7 Ways to Use Digital Coupons to Grow Your Retail Sales

How to Use Digital Coupons to Grow Your Retail Sales

Do you use coupons to attract customers to your retail store? Today’s deal-hungry consumers have come to expect coupons as a part of doing business, and if you want to keep up with your competitors, you’d better be offering deals on a regular basis.

Digital coupons are becoming a popular marketing tactic—especially for smaller stores. In fact, according to a recent report, 2017 State of Mobile Offers, smaller stores now surpass larger retailers in the speed with which they are adopting digital and mobile couponing.

How to Use Digital Coupons

Paper or Digital?

The use of mobile coupons is on the rise overall, increasing 42 percent from last year, another study by Valassis reports. But while digital coupon use is growing, paper coupons are far from obsolete. Some 88 percent of all consumers and 91 percent of millennials use paper coupons, Valassis found.

Forty-three percent of shoppers in the Valassis study say they “always” or “very often” use coupons. In fact, the number that always use coupons rose substantially, from 10 percent last year to 15 percent in 2017.

Millennials, in particular, are increasing their use of both paper and digital coupons. Some 90 percent of millennial shoppers actively search for mobile coupons and offers when they’re shopping.

When making decisions about where to shop, parents are more likely than the average consumer to be influenced by coupons and deals. Forty-seven percent of parents say they have shopped at retailers other than their normal stores because they saw better advertised deals.

Go Mobile

You’re probably already offering paper coupons, but if you haven’t yet incorporated mobile coupons into your mix, what are you waiting for? Mobile coupons have the potential to drive customers to your store. Consider:

  • More than two-thirds of consumers in the Valassis survey say the discounts they receive on their mobile devices influence where they shop.
  • 58 percent of customers say they visit a store after receiving a mobile offer.
  • More than 40 percent of employed survey respondents say they would shop close to their workplaces more often if nearby retailers sent them coupons.

Once consumers are in your store, the effect of mobile coupons is still strong:

  • More than half (55 percent) of shoppers report using their smartphones to look for mobile coupons while in-store.
  • 51 percent of shoppers will make a purchase based on receiving a mobile notification while in-store.
  • 77 percent of consumers spend more in-store when they are using a mobile coupon.

Make Them an Offer

While mail is still the preferred way to receive coupons, interest in digital offers is growing rapidly. How can you share digital offers? Here’s how to use digital coupons to grow your retail business.

  1. Combine print and digital couponing for best results. “Shoppers value savings whether in print or digital formats,” the Valassis report concludes.
  2. Use mobile marketing to reach existing customers who agree to accept marketing texts from you. You can target customers based on factors such as where they live and their current location.
  3. Post coupons on your business website.
  4. Share discount offer codes on couponing or discount sites.
  5. Post discount offer codes on social media, and encourage followers to share your offers to spread the word about your store.
  6. Encourage your customers to share the deals they got at your store on social media. Parents and Hispanic consumers, particularly like to let friends and family know when they have gotten a deal: 79 percent of parents and 80 percent of Hispanic consumers tell others about their savings.
  7. Advertise offers on websites or blogs about couponing or frugal living, or provide content for these blogs and link to your offers.

Digital Coupon Photo via Shutterstock

Rieva Lesonsky Rieva Lesonsky is a Columnist for Small Business Trends covering employment, retail trends and women in business. She is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her blog, SmallBizDaily, to get the scoop on business trends and free TrendCast reports.