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CASE STUDY
How Pomelo attracted thousands of customers with personalized coupons?

Coupon API – What are you missing out?

Everything there is to know about coupon API. Benefits of Coupon API and a set of inspirations on how to get started with coupon marketing and API.

Coupon API – What are you missing out?

What is API?

API stands for Application Programming Interface. In short, it is a form of code that lets two software programs communicate with each other in a unified and understandable way.

Why would they need to communicate? One program often calls to another application to access data or functionality of the program getting called. This robotic conversation is based on requests and responses, just like people communicate through questions and answers. One fantastic example of API in practice are flight search apps, e.g., Skyscanner. Such programs do not keep all the data from all different airlines, hotels, and car rentals – if they did, they would need a pretty big server, don’t you think? Instead, with the help of the API, when you are looking for a flight to Berlin in two days, Skyscanner sends a request (a question) to flight providers asking them for this particular information and returning the answer in the form of a response. 

Coupon API – why your business needs it?

API is the key reason behind the growing popularity of social media platforms. Thanks to API, one app can use the other platform without any issues on the way. For instance, you can share this article on Facebook or Twitter using a plugin that will put a post on your social board. Users may not even be aware that they are using other platforms via the use of API. But for developers, API-based architecture means quick and easy services integration.

When I met with API for the first time, I was a bit frightened – as an English graduate, I was a living stereotype of a non-tech person. I avoided code like the plague. But, slowly, as I got used to the API used in my company, Voucherify, I realized that it’s not that hard. To prove my point, let me show an example from the Voucherify coupon API –  a request that will create a new coupon code.

{{CODE}}

{

"category" : "New Customers",

   "type": "DISCOUNT_VOUCHER",

   "discount": {

       "percent_off": 10.0,

       "type": "PERCENT"

   },

   "start_date": "2020-08-01T00:00:00Z",

   "expiration_date": "2020-08-30T23:59:59Z",

   "redemption": {

       "quantity": 1

   },

   "code_config": {

       "pattern": "NEW123"

   }

}

{{ENDCODE}}

I asked Voucherify to create a new coupon code with a predefined type, value, and pattern. Even if you have no prior coding experience, I bet you can clearly understand what is happening in the above code snippet. Simple, isn’t it?

If you are interested in dipping a toe into API, Voucherify CMO, Mike Sedzielewski, wrote an excellent article on the APIs here. 

Why does your business need a coupon API?

Hopefully, now you understand APIs a bit better. But, what is the connection between coupon marketing and API? Let’s explore why your business needs coupons in the first place and then analyze if and why your coupon strategy needs coupon API.

Example of coupon API

Offering coupons and discounts to increase sales and generate buzz is a tactic as old as marketing (that is very old). In most cases, a well-planned coupon strategy should bring your business fantastic results. What do I mean by well-planned? Well, first of all, you need to make sure that the discount is not excessive and that your strategy is not about mindlessly slashing prices. All successful coupon campaigns should be driven by a specific business objective – increasing conversion, driving traffic to a new store, or moving customers to a new pricing plan as painlessly as possible. Here are the top three benefits that coupons can bring to any business:

  • You can accomplish sales objectives much faster by, for instance, up-selling and cross-selling your inventory. 
  • Besides influencing customer loyalty, coupons also increase the likelihood of positive referrals. 
  • Coupons are a great way to make your offers more attractive and popular in the competitive retail environment.

Follow our guide to coupon marketing to explore more benefits and potential threats of discounting.

But, nowadays, discounting is so much more than publishing an incentive and hoping for the best. To compete with business giants, you need a coupon system that lets you quickly generate, distribute, and track coupons. Even better, if the system can combine data from various touchpoints, systems, and apps to create personalized coupon codes available only for predefined customers. Here is where coupon API comes into play. 

Having a single system to store all that data would be an equivalent of technological suicide. But, with an API in place, your coupon software can quickly reach out to other systems, e.g., CRMs such as Salesforce, to collect relevant data about selected customer profiles. If you build digital products, you know all too well about the necessity to integrate plenty of systems with customer touchpoints. And the integration of multiple systems costs. A lot. 

That’s why by having a coupon API in place, you get to save on time, money, and development required to connect various apps. How does coupon API work in practice? Well, for instance, you can think of a campaign where customers get a 5% discount code for tagging your brand on Instagram. You need a tool that lets you generate, assign, send, validate, redeem, and track the 5% discount code. Doing all these tasks manually is the exact opposite of scalability. But, with the coupon API, your system, after noticing that the brand was tagged on Instagram, sends a request to your coupon software (e.g., Voucherify) to create and assign a code to the selected customer profile. Then, when the user tries to redeem it, your app calls to Voucherify to validate and redeem the code.

Let’s see how coupon API works in Voucherify to give you a better idea of what coupon API can do. 

Exemplary API request with Voucherify Coupon API

When interacting with a new API, the first place to visit is the documentation. I am more than aware of how that sounds – documentation is the last thing you want to read, but please bear with me. API Documentation is the best, and sometimes, the only source of information about what the given API can and cannot do.

You can find Voucherify API documentation here. 

To showcase the use of coupon API, we are going to use Postman. 

To use Voucherify API, you need to get your unique API keys. They are not called keys for no reason – API keys authorize the use of API. You need them to protect your app from getting calls from unauthorized sources that may attempt to steal data. In Voucherify API, we place API keys in the headers of the request. This way you don’t have to update them with each new call. 

Let’s imagine that we want to create a 20$ coupon campaign, available for 100 customers, that expires today – a classic flash sale. Some parameters of the API call will be mandatory, others are extras. The request is created in JSON, a data exchange format, known for its simplicity. 

Here is a snippet of a request you can make:

{{CODE}}

{

   "type": "DISCOUNT_VOUCHER",

   "discount": {

       "percent_off": 20.0,

       "type": "PERCENT"

   },

   "expiration_date": "2020-08-30T23:59:59Z",

   "redemption": {

       "quantity": 100

   }

}

{{ENDCODE}}

How can you tell if the request was successful? If Postman displays the 200 OK status, it means that you’ve passed the test and asked Voucherify to create a new batch of coupon codes. You can double-check it by visiting the Dashboard where a batch of brand-new codes is waiting to be shared with your audience. 

Successful coupon API call

You used the API format that Voucherify knows and authorized the call with API keys. This way, you could perform changes to the Voucherify platform from afar, without clicking anything on the Dashboard. 

Benefits of Coupon API

What is it that makes Voucherify coupon API work then? Integrating offers with customer-facing applications and back-end requires a massive IT investment. If you add organizational scale and complexity, many multi-brand companies face these tasks give your digital teams an uneasy headwind. I like lists. You like lists. We all like lists. So, let me quickly enumerate the essential benefits of using coupon API in your marketing strategy. 

1. Coupon automation

Through API, you can update wooden processes and workflows to make them quicker and more productive. This way, your development team can do more in less time. You can automate the creation and delivery of coupon codes to customers giving you an extra competitive advantage over businesses that failed to implement a coupon API into their marketing strategy. 

2. Innovation

I am not sure if you’ve noticed, but the API revolution is happening as you are reading this article. So that’s fantastic timing on your side. By offering a standardized data exchange interface to external developers, more and more apps could be easily connected, ensuring a smooth user experience. Before API, the data exchange models and modes of integrations were shrouded in secrecy, and consequently, few apps could create a unified customer journey across various platforms. Now, thanks to the coupon API, you can share your incentives on multiple platforms, stores, and apps, without risk of losing control over who and when redeems your coupon codes. 

3. Eliminate interdepartmental chaos

Launching coupon campaigns across various stores, locations, and teams is no easy task. Quite contrary, it’s very tough. With a flexible coupon API, you can significantly decrease the level of tasks that require technical know-how. For instance, with Voucherify API, your marketing team can create and manage promotions on their own without asking developers for constant support with tweaking the discount according to your business strategy. 

4. Adapt coupon campaigns in seconds

Every incentive needs to be changed and improved over time. Coupons are no different. But once integrated with your store, coupon API will be able to modify and disable coupon codes on the fly, making maintenance work a bit less painstaking. 

5. Coupon digitization

There is nothing wrong with liking things the old-school way. Problems only arise when the traditional approach blocks your way towards digitization. As highlighted by an ongoing health crisis, all businesses should focus their goals on the rapid digitization of their services. Printed coupons and vouchers cut from newspapers are a thing of the past. As suggested by Dan Woods for Forbes, “no matter what your approach to investing in APIs for digital transformation is, there’s really one sure way to lose, and that is not to do it.”

See how to plan sales promotions during the digital transformation.

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