What are Coupon Codes?
Indigenous to online shopping, a coupon code is a code, consisting of letters, numbers or combination of both that consumers can enter when prompted into a promotional box on a site's checkout page. Coupon codes allow users to secure a discount on their purchase, such as a percentage off purchase, free shipping, or other discount. Online retailers offer coupon codes as an incentive to shoppers to make online purchases. Most online retailers do not advertise coupon codes directly on their web site as they do not want to disrupt their full retail pricing structure and lower their margins on all purchase. Instead they offer them discreetly via affiliate programs and other private member organizations to targeted user groups.
What are Promotional Codes?
A promo code, interchangeable with a coupon code, is a code that is associated with a marketing discount. For example, 1800Flowers might offer frequent customers to enter the promotion code "CORPSHOP15" at checkout to receive a 15% discount on their whole order. One or more unique promotion codes are associated with the discount. Promotion codes act as an eligibility requirement for the discount and qualify the shopper. When shopping, if the user enters a promotion code, the corresponding discount is looked up and applied if the all the conditions of the discount are met.
Why do retailers issue Coupon Codes or Promotion Codes?
The proliferation of online shopping has allowed retailers to implement internet pricing strategies and promotions separate from their in-store marketing tactics. Generally, retailers would prefer to drive traffic online as online stores are a more cost effective and efficient retailing apparatus. Accordingly, retailers, by using coupon codes can create one pricing structure in-store and separate one for online shoppers. Retailers utilize Coupons and Promo Codes as a consumer pull and can create specific terms for coupons linked to internal marketing objectives and inventory targets.
One of the key coupon code marketing strategies is the limited time offer. Retailers want to create a sense of urgency among shoppers and by putting an end date - usually with a short time frame - they force online shoppers to act immediately. Coupons, then, are a useful and powerful marketing tool that can be used to manipulate consumer behavior. Retailers can force a spike in sales at month's end to meet certain sales and corporate goals.
Retailers also use coupon codes as means of new customer acquisition and collecting the critically valuable shoppers' email address. They are willing to trade a lower profit margin on a transaction in exchange for incremental sales and a new customer's email address and contact information which they can market against.
What are different types of Coupon Codes?
Sitewide Discount: Sitewide coupons offer a discount on everything with no restrictions.
Full Priced Merchandise Only: These coupons and promo codes are valid on full-priced merchandise only and exclude Sale and Clearance items. Sometimes they will exclude "new arrivals" as well.
Extra Discount on Sale Merchandise: Retailers are eager to move Sale merchandise and often utilize coupons codes to provide user and extra percentage - typically 25% OFF - already reduced merchandise.
Threshold Offers: These are used to require a certain purchase amount before the coupon code is valid. A typical threshold offer would be 10% Off purchases of $100 or more.
Buy More Save More: Retailers use these coupons to lure shoppers to spend more in order to realize even great savings. A coupon code may offer 10% Off any purchase and 15% Off orders over $75 and 20% Off purchases that exceed $150. Consumers are lured into spending a larger dollar amount in exchange for great savings.
Friends & Family Sale: A bit of a misnomer as they are generally available to the general public, but they represent a deep discount - usually 25% OFF or 30% OFF all merchandise sitewide. Coupons codes for Friends & Family Sales are enormously popular and retailers usually enjoy a significant spike in sales in exchange for a compelling promo code.
Cyber Monday: Cyber Monday Coupon Codes - in nearly all circumstances - represent the single biggest discount of the year. Cyber Monday is the first Monday after Thanksgiving and coupon codes are strategically used as a second promotional wave following Black Friday to jump start holiday shopping. Cyber Monday offers are valid only for a single day.
Black Friday: Black Friday is the most famous shopping day of the year and Black Friday Coupons are used by retailers to jump start holiday shopping. Black Friday coupons are usually a ticket to deeper savings offered during other promotional periods. Black Friday is the Friday immediately after Thanksgiving and coupon and promo codes are general valid for that day only.
FREE SHIPPING: Free shipping coupon codes are popular among retailers to incent online purchases (some consumers resist buying online because of the additional cost of shipping versus picking-up in-store). Most retailers use Free Shipping Coupons with a minimum purchase threshold. Depending on the retailer, Free Shipping codes usually require a $50 or $100 purchase to become active. Free Shipping codes are frequently used by retailers that do not offer discounts on merchandise; it is a strategy of maintaining the integrity of the pricing structure while offering price relief in the form of Free Shipping.