Digital Coupons Build Loyalty and Drive W-O-M, Say Users

August 12, 2014

RetailMeNotForrester-Digital-Coupons-Positive-Brand-Effects-Aug2014When it comes to the types of digital promotions most likely to influence purchase decisions, coupons beat out sales and daily deal vouchers by a wide margin, according to [pdf] a survey of 500 US consumers who used a digital coupon, offer, or online promotion code in the prior 3 months. The study, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of RetailMeNot, also finds consumers professing to word-of-mouth and loyalty benefits for brands offering online coupons or promotion codes.

Some 68% of respondents agreed (top-2 on a 5-point scale) that they are likely to tell a friend about a company that uses online coupons or promotion codes, and an equal 68% agreed that they are more likely to be loyal to a brand that offers online coupons or promotion codes. Lest that loyalty be to price rather than brand, the survey also indicates that half are more likely to buy a product or service at full price later from a company that offers online coupons or promotion codes.

Digital coupons can also drive consumers to try new brands – and even induce some to switch brands, per the study. Almost half of the respondents reported being very (20%) or somewhat (27%) likely to try a new brand if they received a digital coupon, offer or online promotion code on their smartphone while shopping in a store. Respondents were less likely to say they would switch brands in this scenario, although 36% professed to being very (13%) or somewhat (23%) likely to do so.

Previous research has found a significant portion of consumers ascribing keen influence to coupons (not just digital coupons) when making brand decisions, although two-thirds of those influenced by coupons said they use them to buy familiar brands rather than to try new ones.

In other results from the RetailMeNot survey,

  • Retailer emails are the primary source of digital coupons, offers or online promotion codes among those who had used a computer to find one (with this finding true for tablet users also);
  • Social media was a lesser source of digital coupons, with this likely to fall even further given Facebook’s decision not to allow Pages to incentivize likes through rewards;
  • The vast majority of digital coupon users used them within days of finding them;
  • Half of respondents say they’re more likely to visit a store if they receive a coupon for that store; and
  • A slight majority of those who had used a smartphone to find a coupon spent more money during their visit (online or in-store) than they had originally anticipated.

About the Data: In the study, Forrester conducted an online survey of 500 US consumers who use digital coupons found on computers, tablets, and smartphones to evaluate digital coupon behaviors and attitudes on various devices. Survey participants had all used at least one digital coupon, offer, or online promotion code within the past three months.

6 in 10 respondents are female and 37% are under 35. About two-thirds had made 1-10 purchases online during the prior 3 months, and 7 in 10 had used a digital coupon, offer or online promotion code 1-5 times during that time span.

The study began in May 2014 and was completed in June 2014.

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