How to Use Coupons to Build Your e-Commerce Website
By Nicholas Hurd
The good thing about e-commerce is, you don’t need to leave your 9-5 job to start an online store. Coupons are powerful tools that can attract customers to your e-commerce website whether they are new customers or repeat. However, they are not for everyone. You have to ensure that they fit into your brand strategy. Here are some tips to attract customers using coupons and discounts.
Coupons on Twitter
Offering coupons and discounts on Twitter- Twitter is a popular place to post coupon codes. Just make a list of your most popular items (or items you can afford to give a discount or a coupon on). Next, write a decent post promoting the coupon or discount. Add a picture of the item and a coupon code. Now append a hashtag to the post (with your brand name or keyword) and you are done. Tweet about the coupons a number of times. Just don’t duplicate the tweets.
You might also consider a Twitter ad. It’s similar to posting and reaches a different audience than your followers. Start with a $5 budget just to test the waters.
Coupons on Facebook
Offering coupons and discounts on Facebook- Facebook also allows hashtags now (you can post the same hashtags you used to promote the product on your Twitter account). To improve the response to your coupons and discounts, try uploading a photo of the product. Do append a short message about the coupon or discount to the post.
Marketing discounts and coupons on coupon websites- If you are really in a hurry to make that first sale, you can try putting coupons on coupon websites. These sites receive a lot of visits from people who are specifically looking for coupons. The drawbacks of these websites are, they cater to people who are looking for the cheapest prices and they won’t necessarily be brand ambassadors.
Using coupons without harming your brand
Coupons are good for customers but not so good for your brands. If you are not careful, coupons can cause tremendous losses. But used occasionally and strategically, coupons can be very useful. They can boost your online sales, increasing your market share. Here are some ways to use coupons without damaging your brand.
Coupons to Move Inventory
Using coupons to move inventory that won’t move on your e-Commerce website. The most obvious place to use coupons is to move inventory that is not selling. Inventory that won’t move can be very dangerous for your business. Coupon codes can move these goods. You can either provide a straight offer or give them away for free, if the customer orders for a particular amount. For example, “All toaster orders above $150 receive a free toaster cover. Coupon code: TOASTER01”.
Using coupons to show your appreciation to your customers- Loyal customers are your best friends. Pleasing old customers and keeping them loyal to your brand is easier than acquiring new ones. Emailing coupons and special discounts to your old customers is a good way to show your appreciation for their continued patronage of your brand and your e-Commerce website.
Using automatic rewards to reward customers- You can also apply automatic discounts to a new customer’s first purchase from your business, without informing them upfront. You can also consider waiving their shipping fee on the first order. Giving customers pleasant surprises is a good tactic to create lifetime customers.
Everybody likes discounts and coupons but you don’t want give them out on a regular basis. Otherwise, customers will think you are charging too much for the goods in the first place. Or, they will wait to make a purchase until a coupon or discount is available.
Sometimes, it is best not to reduce prices. This race to the bottom can have disastrous effects, so be careful. Why not offer better customer service or a unique brand experience. Still coupons and discounts have their place. E-commerce is all about finding out the best ways to serve your customers and give them the best value for their money. In this context, discounts and coupons can really help.