What is a Digital Coupon?
The world of coupons is changing drastically every year. Though the vast majority of deals are still printed in paper sources – and utilized in this way – a growing number of digital coupons are being used by retailers, manufacturers, and consumers. As a result, individuals who want to save a maximum amount of money with each purchase must fully understand the benefits and implementation of digital coupons.
Digital Coupon Definition
A digital coupon is a deal available using electronic means. For example, a manufacturer or retailer may send e-mails to their customers with lists of high-quality coupons. Anyone who belongs to a mailing list has likely gotten coupons in this way. These digital coupons work in the same way as paper coupons and provide similar deals.
However, their implementation and tracking vary a little from paper coupons. For example, their use will be tracked digitally using online tracking systems. This process streamlines the application of coupons and makes them easier to use in various ways. Just as importantly, digital coupons create instant savings when they are implemented on a website.
Typically, digital coupons come in a few different varieties. Online digital coupons use promo codes inputted directly into the retailer’s website. However, users may also print out digital coupons to take them to a brick-and-mortar shop. This use choice will vary depending on the precise shopping needs of the buyer. Please note that paper coupons, but not digital ones, can be stacked and doubled.
Other sources of digital coupons include social media posts, texts directly from the retailer or manufacturer, and through the e-mail. Mobile phone distribution is increasing in popularity because of the ways it directs a consumer directly to savings. In many cases, the digital coupons – and other applicable ones – can be scanned at the cash register at a store to produce savings.
Using Digital Coupons
Digital coupons provide many possible use methods. One of the most popular of these is the use of couponing apps to track and arrange these deals. Couponing apps provide users with the ability to keep track of their download codes and to use them only when necessary. Simply “clip” the discount on a phone or electronic tablet when you’re at a store, scan the tablet at the register, and you’ve saved money.
However, you can also “clip” these coupons with online retailers. Take Amazon as an example. This site has a section where you can input a promo code to save money on a purchase. These codes are not arbitrary but are attached to a specific coupon. Manufacturers and retailers who use digital coupons create only a limited number of these items, meaning that a code can only be used a handful of times, often only once.
One important factor to remember when using digital coupons is that they cannot be stacked with physical coupons by manufacturers. For example, you may have a paper coupon from one manufacturer and a digital coupon of the same basic deal. This act is considered coupon copying and is not allowed. However, you can use a digital and physical coupon for the same product if the deal offered is different.
For example, you may have a physical coupon for Digornio pizzas that takes $2 off of the purchase price. In this instance, you couldn’t use a digital coupon that offered the same deal. However, you could use a digital coupon with a deal such as “buy one, get another half off.” This type of stacking is acceptable and can save buyers a lot of money if they are shrewd shoppers.
Just as importantly, remember that digital deals are the first discount that will be taken off of your sale total when making a purchase. This fact is essential to consider if you plan on stacking physical and digital coupons for maximum savings. For example, a 50 percent digital coupon will go into effect before a “buy one, get one half off” physical coupon, which will affect how much you spend on only the first item that you buy.
Typical Limitations on Digital Coupons
Like with paper coupons, certain limitations will apply when using digital copies. For example, supermarket chain Kroger includes limitations such as:
- One digital coupon per transaction
- Digital offers cannot double
- Digital representations – such as showing an image of the coupon on a phone – is not accepted
- Managers may decline any digital coupon
These considerations are not universal and will change depending on the store implementing the digital codes. So please make sure to talk to your local shops to get a feel for what they do and don’t allow with digital coupons.