November 10, 2014, 11:41 AM

Why e-retailers need to embrace promotions and coupons

A RetailMeNot survey shows that such marketing sweeteners encourage consumer loyalty and purchases.

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Promotions breed loyalty and encourage purchases among online shoppers, according to a new survey from coupon affiliate web site operator RetailMeNot Inc.

It finds that that 68% of consumers say they’re “more likely to be loyal to a brand that offers online coupons or promotion codes,” and that 68% of consumers are likely to refer friends to companies that offer such sweeteners. Additionally, 50% of consumers describe themselves as more likely to buy at full price from companies that offer coupons and codes.

RetailMeNot bases its findings on four online surveys of between 1,107 and 1,641 U.S. adult consumers each. The surveys were conducted between Aug. 22 and Aug. 29 with Google Consumer Surveys.

The survey also finds that 89% of consumers seeking deals said that promotions “triggered an online purchase.” By comparison, 91% said the about the online offers led to in-store purchases.

Additionally, of the online shoppers who use promotions, 82% of those consumers “sometimes, frequently or always consider promotions when planning what items to buy.” Nearly the same percentage, 81%, said the same thing about where they shop.

Promotions further shape consumers’ shopping visits. 66% of online shoppers report using promotions to help plan a trip to stores in the hours, days and weeks before a purchase. By comparison, 74% of in-store shoppers said the same thing.

The survey also considers the link between promotions and online shopping cart abandonment. 78% of respondents have “sometimes, frequently or always looked for a promotion before abandoning their cart over the past year,” RetailMeNot says. 68% of respondents, meanwhile, sometimes, frequently or always use promotions upon returning to those abandoned carts to complete purchases. 

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