Online Coupons

History of Online Coupons

Coca-Cola was the first company to use coupons in 1894. Potential customers all over the country received a coupon for a penny off a glass of Coca-Cola in their mail or in their magazine subscriptions. Coca-Cola was distributed at this discount to 8,500,000 people in America over the next ten years of the campaign. The promotion worked and by 1895 Coca-Cola was being served all across the country.

In 2009, Americans redeemed $3.5 billion dollars from their coupons. Over two-thousands companies offer coupons for customers as promotional tools. Coupons can be found in newspapers and magazines, as well as online business and companies. In fact, many websites are designed to help customers redeem the maximum amount of savings from their coupons.

Today Coca-Cola and companies like it, offer coupons in many forms. One of the forms used commonly today are online coupons. On the home page of many big brands, coupons or promotional savings are available with just the click of a button.

The internet is a huge marketplace for small business and large companies alike. With the launch of Amazon.com in 1995 came a onslaught of large online retailers. Each company needed to use promotional tools to advertise their business and coupons were an obvious first step.

Online Coupons and Promotionals for Online Retailers

With a long history of store and company coupons, the internet had a precedent for coupon distribution. Many of the deals found in the store are also offered online. Also, many companies will offer in-store coupons that are printable off their website.

The most common type of online coupon is the low cost or free shipping coupon. Other deals are also often available. To simplify the coupon “clipping” process, online retailers have coupon codes or promotional codes. These are words or phrases that signify that a customer is using a certain coupon, without having to use a physical coupon.

Cross promotional coupons are often available on the internet. Podcasts that are funded by certain online retailers will sometimes give promotional codes during the show. Blogs are also given promotional codes to distribute. This is a way for small internet performers to get wider distribution, but also helps the companies advertise.

There are many ways to save with online retailers. Here are some examples you can get with promotional codes

  • Low Cost or Free Shipping
  • The shipping cost can make a big difference to customers when deciding to shop online or to buy from an
    online store. Many companies offer free shipping or low cost shipping. Another way online retailers often offer
    this deal is to allow free shipping after a certain amount of items have been purchased.

  • Buy Items Together and Get an Extra Item for Free
  • Similar to buy one get one free sales at the local grocery store, online retailers will sometimes offer free
    items when certain items are purchased. Often times the shipping price is the same with or without an extra
    item, so companies can include extra items at a low cost to them.

  • Free Promotional Items or Ads
  • When you purchase an item from an online store, often times the retailer will include promotional items like
    t-shirts or fliers in your ordered package. These small gifts help promote the website and encourage
    customers to shop there again and again.

    Finding Online Coupons for Your Local Stores

    In addition to online retailers, stores like Target or Wal-mart also have websites that offer coupons. These coupons can be printed off and used in the store, just like coupons that would come in your newspaper. Customers may be limited to how many of these coupons they can print from a single computer.

    The kinds of savings one can get from a coupon printed online are similar to the types of savings one might find in newspaper or magazines. Most of the coupons that are offered in the newspaper can also be found online. Different types of deals give customers a wide variety of savings. Here are some examples of common types of savings:

  • Buy One Get One Free
  • This type of coupon allows customers to stretch their dollar. Like many online deals, this one allows customers
    to buy an item and get a little something extra on the side, whether that be a duplicate of what they bought or
    something related.

  • Take Money off Your Purchase
  • These coupons are very straight forward, if you buy a certain amount of items you get a certain amount taken
    off your bill. Sometimes the promotion requires the customer to buy a certain item in order to receive the
    savings. There is usually a minimum purchase to these types of promotionals.

  • The Mail-In Rebate
  • Rebates probably offer the most savings of any other type of coupon, but can also be the biggest hassle. To
    use a rebate, the customer buys an item at full price then sends in the receipt to the company. The company
    then sends them a check or credits their account with the balance offered by the rebate. Rebates take time,
    but can save customers hundreds of dollars.

    Why Use Online Coupons?

    Coupons can mean big savings for customers. Online coupons save companies money because they don’t have to produce coupons that just get thrown away and never used. When a customer prints off a coupon to use, or better yet, when a paperless promotional code is used, everyone saves money.

    Since the internet is such a huge market place, small business often get overlooked. Promotional tools like coupons are often used to get the word out and put their website on the map. Growing companies are always willing to take a little off the price if it means bringing in more customers. Companies with a large distribution are able to pass big savings on to their costumers to ensure repeat business.

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