Coupons & Promo Codes | February 2020
Coupon codes help you get discounts on your shopping cart and your shipping costs. However, if you haven’t used one before, they can seem intimidating and difficult to manage at first.
We have all seen the little box asking us to enter a coupon code when shopping online — it suddenly appears when we complete the cart or move on to the payment page. These can be called coupon codes, discount codes, promotion codes, gift card codes etc. Each store has its name of choice.
Whatever they may be called, the little discount box means that you can save some money while shopping. If you use them wisely, you can save a lot, but you need to learn how to use the constantly changing coupon details to your own advantage.
First of all, you need to learn what coupon codes are and how to use them properly. Coupon codes can offer a certain percentage of discount over your total cart amount. They can also earn you free or discounted shipping. They can be valid for all products or only a portion of product categories that are stated in the details. Some coupon codes have restrictions and you need to reach a certain cart total to use them.
Coupon codes comprise of numbers and letters, but mostly you will see codes of 5-10 capital letters. Sometimes they consist of random numbers and letters with no meaning (K526RCT) and sometimes they will have actual words and dates in them (FREESHIPPING50). Some coupon codes can give you some clues about what they offer. For example, when you see the code FREESHIPPING50, you can work out that it will provide you with free shipping for purchases of over 50 dollars.
How to Use a Coupon Code
Let’s assume that you have found a coupon code on Once Coupon A Time. After copy-pasting the code to the coupon code section on your order page, you need to press the “apply” button. The coupon code section can appear at any stage before the payment page, depending on the store.
Some stores ask you to enter your coupon code at some point during the payment stage. It can be before you enter your shipping and invoice details or after you enter your payment details. Whatever you do, make sure that you enter and apply the coupon code before you pay for your order.
How to Know If A Coupon Code Works
Each store has its own coupon code policy. Some online stores have very clear instructions on how to use coupon codes. When the products are still in the cart, they let you enter your coupon code so that you can see the discounted price. They even let you see the details of the coupon code after you apply it to your cart.
If the coupon code is not applicable to your order, some stores will let you know about the criteria for using the coupon code. Most stores, if not all, will at least explain the reason why your coupon code is not applicable to your cart.
Unfortunately, some stores are not as clear about their coupon code policies. Some of them will wait until you reach a certain stage in your order to let you know about the applicability of your coupon code. Some stores even wait until you enter your personal information and your payment details to let you know about the validity of your coupon code. In some cases, the store accepts the coupon code but does not give further information about the coupon, which can be annoying. Once Coupon A Time tries its best to inform stores about the importance of having a smooth coupon code policy in order to improve the customer experience.
My Coupon Code Doesn’t Work, Why?
There can be various reasons why a coupon code doesn’t work. Let’s have a look at two common reasons: restrictions and exemptions.
A coupon code is generally applicable to every product in a store; however, it is also possible that certain products are not included in the deal. Some coupon codes might not include a certain product category or products with special price tags (products that are already on sale, for instance).
Beware of the Restrictions!
If the online store of your choice has multiple independent sellers listing the same product, it is possible that your coupon code is not applicable to all products and sellers. In some cases, coupon codes are applicable only to the products that are sold directly by the main store.
Also, expired coupon codes cannot be used while shopping. Online shopping platforms hold the right to cancel a coupon code before its expiration date. Coupon codes might not have expiration dates altogether, which means your coupon code can get expired at any moment.
Are You Sure You Entered Your Coupon Code Correctly?
You have found a great coupon code on our platform and now you want to use it. Make sure that you have entered the coupon code correctly. We recommend using copy-paste. Codes generally consist of capital letters and some of them can be case sensitive. So, if you use lowercase, your code may not work. Also, if you are using copy-paste, make sure that you don’t select the spaces before or after the actual code, otherwise you can come across an error.
Watch Out for the Lower Limit
Many coupon codes require you to go over a certain limit, which means that you have to reach a certain cart total to use the coupon code. As we have stated before, you can have a look at the clues in the coupon itself to work out the lower limit, if there is any.
Popular Sales Promotions in Retail:
Who could say no to a good deal? As customers, we are always on the hunt for the best deals and promotions. We feel over the moon when we save a little money on something we buy. But have you ever wondered how the constant promotions we see in retail stores actually work? Who decides on all the deals in retail shopping? More importantly, what are the pros of being on top of the latest deals and promotions as a customer? Before we move on to listing all the advantages for customers, let’s have a look at why retailers need promotions.
What Are the Advantages of Retail Promotions for Retailers?
Retailers need sales promotions because they need to encourage customers to do shopping in order to increase the customer flow into their store during off-seasons. It helps them clear out stocks and expand their customer portfolio. Promotions are also a great marketing tool for new stores or new e-commerce platforms to drive sales and attract new customers.
Most Popular Types of Sales Promotions in Retail
There are types of sales promotions that are commonly used by stores and e-commerce platforms to boost their sales. Understanding how these types of promotions work will help customers be savvy when shopping online.
This is the most popular type of promotion, especially at the end of a season. Percentage discounts generally apply to the whole store or a big portion of the products, which makes them even more attractive for customers. Percentage discounts are an effective way of increasing the customer demand, which is why these types of promotions are used by stores who want to boost sales or clear out their stocks.
Dollar Amount Discounts
Even though they are quite similar to percentage discounts, it is not easy to tell which one is more effective. Studies show that consumers are generally more interested in percentage discounts, but they prefer dollar amount discounts in certain price points and product categories.
For example, 20% off $50 will sound more like a bargain compared to $10 off $50. And, for more expensive products, consumers can find it difficult to figure out what the actual discount is when they see a percentage discount. So, in such cases, dollar amount discounts can work better. 15% vs. $50 off $350; which one would you prefer? When you first see the numbers, 50 dollars off sounds like a better offer, however, both options offer the same amount of discount.
Multi-buy deals are another type of promotion that we generally see at the end of a season because they are an effective way for stores to clear out their stocks. Multi-buy deals come in many shapes and sizes; BOGO (Buy One Get One), “3 for the price of 1”, or “buy one, get the 2nd item %50 off” etc. Stores use these types of promotions to boost sales and make the customer feel like they have saved a lot of money, which in fact encourages them to buy more.
However, with deals such as “buy one get one” or “3 for the price of 2”, the cheapest item in your cart is the one you get free. So, even though these deals sound like you are saving a lot of money, you might be getting less of a bargain compared to percentage or dollar amount discounts.
Promotional Products or Gifts
This one applies to the discounted items or gifts that are offered when you go beyond a certain lower limit. When you are very close to the lower limit, you get notified about these offers, which encourage you to spend a couple more dollars. These discounted items or gifts are usually things that we all need or buy often like socks, magazines, travel-size beauty products etc. Because we don’t mind paying a couple of extra dollars for these everyday products, we buy into these types of promotions easily. For example, deals such as “$1 Socks for Purchases Above $100” are very popular and can get you a good bargain.
Who doesn’t love a bit of free shipping? Even though free shipping promotions generally offer the least amount of discount, they are the most sought-out promotions out there. Some e-commerce platforms offer free shipping for all purchases while some offer free shipping for certain brands or price points only. Some online shopping platforms offer you small products such as magazines, basic t-shirts, socks, wallets etc. which you can buy to get free shipping for the whole cart. Most customers think that it is a bargain to get a product in return for the money they would otherwise pay for shipping.