One of the most effective promotion types is also one of the simplest to set up and run, no matter what locale you sell in. Known as coupons in the US and vouchers in the UK, this promo type can increase your visibility to drive traffic, edge out the competition with a compelling offer, convert sales, and increase customer reviews and loyalty. Here are some basics and tips for running coupons and vouchers successfully.
At eCommerce Nurse, we advise taking advantage of this promo type year-round. But it can be especially effective in Q4 on Amazon, and is often used during Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Eligibility criteria for coupons/vouchers
Coupons are flexible for various time periods, easy to create, and versatile for a wide range of products and categories. They can be set up as a percentage off, or a dollar or pounds amount of savings off the regular price. Customers “clip” the coupon/voucher when the product is added to their cart/basket.
Products will be eligible for this promotion type when you can run a minimum of 20% discount off the current price. You should also have positive product reviews and ratings. This deal type is open to vendors and sellers in all locales.
How to submit
This deal type is self-service using either Vendor Central or Seller Central.
- For vendors: Vendor Central > Merchandising > Coupons > Create a new campaign. For a step-by-step guide, check out our blog on setting up coupons in Vendor Central.
- For sellers: Seller Central > Advertising > Create a new coupon/voucher.
Benefits of running coupons/vouchers
Coupons and vouchers can be set up in a matter of minutes. They can also be very successful. Amazon claims that vendors who run coupons/vouchers see an average sales uplift of 11%.
The bigger discount you run, the more visibility your brand could receive. The most popular coupons are also merchandised on the coupons home page, category pages, and peak events pages.
A screenshot of dog food with coupons applied
Even smaller coupons are displayed on every search and browse page with a green badge. These savings can also be reflected in your Amazon Advertising campaigns, Amazon Posts, and Brand Stores, helping to drive more traffic to your listings.
Some customers are enticed by the coupon designation on search and browse pages, but then do not clip it before making a purchase. This means they pay your regular price and are not charged a redemption fee, while you still get a traffic boost from the mere presence of your coupon.
Businesses can also set coupons/vouchers to have unlimited redemptions, or only one per customer on the setup page. This is something to keep in mind when planning your promotions. Unlimited redemptions work well for minor price drops that are run continuously, while larger price drops during particular periods might warrant the limitation.
Furthermore, if you can test what works for your products and brands. Some brands see more success with a dollars or pounds price reduction, while others work better as a percentage. You also might have more success with a higher or lower amount depending on your price point. You can always price your products slightly higher to start if you plan on running a coupon/voucher program.
Costs and considerations
There are a few considerations for running coupons and vouchers. While there is no big initial fee to run this promotion type (like there is with Lightning Deals), Amazon will charge you a redemption fee for each clipped coupon.
In the US:
- Standard Fees: $0.60 per redemption.
In the UK:
- Standard Fees: £0.45 per redemption.
These fees can vary depending on the time of year and the product category. You can set up your deal to run for a maximum of 90 days. But, should your costs be too high, you can shut it off at any time (for sellers only).
Both vendors and sellers will need to ensure they have stock to support whatever coupon they choose to run. For vendors, a 21-day lead time is sufficient for setting up a coupon. This will give Amazon time to adjust inventory and raise POs.
When you set up the coupon or voucher, there is a space to determine your budget. Amazon likes you to set an overall budget for the coupon, which is the maximum amount of spend (including fees and the discount). If you reach 95% of your budget before the dates of the promotion, Amazon will take it down, as a safeguard that you aren’t spending over budget.
Your item is priced at $50. You run a 25% off coupon, meaning customers can get the item for $37.50. With a $.60 redemption, each unit would “cost” $13.10 against your budget. If you set a low budget, say $500 in this instance, you will reach your maximum and the coupon will be turned off relatively fast, around 38 redemptions.
Running coupons/vouchers during Q4
If it’s your first Q4 or you are unsure about submitting the bigger deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a coupon/voucher is a low-risk way to test the waters. They are easy to run and get approved. They also allow you to leverage increased traffic to the site during the holiday period without too much stress.
If you are planning your Q4 2021 promotions, be sure to check out our blog on promotion dates and deadlines to effectively create your calendar.
It’s easy to measure success in the dashboards provided in Seller Central and Vendor Central. You can see your messaging, how many redemptions your coupon/voucher received, plus your overall spend and sales. You can also look at expired coupons and track performance. This allows you to quickly and easily plan your next coupon/voucher and see how it fits into your overall strategy. Perhaps it works better to run a $1 off coupon year-round, or maybe it’s better for business to run $10 off per unit during Black Friday week.
If you need more help planning your promotional calendar or are looking for support managing your account in Vendor Central or Seller Central, please contact eCommerce Nurse. As a boutique agency, we offer custom packages and bespoke solutions for brands and businesses of all sizes.