Hesitation is a big factor in online shopping. Sometimes shoppers find that the item they’re after is just a bit out of their price range. Or they’re unsure about making a purchase from an unfamiliar website. Even so, they might continue to view the item repeatedly. They might even place the item in their digital shopping cart. And still, they hesitate.
Statistics show that the global average cart abandonment rate is 75.6%, with approximately 25% of those shoppers abandoning their carts due to cost. Fortunately, eCommerce businesses have a tool in their marketing arsenal that’s enticing customers to take that final step: voucher codes. What are they, how do they work and why are they gaining so much traction in eCommerce marketing?
What are Voucher Codes?
SAVE20FALL, 5OFFBLACKFRIDAY, SHOEDEAL20, HALLOWEEN15… If you encounter one of these odd-looking word-number combinations during an online browsing session, you’re in luck. These voucher codes – also called discount codes or promo codes – give customers access to valuable savings on retailer websites.
“SHOEDEAL20” might appear under a picture of sneakers, plus the banner headline: “Last Chance – 20% Off.” A customer looking for cosmetics on October 31 might get the popup voucher code “HALLOWEEN15 – and a promise of 15% off makeup purchased that day. When customers type or cut & paste the voucher code into a field at checkout, the cost is automatically reduced by the corresponding amount.
Percentage discounts are most common, but voucher codes can be used to extend other kinds of deals, such as promotional prices, free membership, welcome offers, or free shipping. As with traditional print vouchers and coupons, companies determine a discount’s specifics and scope – a percentage discount on a single style, a range of products, or the entire product line or website.
They also decide how long they’re redeemable – often for a limited time only and sometimes delimited by a specific holiday window or seasonal shopping event. eCommerce websites might also place a limit on the number of total voucher codes they distribute, so customers are encouraged to act fast to get in on the promotion.
Convert New Customers
Clearly, voucher codes are terrific for customers. But businesses that offer them derive major benefits, too. That extra discount is what helps shoppers overcome their hesitancy and take a chance on that new brand. In fact, research shows that 57% of shoppers take the plunge and complete a first-time purchase when they redeem a coupon. But voucher codes don’t only reduce shopping cart abandonment rates, they turn those new shoppers into repeat customers. Getting that item at a better price point with a voucher code builds trust and shines a favorable light on the transaction, the product, the store and creates an ongoing relationship.
For a voucher marketing plan to be successful, a business’s voucher code distribution strategy needs to align with its goals. Retailers that are eager to build brand recognition most of all might share a voucher or discount code broadly for general use, knowing that a generous voucher code could be misused or overused by some customers.
Many companies opt for a more tailored approach and use discount codes to draw a narrow band of desired clientele to their brand with the goal of converting them into first-time buyers, then repeat customers. In these cases, special software is used to generate an unlimited number of single-use promo codes that companies can distribute to intended recipients in various ways – through direct marketing, in an email marketing campaign or shared by an influencer.
Build Brand Loyalty
Vouchers and discount codes don’t only attract a steady stream of new customers. They do double duty by ensuring that existing clientele keeps coming back. Personalization and exclusivity are key to achieving return visits, and voucher codes open up several avenues for companies to accomplish this.
Customers that are already dedicated to your brand might not need a discount to make a purchase. At the same time, giving them a voucher code that rewards their ongoing brand loyalty makes them feel like the VIPs they already are. The code can be further customized to make the offer even more enticing.
Stores can use analytics tools to generate personalized voucher codes that take into account a customer’s past purchases. Much like choosing a gift, a just-for-you voucher shows that the business knows who the customer is what they want. Business can create unique single-use promo codes that incorporate the customer’s own name. They can send voucher codes at meaningful times – to celebrate a shopper’s birthday or the anniversary of their first purchase from the store. Nothing makes a customer feel more appreciated than a little bonus that’s tailored exclusively to them.
Voucher codes are a win-win. Businesses convert customers and build brand loyalty and customers get items and service they want at price points they love. Fast becoming a vital part of any successful eCommerce marketing strategy, voucher codes help brands build lasting connections with current and future customers and build value into every transaction through personalization and exclusivity.