Research Study Shows Online Coupons Drive Incremental Business and Generate New Users


Based on a survey of 504 U.S.-based coupon users and five in-depth interviews with e-commerce executives from large companies, key study findings concluded the following:

  • Online coupons and promotion codes drive incremental business: Offering coupons and deals generates new users and increases overall user spending. Active coupon users reported spending over $800 more per year with e-commerce merchants than less active coupon users ($1,850 versus $1,025). In addition, 74% of active coupon users indicated that they would be likely to try a new brand if they received a coupon or promotion code versus 54% of less active coupon users.
  • Online coupons and promotion codes positively influence the purchase cycle by reducing shopping cart abandonment, improving conversion rates and reinforcing positive feelings about brands. Additionally, 88% of respondents said that promo codes or coupons “close the deal” on their decision to make a purchase.
    • Reduced shopping cart abandonment: 60% of respondents indicated that if they received an online coupon or promotion code they would be more likely to reconsider purchasing a product that they had put in their shopping cart but had not bought.
    • Improved brand loyalty and reputation: 80% of respondents indicated that offering online coupons or promotion codes improves a company’s brand image, with an impressive 88% of respondents saying that they have positive feelings toward companies that offer coupons.
  • Visitors to coupon websites are an especially valuable segment of shoppers: These shoppers make more purchases online and spend more money online than the average online shopper. Visitors to online coupon sites made 18% more online purchases in the last six months and expect to spend 16% more than other shoppers in the next 12 months.

“Bucking the conventional wisdom, shoppers today see online coupons as brand-enhancing, and online shoppers who use coupons lack the traditional frugality — tending to shop more frequently and spend more money than shoppers who don’t use coupons,” said Matt Herzog of the Business Development Group at Rue La La and SmartBargains. “For online retailers, coupon users represent a large and powerful customer base with new ideas and high potential. As such, coupons must be a prominent aspect of any e-tail promotional strategy, offering online marketers a unique opportunity to reinvent the coupon in the minds of modern consumers.”

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