Customers are often loyal towards a particular brand mainly because they’ve had a positive experience with it in the past. AlexPapaconstantinou, the founder of UK coupon site WikiGains says, customer loyalty is based on several factors such as consistent quality products and services, great rewards, excellent customer support, etc. Some online merchants have specially designed customer loyalty programs to offer discounts and incentives to repeat customers.
A study by Stitch Labs revealed that repeat customers spend about 120 percent on online shopping over the course of a year. Loyal customers not only bring more profits, but also serve as the biggest advocates of your brand. One of the best ways to encourage customer loyalty is to offer good coupons and discounts from time to time.
Benefits and downsides of the online coupon offer
Online coupons, discounts,and deals are powerful weapons to drive customer loyalty, however, they must be used correctly. According to WikiGains, the right amount of discount, at the right time, can be highly beneficial for the brand. However, if not used correctly, they may become unprofitable or at worse, damage your brand image.
- They can be easily promoted on social media sites and coupon sites like WikiGains
- They help in building your brand image
- Releasing frequent discounts and deals remind customers of your brand
- They help online merchants attract more customers for clearance sales
- They encourage customer loyalty and also help with new customer acquisition
- They may damage brand image if not used correctly
- They may decrease customer visits after a ‘sale period’ as people get trained to wait for special offers
- They result in reduced profit margins
- They also attract non-loyal customers outside your target market
4 different types of coupons, offers,and discounts
Offering couponsand discounts is an important part of the overall brand strategy. If you have slimmer margins or you want to project your brand as high-end, better stick to customer loyalty programs. On the other hand, if your profit margin allows you to offer deep discounting, weekly or daily sales may be a good option.
Wikigains shows here four different types of coupons, offers,and discounts:
- Free shipping
High shipping costs are one of the main reasons for cart abandonment. Customers don’t want to pay for shipping after buying products from an online store. With free shipping, you can encourage more conversion and even get repeat business.
- Percentage-based offers
You can offer small percentage discounts like 5% or 10% on new items, large discounts of 20% or 30% to drive more traffic, and deep discounts like 50% or more to clear old items that aren’t moving. Visit Wikigains to see examples.
- Dollar-value based discount
This type of discount can be promoted as a credit and customers feel like they are wasting money if they don’t use the offer. The rule of thumb is to offer a fixed percentage of items that are less than $100 and a dollar-value discount on orders more than $100.It has a psychological impact on customers and results in more sales.
- Free gift
This is a great way to make customers happy and build brand image. When used correctly, it may increase order size or get rid of an item that’s not moving.
How do coupons impact your brand image?
Building an online business and creating brand value often needs a lot of experimentation to understand what works best. When you have good quality merchandise, offer good customer support and frequently release coupons and discounts, this can have a positive effect on your brand image. Wikigains says the best approach for any online retailer is to offer a small discount and measure results after every campaign.