How Are Businesses Using Coupons in a Digital Age?

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While the traditional coupons you find in your newspaper or in the mail are in decline, that hardly means that the use of coupons has seen a downturn. Retailers have found providing coupons online to be the best way of reaching their customers, and even of rewarding regular customers.

With the internet, it is easier than ever to find coupons. People can find coupons that are directly related to what they want to get that day, or they can sign up for things like Groupon, where special coupons are periodically emailed—the catch being, you never know what you might get.

Grocery stores seem to be the vanguards of online coupon innovation. Kroger offers digital coupons not only on their website, but also through their mobile app. There are in-store offers where you can scan with your app and get a coupon on your phone you can use at checkout.

Of course, many stores allow you to order online for delivery or pick-up. We are all familiar with promo codes for places like Papa John’s Pizza—they can come in paper on top of your latest pizza order, or they can be emailed to you if you sign up. As things like grocery pickup become more popular, one can expect experiments with promo codes there as well.

We are increasingly seeing the evolution of online and brick-and-mortar shopping, and coupon use is evolving to meet these needs. We are still in the experimental stage with some of these developments, but that only means a wider variety of ways for the customer to save money—and for stores to bring people to the door.


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