Flat design vector illustration concept with icons of retail commerce and marketing elements such as promotion, coupon, discount and various shopping and money economy sign and symbol. Isolated on stylish color background

Digital coupons are powerful tools in the online shopping world. They entice regular customers to make additional purchases and attract new shoppers to your store, giving you the chance to dazzle them with other fabulous products. Some customers may even think about abandoning their cart, but decide against it after they earn a checkout coupon.

Coupons are an important marketing tool that savvy store owners can’t ignore, especially during the holiday selling season.  Let’s review some of the ways that coupons can help increase your traffic and sales:

  • Branding: Coupons get talked about, shared, liked, and are a fantastic word-of-mouth tool. They help your customers remember your business, even if they can’t remember the specific deal that was offered.
  • Attracting new customers: Speaking of using coupons as a word-of-mouth tool, new customers will be chomping at the bit to get their hands on a discounted product, especially if they hear about it from someone they trust.
  • Customer loyalty: We’ve all heard the old saying that it’s cheaper to keep a current customer than attract a new one. Reward your loyal customers with discounts on their favorite products or frequently purchased items, and they will keep coming back for more.
It’s clear that coupons are essential for your online business success, but how do you get started? Follow these steps to make the most of your coupons during the holiday season.

Plan Your Coupons Ahead of Time

The Volusion platform is great for planning ahead because it allows you to set up coupons at any time and schedule them to start at a future date. So, get set up now and leave the marketing for later!

The platform also allows for a huge amount of customization based on your needs. Some of these features include: a limited time function, an amount off the entire cart, or a discount limited by products and categories. At this point, knowing your customer is the key to success. Would they be more motivated by a dollar off coupon or a free gift when they spend a certain amount? Once you’ve decided on deals, you’re ready to create coupon codes. Head over to our Knowledge Base to get everything set up.

Keep in mind the difference between coupons and discounts within the Volusion software. Discounts are automatically added when a customer fulfills a certain requirement, while coupons require an extra step by inputting a code. Coupons are extremely useful for marketing purposes, but discounts could turn a potential abandoned cart into a sale. Think carefully about which type you need and when before setting up your holiday deals.

Get Creative with Your Coupons

A traditional holiday crowd pleaser is the 12 Days of Christmas coupons. Pick a different item to put on sale each day. This method is sure to keep customers constantly engaged and promote frequent visits to your site and social channels.

Do some critical thinking about your client base and what they’re most interested in. For example, a site that sells fitness supplies might run a “Turkey Trot” coupon during Thanksgiving weekend to encourage customers to purchase products that will motivate them to work off the holiday meal.

Remember: stay away from coupons that offer free shipping. In this day and age, free shipping is an expected benefit and not considered a deal by many consumers. Offering free shipping as a coupon can feel cheap and turn potential customers away. But, by all means, use this as a carefully placed selling point on your homepage or template design.

Marketing Your Deals

No one will know about your coupons unless you promote them! Use your social media channels to blast followers about deals, and consider spending a few bucks to boost your Facebook posts for added exposure. Coupon posts have a high likelihood of being shared, so make sure you create a fun and enticing graphic that includes your logo!

Email campaigns are also very successful, especially if you target loyal customers with a coupon for frequently purchased items. Once they’re on your site, use the homepage and template real estate to convince them to add extra items to their cart for a larger discounted value.

Unsure of what your customers would like? Ask them! Post two products side by side and ask which item they prefer. Once you have enough data, create and run a targeted coupon for that product. You customers will love the fact that you listened, and you will love that items are flying off your shelves.

With so many benefits and very few risks, coupons should be an essential part of your online marketing strategy. By planning your deals ahead of time, you can maximize your profits this holiday season and build a new customer base that you can market towards all year long.