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Why Ecommerce Brands Should Be Partnering with Coupon Publishers

October 11, 2022

Great deals are hard to pass up. It is precisely for this reason that coupons have been a marketing staple ever since they were first employed back in 1887 by the Coca-Cola company.

Ever since then, consumers have been completely wedded to the idea of getting great deals through this avenue of savings, with upwards of 90 percent of consumers having used coupons to make purchases. In fact, their potency has only been amplified in the digital era. As Statista data on coupon market trends in the U.S. reveals:

“What was once found in magazines and mailed to potential customers’ doorsteps, is now commonly found, looked for, and used online… When asked how they discovered coupons, nearly half of U.S. shoppers said they either searched for them online or received them through emails they got from brands they follow.”

Moreover, coupon publishers that consumers search for online are likely to see a considerable spike in popularity as more and more shoppers are looking to spend less and less. According to RetailWire, “54 percent of Americans consider being called “cheap” a compliment at times and 53 percent are proud of being labeled a bargain hunter.”

For these reasons,  those who are using affiliate marketing to increase conversion rates should consider developing relationships with coupon publishers a no-brainer. However, if you still require a bit more convincing, today, we will explore the top five benefits of teaming up with coupon publishers to help promote your products.

But before we get into the nitty gritty of the topic, let’s take a moment to analyze if your ecommerce brand should be using coupons in the first place.

Should Your Brand Use Coupons?

While coupons are an immensely popular and effective marketing tool, as with most things in life, this strategy is not for everyone all of the time. Thus, if merchants aren’t already offering coupons, it is necessary to take a step back to determine if doing so makes sense for their brand.

Generally speaking, coupons are most effective for brands that operate in highly competitive markets and offer commonly available products. The fact is that ecommerce brands in these spaces are going to be vying for dollars in only a few arenas, namely brand loyalty, price, and shipping costs. 

However, customer loyalty has been in decline for years, which means that merchants in highly competitive markets need to look at price and shipping (among other strategies) to help stand apart from rival retailers. Thus, coupons open an opportunity for ecommerce brands to break through and compel shoppers to buy from their company over a competitor.

This is especially true in times of economic uncertainty, as consumers are currently switching brands to deal with inflation. Therefore, opting to forgo working with coupon publishers could mean that you are conceding sales to your brand’s competition.

On the other hand, if your brand sells unique products that do not have a lot of competitor products, then providing coupons might only serve to eat into company profits. Unless, of course, these sorts of retailers seek to use coupons to incentive new customers to buy or to continue to reward long-term relationships with existing consumers. In which case, coupons could be a good fit.

All that said, if price is a determining factor for consumers in your space, then coupons are likely to be an effective tool for generating sales.

On that note, let’s go ahead and take a look at the benefits afforded to ecommerce brands that partner with coupon publishers via their affiliate marketing programs.

The Benefits of Working with Coupon Publishers

If coupons are right for your brand, there are many benefits to partnering with coupon publishers to get your products in front of consumers, including:

1. Ability to Be Present Among the Competition

For brands that fit the bill of those that should be utilizing coupons, there is a good chance that their competitors are already doing so or are at least considering utilizing them as well. Additionally, because coupon publishers tend to have incredibly loyal customer bases, these sites are typically quite effective at delivering results for retailers. As a result, scores of ecommerce brands are partnering with these sites to increase sales. 

Thus, if your brand isn’t present on these sites, competitor products are gaining awareness, traffic, and sales through these online portals, while your merchandise continues to sit.

In order to compete in today’s crowded ecommerce ecosystem, it is imperative that you are everywhere your customers are and present them with compelling offers that are too good to pass up.

2. Complete Control Over Commission and Promotions

Alongside elevating visibility, awareness, and reach, partnering with coupon publishers allows ecommerce brands to control the type of promotional deals used, as well as for how long those offers are available.

When an ecommerce brand works with coupon publishers, the aim is to cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship where the retailer generates sales thanks to the site and the publisher receives a commission on each sale they help to drive. Thus, these sites will only publish deals and offers that have been approved by a merchant, and only for an agreed upon period of time.

Naturally, if a coupon publisher violates the terms of the agreement, retailers will not have to pay out commissions for sales made by an unapproved promotion or one that is outside of the sale window. Of course, repeat offenders will see the relationship terminated. However, these sorts of instances are quite rare. Moreover, if a relationship is fruitful, most publishers are more than happy to respect merchant terms to maintain brand partnerships.

In addition to controlling the promotions published, ecommerce brands also control the commission rate for the relationship, as would be the case with any individual affiliates or influencers partnering with brands.

Of course, retailers should utilize strategic commissioning practices that offer higher commission rates (thus, incentivizing) driving new customers to a merchant’s site, as opposed to returning buyers. Additionally, by utilizing a premium affiliate marketing platform to track data, conversions, and other vital campaign details, retailers will have the ability to gain a high-level understanding on coupon publisher performance and adjust commission rates to optimize outcomes, increase sales, and average order sizes.

3. Coupon Publishers Are High Converting Partners

As it stands, there are a wide array of coupon publishers, with the most common types including:

  • Coupon publishers: These sites offer shoppers coupons across a myriad of product categories
  • Deal publishers: These sites aim to offer shoppers premium deals, with or without a coupon
  • Product-specific publishers: These sites focus on specific product categories.

While the focus of each site differs, the common thread for all of these publishers (aside from offering great deals) is that they are all high converting affiliate partners.

The reason for this goes back to the average consumer’s desire to get a great deal. As Statista data on the annual number of redeemed digital coupons in the U.S. reveals:

“The use of digital coupons is becoming more prevalent in the United States. In 2021, the number of redeemed digital coupons in the U.S. amounted to a total of just over 337 million coupons, up almost 40 million from the figure in the previous year. In comparison, the redemption volume of free-standing inserts (FSI) declined, from nearly 300 million redemptions in 2020 to about 230 million in 2021.”

In a nutshell, this means that consumers are moving away from physical coupons and increasingly seeking out their digital counterparts, often through online coupon publishers.

By ensuring that a brand’s products are present on these sites, retailers stand to capitalize on consumers’ growing desire for digital coupons, particularly as fears of recession grow as inflation continues to climb. However, by offering shoppers a deal via coupon publishers, ecommerce brands can continue to power brand growth through an economic slowdown

4. An Excellent Means of Product Liquidation

As we move through the years and one season changes into another, ecommerce brands are often left holding a surplus of seasonal goods that are much harder to move at full price. After all, no one is shopping for bathing suits in the fall.

However, enlisting the help of coupon publishers to promote out-of-season goods at a discounted rate can help to drive sales of products that would otherwise sit stagnant.

The fact is that using coupons to promote deals on out-of-season goods allows retailer and coupon publishers to:

  • Stimulate sales from consumers who otherwise wouldn’t convert
  • Encourage impulse purchases
  • Gain new customers by inspiring brand loyal shoppers to buy from competitor brands

Through relationships with coupon publishers, ecommerce brands stand a far greater chance of successfully running through inventory that is only taking up warehouse space and not generating revenue in the current season.

5. Ability to Test Top-Performing Coupon Publishers via Refersion

In order for ecommerce brands to be truly successful in their coupon publisher partnerships, it is important to be selective in the coupon sites that are admitted into a retailer’s affiliate program.

Naturally, merchants will want to develop relationships with vetted, top-performing coupon publishers that have a proven track record of generating sales and delivering results.

Fortunately, ecommerce brands using Refersion have the ability to test out the best coupon publishers on the web, as we have gone to great lengths to seek out the top-performing coupon publishers online today. Through our platform, retailers can be assured that the coupon publishers in Refersion’s VIP program are the crème of the crop, as these folks have been vetted as high-performing partners that have a solid track record of maintaining profitable, abiding relationships with ecommerce brands.

Using Coupon Publishers to Promote Ecommerce Sales

There is no getting around the fact that shoppers love a good deal, which means that coupon publishing sites can and should be an essential component to a brand’s marketing mix.

Moreover, as increasing numbers of consumers turn to the ecommerce ecosystem for their shopping needs, an exponential number of buyers are seeking out deals on coupon publishing websites. If an ecommerce brand isn’t present on these sites when shoppers arrive, it is almost guaranteed that they are losing sales to the competition.

Thus, retailers should make it a priority to partner with top-tier coupon publishers to increase sales and reap the benefits mentioned above.If your brand is interested in partnering with some of the best coupon publishers in the industry to boost its bottom line, then reach out to Refersion to see how we can help you begin to cultivate these profitable relationships.

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Written by

Ruthie Carey
Ruthie Carey