How Important Are Coupon Sites in Ecommerce?
There’s not a lot of information about how consumers interact with coupon sites. In order to remedy this, Commission Junction, one of the biggest affiliate networks in America, performed a study that delved into the habits of shoppers who use coupon websites. They uncovered key factors that customers find useful in their search for online coupons.
Searching for Deals
It’s no secret that a powerful coupon can turn a customer from one brand to the other. But do customers quit looking when they find a killer deal? CJ revealed that the answer is no. Even when presented with a steep discount, 57% of customers surveyed still felt like they had to turn to dedicated coupon sites to find the best deal.
“This means that even if a retailer has a coupon available at checkout”, explains Alex Papaconstantinou from UK coupon site Wikigains, “consumers will still leave the buying process for a short time, in search for a better coupon in a voucher site”.
Stopping at Checkout
There’s a worrying trend among online customers to load up a shopping cart, proceed to checkout, and then stop and search around for the best coupon codes. CJ’s research indicates that this trend is pervasive: 63% of those surveyed look for third-party coupon codes often, while a hefty 20% will search for codes no matter what.
Customers leaving your site is pretty bad for business. CJ found that more than half (57%) of the customers they talked to frequently wind up with a different retailer after they search for codes. In other words, even if you can get customers to visit your site, choose items they want to buy, and begin the checkout process, you can still lose your sale to a competitor with better coupon marketing.
Where do they go?
CJ found that consumer web habits vary by quite a lot. It’s hard to guess where an individual will turn for coupon codes. Comparison sites, social media sites, cashback sites, and search engines are all popular choices. Coupon sites were the second most popular option, losing only to search engines. Many consumers indicated that they look for multiple discount angles on their purchases through rewards programs, cashback sites, and online shopping comparison sites. At the end of the day, however, CJ’s survey discovered that customers find coupon sites to be the most useful source of online discounts.
Coupon: A Universal Practice
A whopping 98% of the consumers CJ surveyed said that they actively use coupon sites in order to evaluate multiple retailers. Over half (53%) actively seek out coupons for specific items that they intend to purchase.
The Tipping Point
For many respondents, coupons were a driving factor behind actual purchase decisions. 54% of consumers were confident that coupons had tipped the balance in favor of purchasing an item they were on the fence on. About the same number (53%) of customers also said that coupons were key influences on totally unplanned purchases.
Use Coupons to Win, Not to Lose
The data uncovered by Commission Junction indicates that there’s a powerful trend towards coupon marketing. Over half of all customers will frequently search for discount codes on third-party sites while they go through the checkout process. Since nearly all of the customers surveyed were willing to switch brands to get a better deal, this makes it extremely important to make sure that coupons for your site are seeded throughout third party coupon websites all over the web.