In a world where everyone is searching for the best deal, coupons create an efficient bridge between satisfied consumers and profiting companies. By playing on certain psychological and human instincts or desires, companies can significantly influence consumer purchasing power.
Coupons are perhaps the most influential type of advertising a company or service can provide. . Coupons serve two crucial purposes: introduction and promotion. First, coupons allow corporations to infiltrate the consumers’ minds by introducing a particular product. Many potential consumers may know nothing about a product or service until they see a coupon advertising it. This creates a dual sense of informed awareness and curiosity. Whenever a customer sees a product advertised either on the television or in a newspaper flyer, he or she may keep an eye out for a coupon just in case.
Secondly, coupons entice potential consumers by providing a valuable offer. The opportunity to save money is very attractive and can greatly influence a person’s decision to buy. This may prompt a consumer, who is on the proverbial fence on purchasing an object, to finally cave. A flashy coupon with a seemingly “too good to be true” offer excites a potential costumer and further persuades him or her to investigate a particular deal.
If a consumer believes a coupon’s discount justifies buying a product or service, then the coupon has served its purpose. Although the deal may not greatly affect a corporation’s profit, the lower price or bonus opportunities will promote customer cooperation. Although the savings may range from a few cents to a few dollars, the psychological mindset of saving money further fosters buyer satisfaction with a purchase.
Marketing campaigns employ other psychological tactics in their design of coupons to maximize efficiency. By putting expiration dates and restrictions on coupons, companies force consumers to make quick decisions on whether or not they want a product or service. When there is a tight time gap between when a coupon is valid or defunct, consumers often try to take advantage of the deal before it disappears for good. This “limited time offer” pressures consumers to purchase a product or service immediately instead of waiting, which could cause reflection on why they do not actually need said product.
Other coupons help to promote certain types of shopping. Depending on the company offering them, coupons can help either physical shops or online stores. To online shopping enthusiasts, a coupon offering free shipping on orders over a certain price incites a customer to add extra items to the cart that he or she would not normally purchase. By creating a set minimum price for coupon activation, online sites often sell more products than they usually would without special offers.
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Conversely, physical shops can combat the competitive convenience of online retailers by offering exclusive coupons to in store purchases. Not only do these coupons encourage people to visit the store, but also through browsing around the store to purchase the target object, customers might end up discovering or buying an unrelated splurge. Lastly, any opportunity that causes a customer to buy something in the store rather than from an online vendor is a valuable asset.
Coupons certainly affect my personal purchasing decisions. I myself am very guilty of being consumed by a “good deal” and buying several things that I clearly do not need. In particular, I become markedly less stingy on my finances when a coupon offers massive discounts such as 50% off or more or opportunities for free add on items. The former example of free shipping on online purchases especially has resulted in many superfluous splurges, just so I could get the deal.
Although a company may lose a slight bit of profit on the individual item itself after a substantial discount, the potential increase in mass profit as well as customer appreciation and satisfaction is a far more valuable reward. Coupons help both the consumer and the producer by informing and encouraging the former to buy, resulting in a larger profit margin for the latter.