7 Great Ways To Use Online Coupons To Bring In More Sales

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When shopping online, very few people anticipate paying full price for the items and services they acquire. There are sure to be coupon codes available for use on your next online purchase, thanks to the large number of merchants currently giving new client discounts and digital coupons.

In order to maximise sales conversion rates and client loyalty, retailers often include coupons and discounts in their marketing efforts.

Even though buyers value savings, digital coupons may be an effective tool for developing a brand’s social media presence, building an email marketing list, and increasing the number of people who visit a mobile website.

The most astute online shoppers know how to take advantage of sales and utilise coupons in tandem with other offerings and cash-back reductions to get the most bang for their buck. In the case of retailers, this might represent a less profitable transaction.

Consumers who purchase online or through their mobile devices are driving marketers to increase their supply of digital coupons (another 28 percent increase over the previous year, and this trend is expected to continue) to fulfill the demand.

How can retailers implement a digital discount strategy while still achieving their sales and profit objectives? Let’s have a look and see.

What Are Digital Coupons and How Do They Work?

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The use of digital coupons is a type of promotion in which merchants give discounts and incentives to present and potential customers. When it comes to digital coupons, the majority of them are designed to entice consumers to make a purchase on the retailer’s website by giving a percentage discount, free delivery, or some other type of discount.

Coupons that are printed vs those that are digital

There are a few subtle distinctions between physical coupons and their digital counterparts, despite the fact that their primary purpose is the same.

Physical coupons are far more expensive to include in your marketing approach than digital discounts. The printing, insertion, and distribution expenses of physical coupons are incurred, but digital coupons may be sent by text, email, and other automatically produced messages at no cost.

Digital discounts are extremely simple to distribute, but they might get buried in the stream of emails that most people’s inboxes now get on a regular basis.

There are several different kinds of deals, coupons, and discounts

There are several sorts of discounts and deals available to you, and you may choose from a variety of them. Let’s have a look at a few of the most often encountered:

  • Discount based on a percentage
  • Discount in terms of money
  • Free Shipping
  • Free Gift

Discount based on a percentage

The use of percentage-based discounts is a popular method of offering discounts to customers. Incentives such as 5 percent or 10% off, greater discounts to truly push sales such as 20% and 25% off, or major percentages such as 50% and more off to sell a product that is outdated or isn’t moving can be used to do this.

If you want to give discounts based on certain purchases, you may do so with Shopify by creating a discount code that can be applied to numerous collections, goods, and locations. For example, you might say “Buy two shoes, get 50 percent off any sweater.”

Discount in terms of money

Credit can be applied to a dollar-value-based offer to disguise its true nature. It gives the impression that consumers are squandering their money if they do not use it. In order to maximise its impact, combine one of these offers with a minimum purchase quantity, such as “Spend $200, receive $20 off.”

The “rule of 100” is a simple strategy to remember when selecting whether to provide a percentage or a set sum discount on a given product. If your item is less than $100.00, a percentage discount should be applied; if it is more than $100.00, a fixed amount discount should be applied. This is a psychological response that will result in your consumers’ perception of value being the highest possible.

Free Shipping

One of the most common reasons for shopping cart abandonment is the expense of shipping. The provision of free delivery is an excellent means of mitigating this and increasing conversions.

To improve your average order value, combine free shipping with a minimum spend requirement, which you can put up as a shipping parameter in Shopify to suit your needs. In order to maximise the value of your free shipping offer, you may combine it with other special promotions, such as a 20 percent discount coupon for email subscribers, to make it more valuable.

Free Gift

It is possible to provide more value to customers by offering them a free present in exchange for their purchase. It may also be used to boost the average order size and to get clear of stuff that isn’t selling well if it is done in a planned manner.

A minimum spending requirement or volume requirement may be established in Shopify utilising a Buy X, Get Y discount in order to give a free gift with orders above $200 or if someone purchases 5 products.

Discounts that are applied automatically

Automatic discounts are applied to all qualified carts, and customers are notified of their availability on the cart page before proceeding to the checkout process. If you want to conduct a storewide offer on a certain product, category, or all of your items, this is a perfect method to do so without forcing customers to submit a discount coupon.

By skipping the code, you may promote more orders while also speeding up the checkout process. The results of a Shopify study conducted in September 2019 showed that customers who started checking out with a discount already applicable were 1.8 times more likely to make an order than those who did not.

Consumers also checked out 25 seconds faster with a fully automated discount than those who used a discount code.

Furthermore, after a discount has already been applied to their basket, consumers will not be required to leave checkout to search for a discount code—or to email you because they were unable to locate the code you supplied.

All of this adds up to a more seamless experience for your consumers, as well as the possibility of improved conversion rates for yourself.

Coupons and promotional codes

Discount codes are unique codes that your clients must input during the checkout process in order to redeem a particular deal. The use of coupon codes has shown to be a reliable method of offering discounts to the appropriate individuals, whether that’s to everyone on your mailing list or a specialised section such as new subscribers or returning customers.

In addition, using discount coupons might assist you in tracking the performance of your marketing campaigns. Making a distinct discount code for each campaign you run can make it simpler to monitor the proportionate impact on sales when you’re running numerous promotions at the same time.

Digital coupons are not going away anytime soon.

There doesn’t appear to be any halt in the addition of digital incentives from merchants in their marketing campaigns at this time. We should expect it to reach its zenith over the holiday shopping season, with further incentives being provided on a selective basis long into the new year.

Consumers are becoming increasingly accustomed to receiving coupons in addition to product and promotional information. Retailers who do not provide them run the danger of being missed or losing business to the competition.

  1. Coupons are used by 90 percent of customers.

It is human nature to want to believe that they have obtained a “bargain.” Completing a purchase with a discount or incentive applied provides a nice feeling and is comforting (even if it is not as lucrative for the consumer).

  1. By 2022, digital coupon redemptions are expected to reach $90 billion.

Today, a great deal of work is spent on making coupon redemption as simple and quick as possible. Retailers must prioritise providing their customers with a positive user experience. It is essential to maintain and enhance one’s reputation and credibility as a trustworthy store.

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These figures will likely only continue to climb as more and more consumers become confident using their smartphones for mobile retail transactions as a result of developments in the design of mobile user interfaces (UI).

  1. A total of 63 percent of buyers said they would like to see more coupons accessible.

And who doesn’t want that? Additionally, shops that give coupons routinely see recurring business from clients who may have been difficult to recruit but who have become accustomed to receiving special treatment — in the form of discounts other privileged advantages — as a result of the coupons they offer.

  1. A study found the profit per email sent when including discounts increases by 48 percent.

An email has evolved into a highly successful method of distributing tailored material in an expedient way, which should come as no surprise. Marketing techniques that combine even the most basic degree of personalisation, such as content or product recommendations based on previous browsing or previous purchases, frequently outperform more generic communications.

If the receiver, the offer, the time, and the product mix are all good, tying a coupon to such a promotion might dramatically improve its impact.

7 Great Ways To Use Online Coupons To Bring In More Sales 2021

As soon as you’ve developed a sound, forecastable coupon plan, you’ll need to spread the word about it. Here are several tried-and-true techniques that won’t cost you a fortune. These are tried-and-true strategies that should provide favourable outcomes. You may also rerun some of these activities several times during the campaign’s period without causing attrition to the campaign.

  1. Send an email

Provide a coupon code in your emails if you are running clearance sales, launching new products, or otherwise promoting your business. Don’t forget about emails created by systems and transactional emails. Despite the fact that they have a specific goal, introducing an additional reward is a suitable test to assess results as long as the information is supplied first.

  1. The use of social media

Post a voucher that is only valid for 24 hours on your Twitter and Instagram stories! A sense of urgency and timeliness is created, as is a recipe for sharing success at its finest. Inviting a fan to spread the word about a good bargain enhances your visibility, engagement, and brand-building activities.

Because there are literally hundreds of different offers and sponsored advertising on people’s feeds, you’ll need to be inventive and imaginative in this situation. In order to turn this into a viable company, you must truly stand out from the throng. Make certain that relying on your coupon isn’t the sole important aspect.

  1. Ads

It is possible to include a coupon code in any image, whether it is on Facebook or on Google Display Network. This not only encourages clients to click, but it also provides you with valuable information about the channel they utilised. Paid advertisements are sometimes combined with incentives in order to cover part of the expenses while increasing volume.

  1. Text message (SMS)

More businesses are deciding to give discounts via text message in enabling consumers to use their mobile platform to complete their transactions. Permission is essential in this situation, yet opt-out rates are still extremely low and acceptable. Offering a discount in exchange for allowing SMS messaging is a terrific approach to increase the size of your text list.

Remember to use caution while texting because it is a new medium for merchants and may quickly cross the line between “what’s acceptable” and “what’s not” when communicating with customers.

  1. Including Affiliate Links

Providing affiliate links with discounts linked might be one of the most effective methods of encouraging people to make a purchase. Affiliate link sharing is the closest thing you’ll get to word-of-mouth marketing without really being there. Using an extensive network of affiliates may help you save money on marketing, acquisition, and advertising expenses.

  1. Coupon vouchers from influencers

Influencers will frequently have their own promo codes to share with their followers. Using this method, you may collaborate with an influencer, provide them with a unique discount code, and track the success of that particular influencer’s promotion.

  1. Physical occurrences

Participating in trade exhibitions, festivals, and other local events is a wonderful way to grow your brand. A coupon that contains incentives and show-only promotions, in conjunction with real-world, in-person marketing, boosts your chances of attracting new supporters and consumers by an order of magnitude.

Make Coupons Work for You and Increase Your Ecommerce Sales

Coupons, when used properly, may generate a significant amount of top-line income with only a modest investment in marketing funds. There is a cost, but there are significant rewards. Following is a list of some of the most significant possible advantages of implementing coupon promotions into your marketing initiatives.

  1. Get rid of things that aren’t selling or are moving slowly

Some merchandise just does not sell as well as others. What is the most effective method of getting away from these items? Offer a larger discount so that you can at least break even on the transaction. Sometimes a percentage reduction of as little as 10 percent is enough to get things flying off the virtual shelves.

Take into mind, however, your gross profit margin. Couponing isn’t only about making money; it’s also about saving money. It also provides a chance to gradually raise the number of coupons issued. It’s possible that a 15 percent discount is just as effective as the 25 percent discount you were ready to provide at the start.

  1. Create an email list for your business

Data is extremely useful, especially when it comes to information on future clients. Several online stores provide a minor discount to customers who join up for their email list. You can do the same thing and quickly establish a 2,000+ person email list by simply offering a 10 percent discount! Click here to learn more. Despite the fact that bigger discounts are being provided online, a ten percent discount is still a good inducement.

  1. Provide clients with incentives to spend more money

Incorporating expenditure thresholds is a great approach to increase average order values while also encouraging the usage of automated coupons during promotional times. If you want to include messages such as “You’re only $10 away from a 10 percent discount on your whole order!” it is not difficult to do so.

This provides the buyer with a compelling incentive to spend more time on your website and enhances the likelihood that they will add additional items to their order. Your customer would appreciate the convenience of using an auto-applied coupon or discount in this situation.

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  1. Evaluate the efficiency of the channel

Coupons can also be used to test other channels. If you use a separate 10% coupon on each of Instagram, Twitter, and an email campaign, you can evaluate which channel works the best overall.

However, while it is not a scientific test, it will provide you with information over time (provided there is sufficient volume) as to which channel your clients respond to such offers the most positively. This might provide you with some valuable insights about where you should direct your marketing efforts in the future.

  1. Increase the effectiveness of your recommendation campaign

The majority of referral schemes are based mostly on coupons and discounts. Referrals are given to both current customers and new consumers, often known as “friends.” Each participant receives a coupon in exchange for completing a task.

An existing customer brings new potential to the store and provides them with a coupon to use at the business. In exchange for placing an order with the new prospect, who has now become a customer, the original customer receives a discount or reward coupon that can be used on their next purchase.

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  1. Include a time limit in your proposal

“Order before December 31 at 12 p.m. to receive a 20 percent discount!”

Extremely powerful conversion drivers are based on the urgency factor, often known as FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). This type of time constraint will actually encourage a significant number of clients to check out. Make sure that your window of opportunity is real, but not so far into the future that it loses its usefulness or becomes ineffective.

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  1. Get feedback from your customers

“Complete a 5-minute survey and receive a 20 percent discount!”

These brief surveys have the potential to make a significant difference in your company in a variety of ways, and they are worth considerably more than the 20 percent coupon. As a whole, this knowledge might assist you in creating a far better experience and being less reliant on discounts in the coming years.

  1. Make a note of important holidays

It is possible to assist clients to rejoice with you by using “Santa Claus” as a promo code for Christmas, or “USA” for the Fourth of July. Utilising popular cultural identity in your marketing strategy is also more relevant and remembered than other methods. It is a recurring campaign that can be customised to match the specific demands of your company on an annual basis.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Using Coupons?

Despite the fact that there are several advantages, it is necessary to acknowledge the disadvantages. Keep these pitfalls in mind when including coupons in your advertising strategy.

  1. A decrease in perceived worth

Coupons, particularly when used to promote volume by merchants, have the potential to undermine the quality of a product and its product over time. The use of coupons is frequently connected with closeout merchandise, discount stores, end-of-life product, and the approach of simply moving a failing product off the shelves.

Despite the fact that the merchant has no intention of lowering the product offering, the somewhat negative stereotype that is connected with discounting a service or product which should be priced correctly in the first place will diminish the value and raise consumers’ expectations that they will be able to obtain it at a lower price in the future.

  1. Sales that are delayed and less lucrative

When coupons are employed in marketing on a regular basis, there is a distinct possibility that sales may be delayed. This is particularly true for returning consumers since you’re essentially teaching them to stay patient in the hopes of a better offer. Make careful you only offer coupons and incentives on certain things that require an extra push, rather than on items that are currently selling at a reasonable market price.

The added danger here is that it will negatively impact your bottom line. Coupons are a marketing expense that incurs additional costs, whether they are used to recruit new consumers or maintain existing ones. This is not a sustainable approach and will result in a greater rate of customer turnover than offering competitive prices for your items and giving an absolutely superb product and purchase experience.

  1. A greater number of people leave their shopping carts

You’ve probably placed an item in your shopping basket at an online retailer, only to become side-tracked and abandon your order. Thousands of businesses, many of which are unaware of it, unknowingly encourage their consumers to do this every day by having a visible coupon or discount code field in their checkout experience.

Customers who had every intention of purchasing without an additional incentive have suddenly discovered a cause to search for a discount online, increasing the likelihood that their basket would be abandoned if they are unable to locate one.

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Improving the checkout procedure and putting less emphasis on discount code entry areas may help you raise your checkout conversion rate, allowing you to fulfill your revenue targets without having to rely on less lucrative purchases to achieve them

Do Digital Coupons Come in a Variety of Forms?

Despite the fact that there is a plethora of coupons available that may be used in a variety of ways, these are the most frequently seen. Retailers are constantly on the lookout for creative methods to engage customers and keep them on their websites for extended periods of time. This may entail a reward or inducement in the form of a voucher that may be used on their next purchase, among other things.

Retailers may also request a transaction in exchange for such value, which might be in the form of data. Retailers will delay or “gate” a discount until you’ve completed their request, such as providing your email address, completing a survey, or providing other information they may use to better personalise your shopping experience. In the form of a popup or an onscreen survey, it’s pretty unusual to encounter anything like this.

  1. Coupons that can be downloaded

Consumers may get their hands on these kinds of coupons from a variety of different sources. Customers can download coupons through a company’s website, straight from an email, or through social media platforms such as Facebook. Most of the time, these discounts may be accessed using mobile devices as well as desktop computers.

  1. Coupons that can be used on mobile devices

Mobile-only coupons are offered by e-commerce platforms that have incorporated mobile apps into their operations in order to promote more sales through this channel.

  1. Promotional codes

The increasing popularity of e-commerce has played a significant role in the proliferation of promotional codes. This type of discount is more convenient than downloading a coupon since it allows the customer to complete the transaction at the point of sale.

These codes are made up of a combination of brand-specific digits and letters, and they are frequently entered throughout the checkout procedure. They can be one-time-use codes that are tailored for a certain user, or they can be a standard code that can be shared with others.

  1. Discounts that are applied automatically

Due to the fact that consumers do not have to do anything in order to earn a discount, discounts that are immediately added at checkout are becoming increasingly popular. As a result, online businesses are able to reduce the number of time clients spend in their shopping carts and the amount of money they spend on their products.

Offers, coupons, and discounts are suitable for whoever they are intended

As previously said, an online shop offers may be an excellent strategy for not only acquiring new customers but also for building client loyalty over the long term. Before you begin giving discounts, it’s vital to take a step back and analyse your whole branding approach.

If you want to promote yourself as a higher-end brand or if your margins are tight, you may want to try keeping to customer loyalty programmes rather than weekly sales to achieve your goals. Deep discounting and daily or weekly sales, on the other hand, maybe more effective in meeting your sales targets if your margins are high.

Finally, you must assess whether or not offers are appropriate for your brand, as well as which types of offers are appropriate for your brand. Building an internet business will almost always entail a great deal of trial and error to determine what works best for you. The most effective strategy is to set a target for each campaign and offer, start off small, and track the outcomes.


Coupons are unquestionably an appealing method of increasing volume and sales. The incorporation of these strategies into your marketing mix will help you to fast develop your client database while momentarily increasing your conversion rates.

If you want to provide quality items and fair pricing, there is no substitute for doing so. But when the competition intensifies or customer expectations require it, coupons are a terrific way to support such efforts.

Plan ahead of time and set a realistic budget, because being addicted to couponing may be a highly expensive and unsustainable technique that many businesses cannot afford. Coupons alone will not help you establish brand equity, but providing a far greater experience in conjunction with a clever coupon strategy and a high-quality product can help you do so.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

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