According to a recent study by Channel Advisor, consumers are getting more savvy when it comes to researching products before making a purchase. That’s not exactly new news. But consumer activity in finding promotions, coupons, and viral codes is increasing — much to the chagrin of online retails. Sites such as CouponCabin.com and RetailMeNot.com are making it easy for consumers to search out brands, retailers, and even general products. The deals, promotions, and coupon codes are all user generated and encourage users to vote on the effectiveness of promotions. Great deal for consumers — Perhaps a lousy deal for retails.
Charles Nicholls, founder of SeeWhy, says that this doesn’t have to be a losing game for retailers. Nicholls suggests that e-commerce sites follow the lead of retailers such as Macy’s and OfficeMax in preventing consumers for posting such codes on third-party sites. Instead, he suggests that retailers use their own voucher sites to avoid consumers going outside of the domain. He says that department store retailer Macy’s does this well. By creating its own voucher site, Macy’s makes their codes public and stays in control of their promotions.
Additionally, Nicholls lauds OfficeMax’s approach in which the retailers has added a hyperlink under the Promotion Code box so that visitor’s can sign up for an Office Max newsletter to get deals. By doing so, OfficeMax avoids users searching elsewhere, and also adds consumers to its regular correspondence.
Nicholls does say, however, that the newsletter is a nice approach, but probably won’t stop some shoppers from searching out promo codes, anyway.
What is your experience with online coupons from sites such as RetailMeNot.com? Do they work for you? Are you finding it more difficult than before to find coupons? If a company prohibits such sites from sharing promotions, how does that make you feel about that particular retailer?