These days there is so much choice available for customers when looking for a specific product that often it is simply not enough to guarantee quality of service or a low price. As much as your service is good or you offer great value for less money, so is some of your competitors. At this point, what really makes a difference is any type of added benefit to the buyer’s experience when he or she hits your site. Moreover, highlighting benefits that you offer and your competitors don’t when marketing your product and doing off site promotion (social media ads and posting, Google ads, affiliate marketing, online PR activities in general), is a key element in differentiating your brand from other ones and getting a potential customer’s attention.
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to get more users to visit your website and shop with you is by offering coupons that a customer can use right away the first time he or she shops at your online store. However, many smaller business owners fear or complain about killing their profitability by fighting the competition with discounts and coupons. There are ways to stay ahead of the game in your particular marketplace and still earn a more than decent buck while also making your customers very happy. To find out what we’re talking about and how to nail more customers by offering coupons, keep reading and take mental notes.
1. Make the customer stick with their shopping cart
Way too often the main reason why a customer abandons his or her cart right before making the payment is because they see the coupon box but they don’t have a coupon. If at this moment you are thinking “well, I’ll get rid of the coupon box”, you’re thinking wrong. If you really don’t want to offer coupons to all your first time customers, what you can do is rename the field into something less appealing as “special code” which will be used by customers you do award with a special discount.
Otherwise, if you do have a coupon field, make sure to make this available to all customers purchasing the product that comes with a coupon.
2. Offering coupons: the customer should get a good deal
If you do offer coupons to attract more customers and grow your customer database, make sure you actually achieve the “wow! I scored big” effect. Offering minimal discounts may just result in the opposite effect and lead to customers feeling disappointed. Disappointment is a very strong feeling which does last in time, meaning he or she will not come back to your website.
It’s better not to offer any coupon at all than to offer a disappointing one. One good way to wow your customers without loosing profitability or margin is making larger discounts available for a very limited time and on particular products you can easily stock up on. Remember that anything that sells at 20 to 40% discount and is available for a limited time will raise the chances for the customer to buy it right away rather than loosing the opportunity to do so later on.
3. Discounts should not overshadow full prices
Just like offering coupons is a great call to action for your potential and existing customers, doing this at all times takes away the urge a customers feels to buy a product. Basically, if he or she knows that not buying the product now is not a big deal because it will be discounted again, you will see less customers using your promo codes.
Another reason why you should retain full prices for extended periods of time is the subsidy cost. The subsidy cost is what you loose for a product that a customer would’ve payed for full price. In simple words, there will always be customers that are willing to pay the full price (as long as it’s still competitive) for a product.
As mentioned in our intro, coupons and deals are a great way to attract potential customers’ attention in your direction. Not only finding out that you are offering coupons for a limited period of time lets say over social media will grow your website’s traffic instantly, but adding a call to action such as subscribing to your newsletter to get the coupon will also grow your brand’s following just like that.
Make sure to let your website’s visitors know of all the benefits they will get if they subscribe to your newsletter, such as regular updates on upcoming discounts and product lines. Potential customers who are subscribed to your newsletter are already tuned to paying attention to what you got on your virtual shelves and this means higher chances they will buy from you rather than looking at other online stores’ offer.
5. Don’t forget about a loyalty program
Using coupons smartly get you more customers but what about retaining these customers once they’re through with their first purchase? What you need to think about is setting up a good loyalty program to retain customers in time and turn them into a loyal audience. Once a customer uses a coupon he or she will expect for you to give further discounts in the future; however, a good way to make future discounts even more appealing is by making these exclusive and for a selected audience.
When a customer feels special or part of the so-called “VIP club”, he or she will be more inclined to stay loyal to the brand that considers him VIP. Treat your returning customers to free giveaways, small gifts, exclusive previews and special prices on a regular basis. in the long run, not only will they appreciate the treatment they get but they might also tell their friends about how great your brand is!