By Usman Raza
Competing in a rapidly transforming industry that ecommerce is, it is inevitable to distract from the traditional methods that have an impact on consumer’s mind. Every ecommerce marketer eventually understands the importance of discount offering but remains dubious about if whether these offers may return long term investment or would just result in management mess.
For brands in the process of decision making about whether publishing coupons may deliver benefits or not may have an overview in different prospects in this read. Businesses are known to cause potential harm to their brand image due to mishandling of coupons but there are also examples of online enterprises that have used this marketing tool effectively and have extracted major benefits.
Here are some facts and tips, any business may follow:
How do you make the right offer?
For people looking to capture minds for longer periods and not just up to the point of sale, making a right offer is a crucial point. Experimentation and detailed result observations result in effective decision making for long terms.
Your offer, its placement, and presentation are what will earn you brand recognition and loyalty. For businesses who don’t own products that are offering huge margins, clearance, and short term offers are not appropriate. What this business type may truly need is engagement and therefore, the long-term offers like gift cards with at least year’s validity will be appropriate.
Bumper sales are good for the store having a number of departments and active traffic that is usually able to cover the margin by one way or another.
What other marketers are offering?
No matter how creative it gets, the discount offers that a store can make may fall into following categories.
- Free Shipping. What’s great with online shopping is that shopping from the stores located at a distance, is possible. Yet, there is something that stops consumers from achieving this shopping satisfaction and that’s because of the shipping and sometimes packaging charges attached to it. Only sometimes, the offer comes from the stores without the condition of minimum shopping value. Many stores offering the free shipping feasibility at minimum order value successfully achieve the targeted order value to leave them in the profit zone.
- Gift/Loyalty Cards. The gift/loyalty cards also apply to minimum order value, after which the consumers win a subscription to the store offering them some special perks for it. While loyalty cards are achievable when a consumer reaches the certain level of shopping, gift cards may also be bought from the store for the loved ones of the visitor. For targeting audience and engaging maximum prospects in your brand loop, gift cards are an effective method.
- Giveaway. Coupons for giveaways may be offered at special occasions or on minimum order value. Both times the offers show a good chance to connect to the preferences of buyers and make some space in their budget. The giveaways offer a sense of achievement and specialty which a consumer carries with the brand as an ambassador.
- Fixed Discounts. A brand desiring for sales boost may opt for the method where a certain percentage is cut on the price. For loyalty, these types of offers honestly are not a miracle. Only in case, when your brand has established a reputation, your consumers may be searching for the discount offers by you already which make it a great delight to find these on the internet.
- Personalized Offers. The offers are sent to email subscribers of the business. It may go out weekly or with any time interval. The personalized offers dropping in the mailbox of the subscribers make it pretty effective brand marketing as this improves your caring image of the brand.
What makes an offer notice worthy?
No business or marketing advantage is free from risks. There are some twists attached to offering coupons as well. But before we get to the shortcomings, let’s look at the benefits you get:
- Quick Plan and Implementation. Planning a coupon campaign online is just a matter of days. If your offers are based on the solid observation of your target market, it just a matter of days for a manager to create and launch this offer. Normally an e-commerce website is designed with these plugins which are only to be made active at the interface.
- Third parties help you do it. There are consumers more than ever, searching and desiring coupons which give a business plenty of chance to appear on the various mediums with the offers. The reminders of the offer may go out through official social media platforms or through coupon websites like on Retailmenot (the largest valid coupon platform) or ClothingRIC (Dedicated apparel and clothing discount website) who have their own following where your shout out of discount offer is less likely to get ignored.
- Improved Loyalty and Conversions. A business may plan and work out after months unique campaigns focused on whether loyalty or conversions. Coupon offers do the same with less consumption of resources. The reason why acknowledged fashion brands like Converse or Bebe and others are frequently offering discounts on platforms on free coupon platforms is because of their exposure to conversions and loyalty factors they have achieved.
- Negative Tendencies of Coupon Offers. It is not pleasant to see your campaign taking away profits and sometimes becoming an expense to a business. Yet, the chances of damage are not so minor that a business may overlook them.
- Negative on Margins. If too frequently a business offers coupons, it may sometimes have to deal with the fluctuations in margins. Besides it increases the accounting and tracking responsibilities, sometimes a business may not be actually able to cover the cost of even materials that are being delivered to the customers.
- Brand Damage. Let’s say if the offer is not properly delivered or the offer isn’t as effective, the problems won’t go easy on the brand image. It usually takes lots of hard work for the brands to keep the track, respond actively and fulfill the commitment.
- Loyalty is not guaranteed. Offer them great products and unbelievable discounts; somebody may always come up with better offers. Driving brand loyalty is the matter of time yet the competitiveness in the e-commerce marketing may let the consumers slip easy and fast and hardly controllable.
A business may never look for a defined recipe to create an offer. However, taking into account your target consumer preferences and the arising marketing trends will leave you in informed shape to choose your offer type and ways to publish and market it.
Evangelist Usman Raza is founder and CEO of evangelistusmanraza.com. He is professional blogger with strong passion. When not working, there is 99% chance that he is praying with his family. He loves blogging, content marketing, and writing about small businesses. Follow him on Twitter @usmanintrotech.