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Couponing

„Couponing” terms temporary measures in the promotion, which allow consumers to get a discount on purchase or a monetary value-added service by converting a coupon.1)

A coupon is a real or virtual voucher2), which gives the recipients the temporary right to receive a discount upon redemption. If required, conditions must be met.3)

Objectives of couponing are:

  • acquisition of new customers
  • Short-term sales promotion4)

Development of couponing in Germany

Until 1980 millions of German citizens collected discount coupons. They were used mostly in the post-war period, later they were largely displaced by special offers5)

Until 2001 the limits for couponing in Germany were very restrictive compared to the USA.6) In June 2001 the discount law (“Rabattgesetz”) of 1933 and the Free Gift Act (“Zugabeverordnung”) of 1932, which prohibited the granting of a discount of more than 3% to end users and to give out nonpaid add ons, was repealed. After that, couponing has become much more important in Germany than before.7)

Currently this type of promotion is experiencing a hype. Internet and smartphones make new couponing-varieties in the e-commerce possible.8)

Types of Couponing in the e-commerce

In e-commerce, there are two different types of couponing: internet-couponing and mobile-couponing.

Internet-couponing

The most important forms of Internet couponing are:

Grouponing-plattforms

Funcitonality: A grouponing-platform offers special discount coupons for individual cities. For these a minimum number of potential buyers is searched. The deal is time-limited and only comes into being when the required minimum number of people buys the coupon on the grouponing-platform. The buyers will receive their voucher by e-mail.

Examples: www.groupon.de www.dailydeal.de www.qypedeals.de www.westdeal.de www.schwabendeal.de www.oecherdeal.de www.sachsendeal.de

Couponing-Plattforms

Funcitonality: The websites gather a lot of different coupons, discount and special offers. The users choose the coupon they want and convert it either when shopping online, or they print it and convert it in a local shop.9)

Examples: www.sparbon.de www.deutschlandcoupon.org www.coupons4u.de www.topgutscheincode.de

Coupons by direct contact to the retailer or manufacturer

Funcitonality: Customers or potential customers receive directly from the manufacturer or retailer coupons - available on their web site or per e-mail. Customers can convert the coupons in the corresponding Online Shop or stationary stores.

Mobile-couponing

Mobile couponing is the retrieval of mobile coupons to the mobile- or smartphone. There is a distinction between two versions: Mobile couponing via SMS/MMS (push method) or by mobile application (pull method). The latter belongs to the e-commerce.

Mobile-couponing by mobile applications

Functionality: The mobile user has to register in the internet, then he can retrieve electronic coupons of different companies on his cell phone. Often this is done through a program (App), which has to be installed in advance on the mobile phone. To redeem the coupon, the purchaser has to scan the barcode on the mobile-display at the checkout or show it to the staff.

Vendors: www.coupies.de www.mymobai.de

Opportunities and risks of couponing in e-commerce:

Opportunities:

  • easy measurability
  • easy handling for the customer
  • Provides features such as in interest-driven targeting and real-time redemption
  • Possibility of detailed tracking
  • The combined purchasing power allows high discounts (couponing- and grouponing platforms)
  • In general, performance-based payment (e.g. pay-per-click or pay-per-sale) (couponing- and grouponing-platforms, mobile-couponing)
  • Constant availability of the coupons in the mobile phone (mobile-couponing)
  • Flexible distribution of mobile coupons, for example, only during certain hours (mobile-couponing)
  • Possibility to use location-based services (mobile couponing)

Risks:

  • The Battle of the coupon-portals for users promotes a contest of discounts10)
  • Difficult for retailers and manufacturers to get back to the original price level
  • Loss of credibility

Since the repeal of the discount law (“Rabattgesetz”) and the Free Gift Act (“Zugabeverordnung”) a number of laws and regulations control the couponing in Germany, amongst others

further topics in the context of couponing

1) without author. “Couponing”. http://www.gs1-germany.de/standards/ecr_prozesse/couponing/index_ger.html. GS1 Germany GmbH. Web. 14.05.2011.
2) Bruns, Jürgen. Direktmarketing. Ludwigshafen: Kiehl Verlag GmbH, 2007. 430. Print.
3) , 4) Wierich, Ralf. Personalisierung und Individualisierung von Coupons. Stuttgart: Institut für Handelsforschung Köln, 2008. 9-10. Print.
5) without author. “Coupons und Rabattmarken”. http://www.abendblatt.de/wirtschaft/article647018/Coupons-und-Rabattmarken.html. Hamburger Abendblatt, 07.05.2002. Web. 14.05.2011.
6) Poth, Ludwig G.; Poth, Gudrun S.; Pradel, Markus. Kompakt-Lexikon Marketing. Wiesbaden: Gabler Verlag, 2008. 64. Print.
7) Bruns, Jürgen. Direktmarketing. Ludwigshafen: Kiehl Verlag GmbH, 2007. 164. Print.
8) , 9) Hermes, Vera. „So profitieren Sie vom Coupon-Boom“. Absatzwirtschaft 25.05.2010: 86-89. Print.
10) Without author. “Auf dem Weg zur Überhitzung“. Der Kontakter 11.04.2011: 20-21. Print.
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fundamentals/couponing.txt · Last modified: 2012/01/02 13:44 (external edit)