Coupons are a proven way to increase sales for small businesses. E-coupons offer online small businesses the same advantage, and are easy to implement. All you need is a shopping cart program that allows your customers to enter in a coupon code.
The coupon code is a series of numbers and letters that your customer will need to enter in before they finalize their checkout. This code will integrate with your shopping cart software to apply the set discount amount. Read more about Choosing a Shopping Cart Program for Your Website.
There are many different ways that you can issue e-coupons to your customers. Here are a few different ways you can distribute your e-coupons.
Customer loyalty programs. You can reward frequent shoppers by issuing e-coupons to them after they reach a set dollar amount or number of purchases. This is a great incentive for customers to continue to purchase from your store.
A reward for returning. If your customers tend to buy once and never return, offer them an e-coupon towards a future purchase. You can do this after checkout or send the coupon by email when you confirm the order.
Incentives. E-coupons are a great way to encourage "on the fence" shoppers to purchase from your online store now, instead of waiting for a better deal or shopping elsewhere. Instant e-coupons can be used for free shipping or for a percentage discount. Are There Differences Between Major Shipping Companies?
First-time customer benefit. Many online businesses convert browsers into buyers by offering them a special deal. However, you will need to be able to keep track of your customers to make sure that no one abuses this system.
Increasing add-on sales. If you have several related items, you can use e-coupons to upsell or cross sell these items to your existing customers. For example, if a customer purchases a digital camera from you, you can include an e-coupon towards the purchase of an extra flash or media card.
Subscriber incentives. If you send an e-newsletter to keep in touch with your customers, you can use e-coupons as a reward for signing up for your publication. Newsletters are a proven way to increase your sales and allow you to offer special "subscriber-only" e-coupons to increase sales and build your subscriber database.
These are just a few of the ways that you can use e-coupons to increase your sales. Be creative with your e-coupon options. Each company will have different needs, but the vast majority can benefit by adding e-coupons to their marketing arsenal.