Both storefront and online retailers recognize that store coupons are a valuable marketing tool. The incentive of saving money lures in customers to stores and e-commerce sites. Store coupons can be used in a variety of ways depending on the needs of the retailer: to attract new customers, reward loyal customers, highlight a particular product, move overstock or discontinued items, or to draw in customers from competing stores.
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In Store Coupons
Store coupons are distributed through various media, from print media, the most traditional means of coupon distribution, to the latest online coupon technologies. Newspapers, inserts, coupon catalogs, coupon books, flyers, and coupon mailers still remain a strong means of distribution of store coupons, but new technologies such as online printable coupons, coupon codes, on-demand coupons, receipt coupons, and mobile phone coupon technologies are becoming more popular among retailers and consumers. These new technologies allow for efficient and targeted means of marketing of store coupons directly to consumers.
Most consumers are familiar with receipt coupons; those in store coupons that are printed at checkout either on the back of, or in additional to, the consumers receipt. Receipt coupons are a widespread means of distributing in store coupons and can be directly targeted towards consumers by demographic or by purchase habits. The coupon printer detects which products that a consumer is purchasing at that moment, and can print out, along with the receipt, in store coupons that are targeted towards the same or similar products. In addition, if the consumer is using a customer rewards card, the coupon printer may have access to demographic information and purchase history on the consumer and can use that information to print targeted in store coupons for the consumerís next visit.
Another form of coupon distribution that has become popular in recent years is on-demand coupons. These are in store coupons that are found in isle of grocery stores, often with a blinking light or "On Sale" label. They usually target a particular product or set of products and are located in the store accordingly. On-demand in store coupons are convenient and targeted. An interested consumer can push a button to print a sore coupon for the target product, located nearby, and redeem it at checkout.
Online printable coupons and coupon codes are the most popular of new technologies in store coupons. The two main types of online printable coupons are those that are store specific and those that are brand or product specific. Store specific online printable coupons can usually be printed from the retailersí web site or from a coupon portal web site, such as MySavings.com, that aggregates various store coupons into one location. Brand and product specific online printable coupons can be offered at the web site of the brand, manufacturer, retail store, or through a coupon portal web site. The other type of popular online coupon is coupon codes, which are redeemable "key codes" that are offered by online retailers and do not require a physical coupon. During checkout at an online store, a consumer can redeem a coupon code for a particular promotion, such as a discount or free shipping, simply by typing it.
Store coupons work for consumers, retailers, and brands. New technologies are making couponing easier and extending the reach to those consumers that traditional coupon clipping did not appeal. Undoubtedly, as online presence and new technology grows, there will be more ways for companies to distribute and more consumers who store coupons.