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 are 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 researched how shoppers act when on coupon sites examining the users of one of America’s biggest coupon sites.
Among the questions, the researchers wanted to resolve whether the coupons affected buying decisions or whether shoppers found coupon sites to be of any use. Here is a look at some of the important issues the research revealed.
Discounts tramp brand loyalty.
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 particular trend is that customers harbour 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 seeking better discount deals in other places worthwhile for these shoppers.
As much as 57% of customers, the study found, believed that voucher websites would give them better discount rates than the retailers’ sites ever would. And 20% of them always left the checkout process searching for 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% purchasing from an entirely 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 buyers, especially in cosmetics and beauty, a booming industry online.
Most respondents (53%) also said 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 more valuable than cashback 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, cashback sites, and comparison sites.
Some of the study’s highlights include that about all the respondents to the survey (99%) would buy a retailer’s product if a better price were offered. “In other words”, says Alex Papaconstantinou from Wikigains, “shoppers are loyal to good deals. A good coupon strategically published by the retailer in a popular coupon site will purchase the buyer so much sweeter”.