Extreme Couponing: 3 Ways to Engage Savvy Shoppers with Digital Coupons


We’ve already covered the impact temporary price reductions can have on your business. Incidentally, much of the way shoppers take advantage of those deals is through coupons. Couponing, as we know it, is becoming a thing of the past. Gone are the days when shoppers had to manually cut out savings from flyers, magazines or catalogues received via snail mail. Handy apps like Flipp make it easier than ever for shoppers to peruse for deals, including on food and beverage and health and wellness items, which have always dominated the coupon game. 31 billion online coupons are projected to be redeemed worldwide by 2019, with experts pinpointing mobiles as the ultimate driving force.

We all know social media is an incredible tool to engage with your consumer, show off your brand values and keep shoppers informed. But did you know that for many savvy shoppers, it’s also a way to score some great deals?

If you’re looking to offer your customers more bang for their buck without the hassle of old school mail outs and you have a less-than-stellar marketing budget to work with, social media can be a godsend. We’ve come up with a list of creative ways to distribute digital coupons that are sure to please your consumer while keeping them actively engaged.

Offering exclusive deals is a great strategy for several reasons. Not only does it make your shopper feel special, it’s also a great hack that allows you to track specific data on who exactly is taking advantage of your offer. Think beyond basic “Friends and Family” sales and consider leveraging your most popular social media channel.

When we interviewed Campus Protein, they let us in on their tips and tricks for providing exclusive deals. “We try to require the customer to do something that is only listed on Instagram,” explained co-founder Tarun Singh. “For example, we post a specific sample and say, ‘if you want this sample in your next order, write a funny word in the comments.’ Then we track how many people actually did it by taking note of how many orders line up with the post.”

Another great example of this comes from quirky designer shoe brand, Sophia Webster. They recently turned digital couponing up a notch when they urged their followers to take a screen shot of a Snapchat story containing an exclusive discount code. This code was then redeemable in-store for 20% off their wares.

Another creative strategy would be to post an exclusive code on your least-followed social media page in order to ramp up user engagement. No one likes to feel left out – shoppers who weren’t previously privy to your Twitter page (for example) will be scrambling to follow you if it means getting a great deal.

Apparel and Beauty brands especially are realizing the importance of partnering up with amazing Influencers in order to reach their target consumers. This typically means creating some sort of affiliate program, wherein the Influencer gets a small percentage from every sale made using their special code. The concept is similar to how UberEats will give you free credit if a first-time user uses your own, personal affiliate code.

For smaller brands this is well worth it, as the Influencer may very well be their first introduction to a customer (who just so happens to already follow said Influencer).

Of course, expiry dates on coupons are nothing new. After all, the company needs to make money and the shopper cannot always rely on a discounted price.

Posting codes to Snapchat is a tried and true method of distributing time-sensitive digital coupons as they will self-destruct within 24 hours (although, make sure to set boundaries regardless as a screenshot is forever).

High street brand Public Desire is fond of 24 hour sales and is a fantastic example of building urgency within their shoppers. Imagine a sale where the discount amount drops by one percentage point every hour, on the hour – feel panicked yet? I’ve personally fallen victim to this method (admittedly more than once). As a shopper, if you get there early, you feel as though you’ve gotten the worm (nearly 25% off!). If you get there too late, while extremely disappointed, you’ve still gotten a deal – it’s pretty much a win/win.

With these three tricks up your sleeve, you’re sure to gain a couple (hundred) followers, not to mention build brand awareness and loyalty.