 1.7 million customers subscribe to the mPerks Baby Rewards program, resulting in a net savings of $25 million for the year. The digital coupon system goes beyond saving customers from having to physically bring in printed items, and proactively allows consumers to save based on their past purchasing habits. Aimed at parents in need of specific childcare products, vice president of customer marketing and emerging technology Michael Ross explained the program allows consumers to customize their rewards.

How Can You Make This Work?

As you’d imagine, digital technologies seem to coordinate pretty well with each other. As a result, email is an ideal mechanism to spread the wealth of savings that your digital coupon programs will provide consumers.

  • Use your point of sale system to your advantage. Instead of going through the cumbersome process of having to ask consumers for their contact information, invest in a tablet device at your POS which they can use to enter their own information. Having a system in place that allows your customers to control how much private data they’re willing to share will likely increase the number of people who will share their email address.

Related: Mobile Wallets or Mobile POS: What’s Best for Your Stateside Business?

Conversions Through Convenience

What’s more, learning about which device they usually use to access their email can help businesses improve the robustness of the digital program. Do they use their iPhone, tablet or desktop? Those details can make a big difference.

For example, MarketingSherpa.com highlighted the case of The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, a membership program for the hotel chain. The company found that 90 percent of its customers signed up for the club used an iPhone to open their email. After optimizing their email strategy for that particular mobile device, the conversion rate on their landing pages increased by 40 percent between the first and fourth quarter of 2010.

Going further, company-specific apps can be a boon for your business. Consumer Reports recently released a list of the best coupon applications for grocery shoppers and found that location-specific appeals prove effective and valuable for consumers. In other words, some apps – like the one made by Cellfire – signals customers of sales and deals when they enter a brick-and-mortar location. Convenient enough? The consumer has to do very little to discover savings beyond entering the store.

As Forbes indicated, it’s also important to make sure your coupons can be shared. With savings in hand, consumers will drive traffic by letting their friends and family know about potential deals. Sharing is essentially equivalent to social media, but it’s also effective to allow customers to send coupons by text message.

In the end, coupons are still effective resources to drive traffic and improve sales by encouraging shoppers to spend more to save more.


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