Coupons, Promo Codes Tied to Big Jump in Online Sales
It’s not news that consumers are using coupons or promotional codes while shopping online. The number of people looking to save money online has been on a steady uptick, even before the Great Recession. What might be news, at least to some, is that the jump in sales connected to coupon and promo code usage is so high.
According to research from Ipsos conducted for RetailMeNot.com, an aggregator of online coupons and promo codes, online coupon usage from that site increased 23 percent year-over-year for the three months prior to November. Merchant sales connected to coupons and codes found on the site were up by 82 percent for the same period.
“It is clear that consumers are stretching their dollar by utilizing coupons and promotional codes to get more for their money while shopping online this holiday season,” said Josh Harding, director of business intelligence for WhaleShark Media, Inc., the operator of RetailMeNot.com, in a press release. “In an environment where the economy continues to create uncertainty, both merchants and consumers are looking for coupon promotions, like free shipping, to drive demand and increase the value of each purchase.”
Providing incentives to shop has become important as consumers seek to make ends meet during very difficult times for so many. According to the survey’s findings, free shipping (26 percent) topped the list of offers sought by consumers followed by BOGOs (20 percent) and percentage discounts (18 percent).
Women, it turns out, were more interested in free shipping than men, with 31 percent searching for that type of offer versus 21 percent. All searches for free shipping were up 29 percent in October.
Coupon usage, on the whole, has been up in recent years. According to NCH Marketing Services, consumers in the U.S. redeemed 1.75 billion coupons during the first six months of 2011. That number represented an 18 percent increase from the first half of 2009.
Coupon aggregation sites such as RetailMeNot, shopathome.com and others have benefited from emphasis on discounts sparked by daily deal sites and television shows featuring extreme couponers.
Back in September, Marc Braunstein, founder of shopathome, told Bloomberg News that visits to his company site more than doubled after “Extreme Couponing” went on the air.
“The show created an awareness about coupons and made people see that, with a little effort, they could save a lot,” Mr. Braunstein told the news service.
- Shoppers Trend Report Shows 23% Jump in Online Coupon Usage Leading up to Holidays on RetailMeNot.com – RetailMeNot.com
- ‘Extreme Couponing’ Shoppers Pose Loyalty Test – Bloomberg News
Discussion Questions: Are you surprised by the lift in sales tied to online coupon and promo code usage found by Ipsos? What role should coupons and promo codes have in the marketing of retail websites?