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Online coupons can have a significant impact on retailers’ bottom line results, according to data from Compete.

One-third of online shoppers surveyed in Compete’s recent “Online Shopper Intelligence” survey said they generally use coupon sites while shopping online. In April 2010, 35 million consumers visited coupon sites, up 5% from April 2009. Following are some specific data points relating to how online coupons affect consumer shopping behavior and retail sales.

Coupon Codes Can Make or Break a Sale
More than half of the consumers (57%) who used a coupon code during their last online purchase said that if they had not received the discount, they would not have bought the item(s). That indicates that coupons can be a highly effective sales driver and can be leveraged as such.

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Consumers Who Use Coupons Spend More
Coupons seem to have a high ROI, the small discount consumers receive encourages them to spend money. When asked how much they spent on their most recent online purchase, consumers who used a coupon spent an average of $216. This figure is 56.5% higher than the average of $122 spent by consumers who did not use a coupon on their most recent online purchase.

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Coupons Can Increase Customer Satisfaction
Coupons are an effective way for retailers to build good will with their consumers. When asked about their overall online shopping experience, satisfaction was about 4% higher for consumers who used a coupon (92%) than for those who did not (88%).

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Coupons Can Increase Customer Loyalty
Consumers who used an online coupon said they are more likely to buy from the retailer again when compared to those who did not use a coupon. Consumers who used an online coupon said they are 91% likely to buy from the retailer again, about 5% higher than the 86% likelihood for consumers who did not use an online coupon. So not only will coupons encourage higher order value purchases, but they also increase that consumer’s likelihood to purchase from that retailer again.

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Consumers Eye Coupon Convenience
Nearly three out of four shoppers (74%) report using coupons because they are convenient and useful, while 26% say coupons take too much effort to find and use, according to research by The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research.

Older shoppers (50-plus years) use coupons often and are more likely to use them to buy familiar brands and products, yet a significantly higher amount (32%) report that coupons take too much effort to find and use. Interestingly, shoppers are split when addressing the issue of whether coupons cause the brand decision or the brand decision drives the coupon search. Shoppers who report that coupons are “convenient and useful” are using them for items that they buy and re-stock often (e.g. paper products, cleaners, cereal).

For items that have a larger repurchase cycle (e.g., furniture, electronics, motorcycles), coupons may not be as useful to the shopper unless they receive them at precisely the right time when they are considering a repurchase or close to a repurchase point.

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