In the competitive world of online commerce, understanding consumer behavior is critical to success. Yet, at best, marketers cobble together click paths and marketing touch points for a view that merely suggests shopping intent.
"What compels shoppers to buy from one retailer other another?"
"Why do they choose the brands they do?"
"How do shoppers discover new retailers and stores?"
These questions were answered by a recent survey of 1,000 shoppers who participated in a CJ Affiliate study on the habits of online shoppers seeking coupons. Coupon shoppers, due to their sheer number and sales volume, are a shopping audience that CJ wanted to help our advertisers better understand. We chose to limit our survey to coupon site visitors because CJ most frequently hears questions about the incrementality of these shoppers' purchases. What motivates these shoppers to buy and what role do affiliate coupon sites play in their shopping process?
Are coupon sites critical to an advertiser's program?
Emarketer reports that nearly half of US online shoppers now use online coupons and shopping cart abandonment rates hover at 60 percent. These two data points together suggest that shopping cart abandoners who click away will likely discover an affiliate coupon site. Our survey data suggests many of these shoppers are still actively evaluating their purchases, despite being in the shopping basket—53 percent of survey respondents report using online shopping baskets to calculate costs and shipping expenses.
Shoppers who abandon to seek coupons are "hot targets", open to being persuaded to jump to a new retailer. Indeed, more than half (57 percent) of the survey respondents who leave retailer sites to find coupons said they "Often" choose to then buy an item from a different retailer.
Coupon sites are uniquely positioned to help an advertiser either retain a sale, or possibly gain a new customer. They frequently drive some of the industry's highest new customer rates, likely because customers are discovering new retailers while searching for offers. Coupon shoppers in our survey reported that they have been introduced to new retailers via coupon sites and been influenced to buy from new retailers.
No matter where you stand on the topic of coupon sites and their place in your affiliate program, you'll want to read this white paper, "Why You Shouldn't Ignore Coupon Sites".