WooCommerce Coupons for Smarter Small Business Marketing
- April 11, 2015 | Ryan O'Donnell
Many coupon and deals sites exist these days, whether you shop at a big name brick-and-mortar retailer or an e-commerce business. Plenty of consumers hit these sites as soon as they see the coupon code field in the checkout process. Your small business can benefit from that traffic by creating your own coupon codes for your e-commerce site. WooCommerce has several built-in coupon features, as well as add-ons, for small business coupon marketing.
WooCommerce Built-in Coupon Features
WooCommerce has a wide range of built-in coupon features to get you started with your small business marketing campaign. To access the coupon features, go to the WooCommerce section after logging into your WordPress site. Click the Coupons subsection to access coupon control.
The Coupons panel shows existing coupons (if you have any) as well as an Add Coupon button to create a new discount offer. You may choose between four types of discounts:
- a base cart discount
- a percentage off of the cart
- a base product discount
- a percentage off of the product
There's also a check box for free shipping, which also requires the free shipping method enabled in the shipping settings. Even the most reasonable shipping cost can have potential customers looking for a free shipping coupon. Use this as a marketing tool to overcome their buying objections.
You also have the option of restricting coupon usage to a minimum or maximum spend, stopping the offer from being stacked with other coupons, excluding sales items, restricting based on product or restricting based on category. Finally, set your usage limits. The usage limit section restricts how many times that coupon can be used, and how many times an individual user can apply it. One way to use this for small business promotion is to create a limited time offer for a new product line. You get more eyes on the product line even if customers aren't necessarily buying.
Types of Coupons to Offer
What is the greatest barrier to entry that gets in the way of your customers making a purchasing decision? Shipping is often a sticking point for many customers, so taking away that pain point makes it easier for them to continue down the sales funnel.
Offering a flat percentage discount is another universally applicable option that any customer may get use out of. If you're trying to introduce a new product line or shifting out old inventory, consider running bundled specials, such as a buy-one-get-one deal.
Don't forget, offering any type of coupon opens up the possibility of promoting your business on coupon and deal sites. There's several big name sites out there, such as RetailMeNot and FatWallet, along with countless niche and specialized sites that you can list your business on. Be sure to submit your coupon codes once they're live.
WooCommerce Coupon Add-Ons
Free and paid add-ons for additional coupon options are also available in WooCommerce. Some popular add-ons include:
- Smart Coupons, which introduces store credits, bulk coupons, gift certificates and automatic coupon delivery.
- Group Coupons allows you to create targeted discounts for specific WordPress user groups.
- Free Gift Coupons is an extension that adds a free gift to the order when the customer puts in the coupon code.
All three of these add-ons expand your business promotion options, especially the gift certificates. Last-minute gift buyers want to find something special for their loved ones, but they can't always anticipate purchase preferences, which is why a gift certificate can be very appealing.
How Coupons Affect Sales Tax
One aspect of coupons many businesses fail to consider is how coupons affect the sales tax you collect. In a majority of cases, you charge sales tax based on the final sales price. This is after all coupon codes and other discounts have been applied, such as double or triple coupons. This is a state by state regulation, and some states may look at the pre-coupon price for sales tax collection. Talk to your state revenue department or chamber of commerce to determine the current legislation surrounding coupons.
Coupons are a valuable marketing tool, and WooCommerce provides the built-in tools you need to experiment with coupon marketing. If your demographic responds well to your offers, you have a number of extensions to expand your coupon creation reach.