Coupons have been around for over 130 years and have been a very successful marketing tool used by hundreds of thousands of businesses throughout the decades to attract customers and increase profits. Of course the face of coupon marketing strategies has changed and although the old-fashioned paper coupons are still available, digital coupons have become far more popular with both businesses and consumers.
But are coupons as effective at actually providing consumers with savings?
The answer to this question lies in the psychology behind why coupons are such an effective marketing tool and how consumers can use this to their advantage.
4 various sized stacks of US 1 dollar bills arranged in ascending order on blue shelf, yellow background
Coupons create a sense of permission being granted to purchase an item that a person would not normally buy or try out for the first time. The fact that they may be saving money actually causes them to spend more money. This results in most consumers spending money that they would normally not have spent which is great for the business but no so great for the consumer. In addition to this, consumers are far more likely to make repeated purchases of the same product without a coupon in the future when they have used a coupon to try the item for the first time.
But this does not mean that coupons are necessarily bad for consumers. When used correctly, they can result in huge savings. For example, buying big ticket items with a coupon can result in big savings. Big ticket items are not normal or regular purchases and the saving from a coupon can provide a consumer with a quality item that they can afford. Quality items last longer and the savings are therefore immediate and long term. So look for coupons when making expensive once-off purchases or purchases that are made rarely.
Buying in bulk can also provide you with huge savings when using online coupons. These coupons often don’t restrict the number of items of the same product that you can purchase on one coupon code. The more you buy, the more you will save with a once-off purchase. Keep in mind that your second or following purchases probably won’t provide you with a coupon discount so buying more on your first purchase is far more beneficial.
Don’t be pulled in by marketing ploys that use coupons to tempt you to make a purchase that you would not normally make. Rather look for coupons offered by companies that produce the products or items that you want to purchase.
And last but by no means least, remember to compare prices and coupon discounts from different suppliers. Some suppliers will offer greater discounts than others. Also keep in mind that certain online providers may work the perceived discount from a coupon into the price of the item or products meaning that you will actually be paying the full price for the item. So make sure to first research what the normal price would be before buying from a specific supplier just because they are offering a coupon.