Coupon sites have a key role in eCommerce. “If the World Wide Web had been one giant shopping mall, then the coupon sites would have been the entrance hall” says Alex Papaconstantinou, founder of Wikigains, one of the UK’s most established voucher and discount code websites.
Alex thinks that coupon sites is where online shoppers often start their shopping journey. However, how coupon seekers behave when on coupon sites is still a mystery to many retailers. This is something Commission Junction, a leading American affiliate network sort to change. The company did a research looking into how shoppers act when on coupon sites examining the users one of America’s biggest coupon sites.
Among the questions the researchers wanted resolved was whether the coupons had any effect on buying decisions, or whether shoppers found coupon sites to be of any use at all. Here is a look at some of the important issues the research revealed.
Discounts tramp brand loyalty
It seems that online retailers understand how important discounts and coupons are to customers, which is why coupon codes are often found on their sites today. And yet, these offers hardly seem enough for these shoppers – they still seek better deals on coupon sites. “The reason for this peculiar trend is that customers harbor the belief that they can always get a better discount on what they are purchasing off the retailer’s site” says the owner of Wikigains. That makes the effort to seek better discount deals in other places worthwhile for these shoppers.
As much as 57% of customers, the study found, were of the opinion that voucher websites would give them better discount rates than the retailers’ sites ever would. And 20% of them always left the checkout process in search of better coupon offers; while 63% regularly left a retailer’s site for the same reason.
An uncomfortable truth for retailers about these shoppers is that half of them will be lost in their desire to find a better deal. Barely half of those who leave come back; with 57% making their purchase from a completely different retailer.
How shoppers use coupon sites
As CJ researchers found out, customers have a lot of uses for a coupon site. Primarily, they use these sites to decide what to buy and where. In fact, about all respondents in the survey (98%) admitted to using the sites to compare the different offers retailers had. This was particularly common among young byers, especially in cosmetics and beauty, an industry that is booming online.
A majority of respondents (53%), also said that they use these sites to get giveaways and offers when they need to purchase a particular product. Not surprisingly, many participants in the study found coupon sites to be a lot more useful than cash back sites, comparison sites, and rewards sites.
Resources shoppers use when buying online
According to the research, it is not just coupon sites that are of interest to online shoppers; although they come second in popularity after search engines. Other resources commonly used include social media, blogs, cash back sites, and comparison sites.
In summary, some of the highlights of the study include the fact that about all the respondents to the study (99%), would buy a retailer’s product if a better price was offered. “In other words”, says Alex Papaconstantinou from Wikigains, “shoppers are loyal to good deals, and a good coupon strategically published by the retailer in a popular coupon site, will make the purchase for the buyer so much sweeter”.