Mastering Coupons: A Guide to Coupon Management Systems
The unstoppable popularity of online shopping is forcing brands to come up with savvy online discount and coupon strategies. Why? Promo codes create a unique opportunity for brands to analyze customers’ path-to-purchase, engage users, and nurture brand loyalty and advocacy. And that’s just for starters.
However, to reap the benefits of coupon marketing brands need to implement an effective coupon management system. A coupon management platform lets brands create, distribute, and monitor coupon campaigns across channels.
In this blog post, I will explore the must-have features of a coupon management system, revealing its advantages and key components, ensuring a successful coupon campaign. Using Delivery Hero’s brand as an example, I will show you how Voucherify with its range of coupon management features can become your springboard to success.
What is a coupon management system?
A coupon management system is a digital platform that streamlines the process of offering discounts to customers, allowing brands to target specific customer segments and personalize coupon offers, while ensuring fraud prevention. What’s more, a suitable coupon management system provides valuable insights and analytics to measure the performance and ROI of coupon campaigns.
Since more than 80% of customers occasionally snoop around the web looking for discount coupons, investing in a robust coupon software becomes a no-brainer. But how to make sure that a particular coupon management software will meet your expectations?
Should you build coupon management in-house?
Of course, you can. But why would you? The quest for developing logic for generating, managing, and tracking vouchers and discounts is undoubtedly not straightforward. While small-scale businesses perhaps can rely on excel sheets with codes, this approach fails to meet the scalability challenge.
As simple as it is – time is money. While building an in-house coupon solution definitely offers some unique benefits such as coverage of specific business use cases, it is also a fast-paced carousel of unexpected development work, annoying showstoppers, and negligence to take care of your core product or service.
The crux of the matter is that you can spend time, money, and resources to build an in-house solution that is sure to cover your use cases or save money and time with a market-ready coupon system that may or may not cover all of your requirements. This is why the proper audit is so vital before settling for a coupon provider.
It doesn’t matter whether you choose to build your coupon solution in-house, or choose a ready provider – in both cases, you need to ensure that your coupon management tool will have the following features and capabilities.
What are the key benefits of a coupon management software?
A successful coupon management software offers several key benefits for brands and customers alike. Here are some of the key advantages:
- Increased sales – coupons attract customers, leading to higher sales volumes and revenue.
- Customer acquisition and retention – coupons entice new customers to try products or services, expanding the customer base. They also build customer loyalty, encouraging repeat purchases and long-term relationships.
- Targeted marketing – promo codes enable personalized offers, allowing businesses to target specific customer segments and increase campaign effectiveness, allowing you to cut advertising costs in the long-run.
- Data insights – coupon management systems provide valuable data on customer behavior, preferences, and campaign performance for data-driven decision making.
- Inventory management – discounts help manage inventory by controlling demand, preventing stock shortages and facilitating the clearance of excess stock.
Must-have features of a successful coupon management system
You need two things to start developing your coupon strategy – objective and means to achieve it. With a market already saturated with technological tools for streamlining even the smallest business task, you are sure to find a dozen possible coupon management platforms out there. But before investing in one, you should consider the following must-have discount management system features.
1. Advanced coupon customization
A sound coupon management system should enable you to run highly-targeted and customized coupon campaigns across all marketing channels. You don’t want to offer open-for-all discounts that can be used an unlimited number of times by random visitors. Proper coupon customization starts with the discount value and expiry date, but the tweaking capabilities go far beyond that. Your voucher management software needs to keep up with your scale and be flexible enough to design multiple, diversified incentives for any segment and occasion.
There are several features that will let you do just that:
- Flexible redemption rules based on multiple criteria, such as segments, order size, or cart content.
- Code customization options to make your promo codes user-friendly and secure from fraud.
- Redemption limits per customer, order, campaign, and more.
- Specific time limits and validity periods.
- White-label capabilities to fully reflect your branding.
2. Pricing scalability
The coupon management system should fit your business goals and long-term planning. Pricing rules need to be clear and straightforward. In the case of coupons, this means you pay according to the number of executed operations, e.g., used codes. This simple rule helps you keep maintenance costs low and profits balanced at scale.
In an agile marketing field, even a well-designed promo campaign can bring unpredictable results. That’s why the usage-based pricing plan is even more critical. It allows you to start small, iterate, and gradually estimate the long-term strategy roll-out cost. You don’t want to end up with a large up-front investment, and your marketing goals only reached half-way, do you?
3. Marketing automation and A/B tests
Marketing automation makes it possible to meet customers closer than ever before. Today, even the most creative coupon campaigns will never compete with a modern e-commerce megacorp if you don’t tap into automation software. How does it help your promo strategy in particular? It helps you build the omnichannel coupon experience with:
- Personalized emails and SMS with coupon codes fitted to the message context.
- Automatic coupon distribution at wholesale triggered by customers’ interactions with the brand (like changing location, abandoning the cart, new subscription, etc.).
- Dynamic customer segmentation, which divides your audience based on current tracking results.
Before you launch any coupon campaign on a massive scale, you need to know which coupon ideas best fit your audience. A/B tests compare how different discount values and validation rules perform with specific customer segments. The point of A/B testing is to start with small campaigns and expand the ideas which convert best. Your coupon management system should support this and present the test results so you can find the patterns in a blink.
4. Coupon delivery via any media and device
While generating unique codes with custom redemption limits is problematic, delivering these codes to end-users poses another challenge that not all coupon management platforms can face. A sound coupon management system should combine the power of both personalization and dynamic segmentation, meaning that messages with coupon codes should be appropriately composed and carry a contextual discount.
Your system should also be aware of changes in customer segments and trigger the message with an incentive in the right context and time. The most popular contexts for coupon codes include welcome coupons, cart abandoned deals, exit intent offers, or re-engagement discounts.
5. Discount redemption tracking
Coupon tracking is crucial to collect customer data and secure your promo codes against fraud. A capable coupon software turns gathered data into measurable reports and eventually leads you to improved sales rates. These days, coupons are much more than codes and discounts. They are used to track customers’ behavior, which is later translated into segments. While choosing a coupon provider, look for monitoring features like:
- Unique codes that allow you to track every single coupon among dozens of generated campaigns.
- Redemptions and delivery details specifying when and how the code was delivered (you can see who has redeemed a particular code and which delivery channels are the most effective).
- Metrics and stats showing your campaigns’ real-time performance (like gift card balances, the total number of redemptions, or the most popular types of discount).
Remember that single features won't ensure a data-driven marketing strategy. Only a coupon management system that tracks a coupon through its entire lifecycle can give you credible clues.
6. API-first coupon management system
APIs enable you to build software that fits into your process and whose development doesn’t take ages to complete. Try to count how many apps, service providers, and business tools you already use. None of them would be sufficient if not integrated to work together. This is why you need a coupon system with an API.
What is an API, you might be wondering. Well, to be very brief, API is a method of fast communication between separated databases. In the context of coupon campaigns, you can see API in action when a customer tries to redeem a discount code. The moment the code is entered, your store asks coupon software about the details of the code. Is it still active? Does the customer qualify for the deal? Then, the answer (either positive or negative) comes back to your store, allowing or blocking the customer from claiming the offer.
An API platform gets value from your current infrastructure and data sources. Connection with CRM and BI tools provides seamless data flow and integrity. Thanks to APIs, the coupon strategy simply extends to your existing infrastructure. You can combine all your marketing tools to create one powerful promotional system
7. Your developers like it
If you are not a programmer, you would probably skip this point. And that’s one of the worst mistakes you can make while choosing any software. A coupon provider supplied with API and approved by your developers is a literal time and money saver for your marketing team. The developer-friendly software enables you to implement custom, tailored solutions saving time and resources. With extra onboarding speed, your coupons get one step ahead of the competition.
But what does developer-friendliness mean? Let’s take a look at the most critical features:
- RESTful API.
- Thorough documentation with quick-start tutorials, a dozen practical examples, and an interactive console.
- Support of the vendor's tech team.
- SDKs (software development kits) for popular programming languages.
8. Minimal learning curve
The landscape of digital marketing is more expansive than ever before. You shouldn’t need a college degree to create coupon campaigns. That’s why, while choosing a discount management system, you need to keep in mind the learning curve required to understand the tool. You should cross out of your list anything that requires weeks of training, loads of custom development, and hundreds of calls and emails. Here is what to look for in a new voucher management tool:
- Open developer documentation and sandbox environment to test your campaigns before going live.
- Open support center with step-by-step guides.
- Different forms of support (phone, email, 1:1 demos, slack channels, and forums).
- Easy & interactive user interface.
- A dedicated Success Manager that you can quickly contact in the case of questions and doubts.
9. Coupon management
Your coupon discount management system should be flexible enough to make it easy for you to juggle coupon campaigns without straining your muscles. From coupon creation, distribution, tracking, and redemption, you should be able to launch an effective coupon campaign with just a few clicks, without getting knee-deep in dev work. The goal is to maximize the benefits of coupon campaigns for both brands and customers.
Clear objectives, audience targeting, tracking coupon performance, and result analysis are all essential components of effective coupon management. Brands may improve sales, win over new clients, and foster consumer loyalty by putting in place a well-organized coupon management system that also provides a seamless and satisfying customer journey.
10. Any value & effect
Setting the coupon value and its effect is a crucial aspect of a coupon campaign. The coupon value refers to the discount or benefit offered to customers, which could be a fixed amount, a percentage off the total purchase, free shipping, or a free item. The chosen value should align with the campaign's objectives and the targeted audience's preferences.
Discount effect, on the other hand, refers to the way in which the discount is applied to a given customer’s shopping cart. A well-equipped coupon management system provides you with a set of discount effect scenarios to choose from, including the whole order, selected items, proportionally to the amount, proportionally to quantity, most expensive/cheapest item and much more.
A well-chosen coupon value can attract new customers, encourage repeat purchases, and increase the average order value. It can also create a sense of urgency and drive immediate sales. Conversely, setting a coupon value too high may erode profits, while a value too low might not entice customers effectively.
That’s why careful consideration of the coupon value and its effect is essential to strike the right balance between enticing customers and ensuring the campaign's profitability and success. Regular monitoring and analysis of the coupon campaign's performance can help fine-tune the coupon value for optimal results.
11. Coupon stacking
Nowadays when we feel the breath of inflation on our backs at every turn, no customer will pass by indifferently the possibility of applying several discounts to the shopping cart at once. Here’s where coupon stacking kicks in, allowing customers to combine various coupons or discount deals to achieve maximum savings on a single purchase.
This particular strategy may draw more clients and stimulate more spending among customers. An effective coupon management system simplifies the procedure of creating coupon stacks and setting their hierarchy by ensuring that several coupons are correctly and automatically applied during checkout, negating the need for manual intervention. This feature improves the client experience, raises client happiness, and eventually encourages client loyalty and repeat business. However, it’s important to provide customers with a smooth user experience and clear coupon terms and conditions. Ultimately, if your customers have promotional codes but lack the understanding of how to apply them at once, the process of discount stacking will not occur.
How BAEMIN leveraged Voucherify coupon management system to handle over 60 million redemptions?
To attract clients and swiftly seize the Vietnamese market, BAEMIN Vietnam, a popular food delivery brand, sought a coupon solution that would enable their marketing team to create and manage unique discount codes and thematic campaigns with little to no dev work. After conducting a market analysis, they opted for Voucherify, choosing time-limited unique promo codes, realizing that our coupon management system hits the spot by meeting their specific needs.
With Voucherify, BAEMIN has already run more than 800 campaigns and processed more than 60 million redemptions, with a daily redemption rate of 100,000. They create public, open-to-all codes and unique coupons with a variety of discount values ( percentage and amount) that are either accessible to everyone or targeted at particular client categories, using our built-in targeting features.
BAEMIN makes use of a clever mix of validation rules offered by Voucherify to safeguard their campaign financial resources. Their marketing team employs budget limits and order structure requirements to make sure that only predetermined orders are eligible for discounts and that each customer may only use the offer once (or a certain number of times depending on the campaign).
What’s more Voucherify provides a native interface with Braze that enables their marketing team to deliver their customers personalized promotion via in-app messaging without the need for pestering their IT team.
These days, BAEMIN Vietnam still continues to rely on the driving force of discounts enabled by Voucherify’s coupon management system as a crucial factor for its growth.
Elevate your coupon management system with Voucherify
As an API-first coupon management platform, Voucherify lets you launch coupons that are unique and alluring. With just a few clicks, you can set up any coupon conditions, validation rules or distribution channels. You can launch innovative coupon campaigns with a dynamic discount amount based on customer, order, and custom data.
Besides, you can utilize a set of white-label features to make digital coupons align with your brand’s specific needs. The ability to assign coupons to individual customers will provide your brand with a safety net ensuring fraud-prevention. Checking specific metrics using 360-degree customer profiles will allow you to keep-up-to-date with all the data necessary to modify and improve your coupon campaign on the go. What’s more, our integration with Segment enables you to collect, analyze, and transfer customer data smoothly without nagging your tech team.
Ready to improve your coupon management with Voucherify?