There’s no escaping the fact that online coupons are here and they don’t seem to be letting up as far as their popularity. It also appears that it will continue this way for quite some time. Consumers are always on the lookout for great deals and when they find an online coupon that gives them those deals, they trounce on it.
First, What Are Your Goals?
If you are looking to implement online coupons for your business, you will need to determine what your goals are in using them. Are you trying to move inventory? Maybe you want to run a loss leader so you can build your list of customers? Or maybe you just want to run an end-of-season sale. Do you want to run several deals constantly, or perhaps only once in a while to build some buzz?
The next decision to make is whether you are going to manage the coupons yourself or use a coupon code processing website. If you plan to only have a few coupons once in a while, then it may make sense for you to manage it yourself.
Using Your Own Cart
There are two ways to go about this. The first is to simply create a product in your shopping cart that is a duplicate of the product that you want to discount. The difference is the price will be lower by the discounted amount. You then create a banner with a made up coupon code that adds the discounted product to the shopping cart. This has the advantage of being relatively easy to implement, but if you are doing this for a lot of products it can clutter up your system, leading to maintenance headaches.
The other option is to use your e-commerce shopping cart to handle the discounting. Be aware that not all shopping cart solutions are set up for this so you want to contact your shopping cart vendor to find out if they do or not. If you don’t have a shopping cart solution already and you want to include coupons, make sure the solution you pick has that feature.
Another way to go about implementing online coupons is to submit your coupon to online coupon code websites. These sites aggregate coupons, make them searchable, and provide the discount codes when those are used. They generally expect a cut of the sale, which is usually done through an affiliate program. But not all of them do, so be sure to check.
Coupon Database Providers
Another way to go about online coupons is to use a coupon database provider. These providers create feeds of discount codes and coupons. They then distribute the codes and feeds to their affiliates which gives you an automatic distribution of your codes. This can quickly lead to sales. They also have their own search engine that consumers can use to find coupon codes so your deals can appear on the results of those searches.
One thing you want to do is track and measure each of your campaigns. This is especially important if you plan on running several deals simultaneously. You want to see what works and what needs to be scrapped.