Voucher codes are not worth the paper they are not printed on

clipping couponsVoucher codes are really popular online. Indeed, there are 2.5m searches for phrases including “voucher codes” on Google each month; that’s one person every second, before we even begin to count the people looking for “discount codes” or “save money codes” and so on. It seems we are all keen on saving some cash.

Big stores online, like Amazon, are also keen to offer us discounts, showing us what we would have paid if we were paying full price and how much we are saving “thanks” to their discount.

But it is all in vain.

It turns out that discounts are only of value to us when we can instantly get the product for which the voucher applies.

Traditionally, when you had a paper voucher in your hand, you took it to the local store and handed it in when you paid for your goods. You instantly saw the price drop on the cash register and you also felt good because you walked out of the shop with an item that you had not paid full price for.

But consider what happens online. You get a voucher code, you go to a website and you order your item, entering the code to get your discount. You are happy – for a minute or so – that you have lowered the price in the shopping cart, so you pay the bill and wait. And wait. And wait. Even if you use something like Amazon’s Prime service you have to wait up to 24 hours to get your hands on your discounted item. By the time the product arrives you have forgotten the discount.

In one experiment in recent research psychologists found that people rated a discounted orange juice much more highly when they were able to drink it immediately after using a discount voucher. But waiting for just 15 minutes eliminated that effect and the consumers gave the juice the same kind of ratings as people who did not receive the discount.

In other words, discounts and voucher codes only work when customers gain instant gratification. Sure, they may help people make that buying decision and help increase conversion rates – but afterwards the impact of that discount is removed. People do not rate your business or products any greater than if they did not get the discount.

Online voucher codes clearly work well when people can get their item instantly, such as in digital downloads like ebooks, music, videos or software. But beyond this the voucher appears to have limited value on the overall feeling that people have for your product or business.

1 thought on “Voucher codes are not worth the paper they are not printed on”

  1. Well, I’m still quite chuffed that I saved about £20 off a recent clothes order, and however much it was I saved using a voucher code to create a custom gift …

Comments are closed.

Like this article?

Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on email
Share via email

Other posts that might be of interest

man searching
Internet Marketing Articles

Can you find what you are looking for?

If you want to increase your sales, your business needs to make it easy to find everything. That means reviewing how your web search works. It suggests you might need to reconsider the navigation structure of your website. It might even mean you need to distribute your content away from your site and have it on a variety of different platforms.

Read More »
Empty football stadium with no supporters
Internet Psychology

How well supported are you at work?

Yesterday I was transported back in time. I haven’t discovered time travel. Instead, my mind quickly flipped back to a meeting about three years ago that involved the same group of people. I noticed how

Read More »
Man using digital technology
Internet Psychology

Are you obsessed with digital?

Being obsessed with digital could take you away from old-school technologies that do the job better. Yet, avoiding technological change can cost your business dearly. How can you get the balance right?

Read More »