Tuesday, September 08, 2009

E-Coupons To Boost In Store Sales

I deeply believe in E-coupons. First, they are a great way to boost in store sales. Secondly, they cut most of the costs of paper coupons.

E-coupons could be used for different reasons:
  • Driving consumer traffic: This is even more true when coupons are advvertised on specific websites with coupons, and adwords campaign promoting coupons on strategic keywords.
  • Building loyalty: Mainly through emailing campaigns. Also, Carrefour provided e-coupons on its websites, as they were asking people to download it thanks to a radio campaign.
  • Increasing sales and attracting new customers
Be Careful With Your Coupons
Now coupons campaigns must be taken seriously. The ultimate goal is to get a high return on investment and hence, a profit. Therefore, it is important to measure your generosity rate, the difference between what you offer, and how much the customer will pay in the end. Of course, it depends of your mergin rate.

However, companies are still figuring out the new dynamics of managing the array of coupons and how fast they can spread.

Marsh Supermarkets had to halt a recent Facebook deal Apple Store Discount on Office 2008 for Mac - Home and Student Edition . Click here. offering $10 off a $10 or more purchase as the coupon spread much further and faster through the social networking site than the Midwest grocer had intended.

"It just went everywhere. We did not anticipate that," company spokesperson Connie Gardner said. "We would not have issued it if we had known."

Most notoriously, KFC faced traffic jams and overwhelming demand this spring at several restaurants and ultimately offered rain checks to cope with unanticipated demand for free grilled chicken meals offered in a coupon posted on TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey's Web site.

Overall, electronic coupons lack the reach of print because consumers must seek them out -- as opposed to finding them in the mailbox or on the front step, Brown said.

Experts say both electronic and traditional print formats are likely to grow, though it will be a while before they match the all-time peak in coupon use of 7.9 billion in 1992. In 2008, consumers redeemed just 2.6 billion coupons of all types.

Therefore, e-coupons could be a very powerful tool to boost sales, and hence be a link between your sales strategy, online marketing effort, and your retail experience and sales.