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6 Ways to Use Coupons to Increase Consumer Spending

Monday February 1st, 2016

The use of coupons from a retail standpoint is often disputed. Many feel that it’s a waste of money, while others believe it’s the key to their retail success. There’s probably truth to both statements, depending on varying business strategies and coupon use. Those who believe that coupons are an important key to retail success have experienced many of the benefits of coupons from a retail standpoint, including:

  • Coupons help acquire more customers. Even if you end up giving a little money away with each deal, coupons are excellent for increasing the number of people who make both current and future purchases from your company.
  • Coupons increase loyalty among existing customers. Retention is one of the most difficult feats to accomplish as a retailer, and coupons are excellent for making customers feel rewarded for shopping with you. They help to promote first time purchases and keep customers coming back.
  •  Coupons help clear merchandise. When it’s time to get summer items off the shelf and fall items stocked, coupons are an excellent vehicle for getting this done effectively without losing you profit on unsold items.
  • Coupons promote new products. There’s nothing quite as good at getting customers excited about a new product or service than a coupon, discount, or giveaway.

On the flip side, many businesses that have not had success with coupons believe that they can actually reduce your incoming revenue stream. In some rare cases, coupons can cause businesses to lose more than they gain. Usually, this is a result of poor strategizing or marketing rather than a bad coupon.

No matter what businesses believe about coupons, there’s one mantra that can’t be disputed: Coupons entice consumers to spend more money. Ever since the first Coca Cola advertisement, the use of coupons has evoked a certain pull towards a business that customers can’t deny, bringing them into your store and getting them to purchase more items than originally planned. Here are just a few ways that you can use coupons to entice your customers to spend more.

1. Use Coupons to Make Customers Believe They Need Things.


Most consumers visit a retail location with good intentions in mind. They write a list and tell themselves that they’ll stick to it. But when they suddenly discover there’s a meat sale at the grocery store or a discount on a pair of shoes at the department store, consumers have a difficult time sticking to the list.  Suddenly, it becomes possible for them to have both the items on their list, and a pair of shoes or two they didn’t really need.

This is one of the main reasons that getting people to subscribe to your email coupons and newsletters is so effective. When they receive daily coupons in the mail, they suddenly start thinking about all of the things they want, rather than the absolute necessities, which means more profit for your business.

2. BOGO Is Effective at Playing on Customer Desires



The infamous buy-one-get-one sales are the best catalysts for getting customers to spend more. When they walk into a clothing store with the intent of purchasing one pair of jeans, only to discover that they can get a second pair for 50 percent off, suddenly it becomes important to take advantage of this sale.

Once they’ve found several pairs of jeans to take home, they’ll start looking for items to go with those jeans, such as tops, shoes, and accessories, boosting your profits for the day and instilling deeper customer loyalty.

3. Offer a Coupon for a Minimum Order Size

“Save $10 when you spend $50.” “Get 20 percent off any order over $100.” These are the types of deals that consumers have a very difficult time refusing. Even if they only intended to spend $20 when shopping at your store that day, the prospect of getting $50 worth of merchandise for just $40 is too good to pass up for most people. It’s a great way to get customers to spend more money on your goods or services than they would have otherwise, leading to higher profits for you.

4. Set Expiration Dates on Your Coupons


Most people don’t think about the expiration date on coupons. When they go to your store to purchase something and discover that their coupon is expired, they aren’t likely to abandon their purchase all together, which means that they’ll be making a purchase at full price, benefitting you in the long run.

5. Release Coupons When You Raise Prices

A clever marketing tactic on the side of retailers is releasing coupons at the same time that they raise the price on their regular merchandise. Raising prices to keep up with regular shifts in inflation is a regular part of business. It doesn’t make customers very happy, but it must be done if you want to remain competitive.

Ease this shift by releasing a coupon at the same time. If you raise the price of your merchandise by 10 percent, for example, release a 20 percent off coupon simultaneously. This way, consumers are still getting a good deal that makes them want to spend more money, but you aren’t losing out on as much with each purchase.

6. Offer Free Shipping with a Certain Dollar Amount to Boost Online Orders

Offering free shipping isn’t such an ordeal if you know you’re moving $50 worth of merchandise in return, and it’s very effective at boosting online sales. When customers get to the checkout window with $40 in their shopping cart, only to discover that $10 more dollars will getfree shipping, they’re more likely to return to shopping and fill the virtual cart with more merchandise. What’s $10 more after all?


As you can see, there are some benefits of offering retail coupons that are too good to pass up. If this has been enough to convince you that couponing is the way to go in your retail business, Mandlik & Rhodes can help. We are one of the world’s finest coupon clearinghouses, and devoted to helping your business thrive with our expertise in offering discounts. For more information about how we can help you increase your profits, contact us today!