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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : December 15, 2010

What consumers really want from your coupons

With consumers expected to spend more this holiday season, some brands may have forgotten that these same consumers are still looking for deals. How do they do that? They watch ads, read sales flyers and search for coupons. A recent Ipsos study found that 21% of consumers are 'regularly searching' for coupons/deals online.

by Kristina Knight

offers canada logo.jpg"Consumers [increasingly] expect a rich, customer-centric experience when using coupon and deal sites - to be successful, discount sites need to be attractive 'destinations' for consumers. Over time that will help consumers develop the habit to start their online shopping with sites like, helping them save both time and money," said Brian Tannis, Vice President of Product with

What deals are savvy shoppers searching out? Free shipping is a given, and many will look for dollars-off for a total purchase rather than a single coupon for Huggies Diapers, for example. Still others are looking for rewards/loyalty program benefits, vacation help and other 'alternative' offers.

"We see a tremendous amount of variety in types of offers used based on consumer demographics, shopping 'needs' and seasonality. Certainly anything with 'big' discounts or dollars off gets attention, but we find consumers are increasingly savvy about what offer will save them the most - and that it varies by time of year and need," said Tannis. "For example...In the case of retailers offering free games with the purchase of a gaming system, the customer set motivated to get family-oriented games is a different audience than the one motivated to get the latest or greatest 'gamer' games. For retailers, the bonus needs to resonate with their target consumer."

In addition to knowing a brand's core audience, marketers need to take trends into account. Twenty years ago, it was enough to include a coupon in the Sunday Circular. Today's consumer's, however, are searching out specific deals and don't necessarily want to page through the Sunday paper to find them.

"Comparison shopping statistics are increasingly being used as a retail selling point in online stores, but that [consumers] don't always take into account use of available online coupons and deals for additional potential savings," said Tannis. "There is strong growth potential for online coupon and deal sites - especially as consumer awareness of the potential savings they offer continues to grow."

Tags: Brian Tannis, ecommerce,, online coupons, online shopping, rewards clubs

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