Digital Coupons Significant In Shopping And Purchasing

According to a recent Forrester study, digital coupons are keeping up with the times, and are very relevant as omnichannel retail becomes the norm. The report says that, among 500 consumers who have used a digital coupon within the past three months, 59% stated that digital coupons and coupons codes are most likely to influence their purchase decision compared with other types of digital promotions. In addition, a strong majority of consumers will redeem a digital coupon code within three days of receiving it, and nearly one-third will redeem it immediately.

Times Using A Digital Coupon, Offer, Or Online Promotion Code In The Past Three Months

Times Using ≤ 3 Mos.

% of Respondents

1 to 5

70%

6 to 10

16

11 to 20

9

21 to 49

4

50 or more

2%

Source: Forrester Consulting/RetailMeNot, August 2014 

Given these salient data points, says the report, it is clear that retailers need to master the digital coupon process and identify the right partners. According to Forrester, the study yielded five key findings: 

  • Consumers are using tablets and smartphones to view digital coupons as well as redeem them either online or in-store; however, the desktop and laptop computer are still the primary devices by which consumers view digital coupons and promotions
  • The primary means by which coupons are received continues to be email. However, native apps using location awareness technologies and coupon sites are also on the rise and being put to use by leading-edge retailers
  • There’s a real opportunity for retailers to master the digital coupon process. Easy redemption, mobile-formatted coupons, and a balanced marketing plan will drive users to the store and online properties, which provides opportunities for conversion and increased spend by consumers 
  • Customers continue to believe that coupons do not dilute brand perceptions; in fact, they strengthen loyalty. This perception continues to hold true as much as it did since the last commissioned study in 2011
  • Customers are likely to spend more than anticipated in-store when using coupons, so it’s critical for retailers to make the redemption process part of the customer-selling model

Over a three-month period, 68% of consumers today have made between one and 10 purchases online. Of those, 86% have used a digital coupon. Consumers continue to make purchases in the typical areas that one would expect. Restaurants, bath and beauty, and home and garden tend to be the most top-tier categories where consumers have made their purchases online or in-store. The next group of retailers, where purchases tend to be made more online than in-store, includes consumer electronics, books, movies, and music, as well as gifts and flowers.

Purchases Made Online In The Past Three Months

Purchases

% of Respondents

1 to 5

38%

6 to 10

30%

11 to 20

20%

21 to 49

9%

50 or more

2%

Source: Forrester Consulting/RetailMeNot, August 2014 

An overwhelming 59% of consumers stated that of the different types of promotions a retailer can employ, digital coupons still hold the most sway when it comes to influencing a consumer’s purchasing decision (see Figure 2). This continues to reinforce a key finding from Forrester’s 2011 Thought Leadership Paper.

Types Of Digital (Online Or Mobile) Promotions Most Likely To Influence Purchase Decisions

Promotion Influence

% of Respondents

Coupons or coupon codes

59%

Sales

28%

Daily deal vouchers

9%

Source: Forrester Consulting/RetailMeNot, August 2014 

Coupons continue to positively affect brand and loyalty. What also continues to be true from 2011 is that 68% of customers strongly believe that digital coupons have a positive impact on a retailer’s brand, and 68% of consumers also stated that coupons generate loyalty. Similarly, a digital coupon increases the potential for conversion when consumers are in the cart and checkout phase of a purchase and plays a key role in combating shopping cart abandonment. 63% percent of consumers surveyed said a promotion or a coupon often closes the deal if wavering or undecided on making a purchase.

Extent Of Agreement With The Included Statements (5=Strongly Agree; 1=Strongly Disagree

 

Strongly agree

Strongly disagree

 

Don’t know

 

5

4

3

2

1

MORE likely to buy a product or service at full price later from a company that offers online coupons or promotion codes

22%

28%

29%

10%

7%

5%

MORE likely to be loyal to a brand that offers online coupons or promotion codes

29%

39%

23%

3%

3%

3%

LIKELY to tell a friend about a company that uses online coupons or promotion codes

34%

34%

22%

4%

4%

2%

Source: Forrester Consulting/RetailMeNot, August 2014 

In addition to being loyal, customers are also very open to trying a new brand when receiving a coupon on a smartphone. In fact, 47% of those surveyed stated they are open to doing so. These points all add up to good news for retailers and continue to reinforce that this marketing tactic can make all the difference when it comes to generating new customers, encouraging existing customers to spend more, and driving customers to a retailer’s brick-and-mortar locations.

Likelihood Of Action Upon Receiving A Digital Coupon, Offer, Or Online Promotional Code On Smartphone While Shopping In A Store 

Likelihood ToTry a new brand

% of Respondents

   Not at all likely

14%

   Probably not likely

11%

   Maybe

28%

   Somewhat likely

27%

   Very likely

20%

Likelihood To Switch brands

 

   Not at all likely

14%

   Probably not likely

14%

    Maybe

37%

   Somewhat likely

23%

   Very likely

13%

Source: Forrester Consulting/RetailMeNot, August 2014 

Digital coupons are still primarily delivered the good old fashioned way through email, and consumers are increasingly using tablets and phones to both find and redeem them. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed for this study stated that they used at least three digital coupons on their tablet, slightly outpacing the use of the desktop computer (see Figure 5).

However, retailers can’t ignore the momentum of mobile adoption. The report predicts that US mobile phone and tablet commerce will top $114 billion by the end of 2014. While smartphone revenue in 2014 should total $38 billion, tablets are expected to top that, with a total of $77 billion.

30% of those redeeming a coupon on a tablet redeem it immediately, says the report, and 60% of consumers receiving a coupon via a smartphone redeem it immediately or within several hours. Receiving a deal or savings via digital coupon can be the tipping point for a consumer to “press buy” online or to walk into a store and make the purchase in real time.

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