Voucher Codes – An Added Cost That Is Open To Abuse Or A Valuable Customer Acquisition And Retention Tool?A research led presentation that explores the UK consumers approach to online shopping in a variety of vertical sectors. With the ever increasing volume of online voucher codes and money saving initiatives available to the consumer, has buying behaviour changed? This presentation will use real consumer information gathered by iCD Research to demonstrate how the customer journey and decision making process had changed during the credit crunch and how it has impacted the retailer.
Presenters Paul Dixon: Global Managing Director: Research Paul has a long and established background in market research, working in Australasia, the Americas, EMEA and the UK with clients that included Microsoft, the International Herald Tribune, O2, Tourism Australia and Virgin Money, to name a few. In 2005, he was appointed research and insight director of The iD Factor and 18 months later was responsible for the creation of the Group’s research consultancy division, iCD Research. Paul now oversees both expanding divisions. Gavin Male: Group Sales & Marketing Director Gavin is responsible for multi-divisional sales within TMN Group as well as supervising the marketing of the group and its divisions. Gavin has worked for the Group since April 2002 and during his career he has worked his way from a sales account manager, to Sales Director and then Managing Director of tmnmedia. Gavin has worked extensively in a number of online methodologies - Affiliate Marketing, Email and Lead Generation.
A history... 1887 - The first coupon appears.... The coupon culture explodes Investment from business Change to consumers mindset
The UK market for coupons 29% increase growth in coupon distribution 20% growth in total value redeemed from £400 m to £497m Direct mail dominating distribution with 47.1% of market share 54% of coupons delivered carry unique tracking codes Multi brand promotional offers amount for 20% of distribution Not a TRADITIONAL coupon culture..
Brands using voucher codes... Dell, M7S, currys, Argos... There are 1000’s of brands... The only one we’ve seen ‘backlash’ is John Lewis... Who ironically grew through voucher codes Present Day... 650% growth over the past 12 months (ISP) Sainsburys invest multimillions in a coupon loyalty scheme 10,800,000 results for ‘voucher codes’ in Google Over 50 websites paying for PPC clicks on Google. IAB regulates voucher codes best practise as of beginning of 2009 Majority of brands open to using online voucher codes.
A common held theory... Consumers follow a very long purchase process in order to get to their final purchase... Content and review sites... ...to cost comparison sites... ...to voucher code sites... ...to cashback sites... ...to the store and purchase... Cookies dropping here, there and everywhere.
We know the affiliate view... But what’s the consumer perspective...
FACT 2 Within the purchase process, consumers are taking different routes, variations and seeking numerous possibilities – all of which, are linked to the value proposition
We spoke to the population to see what had changed in the last 18 months The public said... 18 months ago, ‘coupons’ were something you would associate with American grocery shopping – now I find myself actively searching for codes for most of my purchases If I was 50% online shopping before the credit crunch, I’m now 90% - at least You have to be more savvy now and explore all your options I find it difficult to trust what is genuine and what is basic SPAM. This is the power of the Internet isn’t it – there is always a better deal out there I always shopped online for convenience, now I do it for the price benefit There’s always some reward to purchasing particular products – you just need to work out which is best for you
FACT 3 The opportunities to engage before the journey are endless
Why do people engage with multiple channels throughout the purchase decision? It asked me if I had a voucher, which I didn’t, but I went to find one – result! I had made the decision and found the flight but at this stage I still thought there might be a better deal out there – no harm in one final search A final check on the prices I’m a member of various shopping sites so I just wanted to see what they would offer as I get cashback with them Spoke to my friend who bought the exact same model to see what website she went through Quick scan on ebay to see whether I was making the right decision
FACT 5 Voucher codes are increasing in usage with a varied but attractive user profile
Profile of Voucher Code Users 54% Male 48% Aged 18-34 47% Professional 17% Earn over £50,000 13% Social Grade A 22% of UK recent shoppers interacted with a voucher code site at some stage of their consumer decision making process.
Profile of Cashback Users 55% Male 57% Aged 18-34 52% Professional 18% Earn over £50,000 14% Social Grade A 25% of UK recent shoppers interacted with cashback sites at some stage of their consumer decision making process
Similar Profiles – Different Consumers Have used Voucher Codes or Cashback Sites during the entire purchasing process Have used both Voucher Codes and Cashback Sites during the actual purchasing process
Why did you use a voucher code website Voucher codes are useful, sometimes, they give a good discount on the purchase I make. I tried to use some, but was unable to find any relevant ones- I wanted to save some money if possible. Try and get the best price Because it brought the price down further I looked for discounts to see if I could save any money on the flights
Where did you go? I originally searched and found a couple of good sites which are bookmarked now and I use when I need to There are a few good sites I tend to use to browse for discount codes, as larger, popular retailers sometimes have a discount (and I try to find the best deals and get the best price I can) Just searched for it – google and I found it pretty quickly Came in the email Looked for holidays with voucher discounts online, catalogue and at travel agents.
What makes a good voucher code site Just make it simple to understand. So many of them requires you to jump through hoops to find the one code you need – I want something simple and fast You have to judge whether you trust the site and you have those first couple of minutes to make the judgement call. Something that does what it says it is going to A well designed site that is simple to use
What makes a bad voucher code site There is amazing amount of absolute crap out there – one site had more pop ups than codes and when I made a simple search, it delivered nothing of use – can’t even remember the name of it but don’t ever go there Clutter – just make it simple and I’ll go there but some of them look like grads have put the site together as part of a project When it doesn’t deliver. If you’re a voucher code – I suggest you actually offer codes rather than trying to sign me up for other things Complicated site – it needs to be quick
FACT 6 Voucher codes are best suited towards specific vertical sectors
Vertical Sectors Have Searched For Voucher Codes
FACT 7 Voucher codes drive satisfaction; loyalty and advocacy
How Satisfied Were You With The Process You Went Through
How likely would you be to recommend the same process
FACT 8 The promoter MUST do it right, otherwise you run this risk…
You mentioned you used a voucher code site, but were dissatisfied with your experience. In your own words, can you explain why? Have you seen the voucher code sites out there – have a look and then ask me the same question Why would I bother again. Yes, I could have saved £25 but for the 25 minutes it took me to navigate through the site, trying to find what I thought would be just a simple code – I was more frustrated than that I would have been if someone had ripped up £25 from my wallet in front of me Online vouchers should be as simple as cutting a voucher from a catalogue. It’s not. Scissors for me these days
CONCLUSION Consumers aren’t stupid Leave a loophole and it will be exploited... BUT... Managed correctly, coupons can be highly effective Must have customer engagement Target audience with relevant offers, and brands A Valuable Customer Acquisition and Retention Tool
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