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Genevieve Verdier
 
November 23, 2015 | Marketing | Genevieve Verdier

Consumers love using promo codes!

Online wine stores often face the challenge of understanding and rewarding their customers because they lack the intimacy of a tasting room. This can be problematic, though, since shopping for wine is often considered a very personal experience that is largely dependent on developing a relationship with either the winemaker or retailer who sells the wine.

One helpful tool online wine stores can use is promotional codes. Not only are digital coupons a strategic investment, but consumers are extremely keen on using them. Joop Rijk, a web strategist, business consultant and entrepreneur, shared data from eMarketer that predicted 55 percent of U.S. Internet users ages 18 and older would redeem digital coupons or codes for online or offline shopping at least once in 2014.

It's no surprise so many e-tailers feature a promo code box on the checkout screen of their online stores. Wineries, too, can benefit greatly from this tool.

The value proposition
When shopping for wine, consumers are likely to spend a decent amount of time determining where they can purchase their favorite wines at the lowest price. After all, wine is considered a luxury good and not a necessity. In fact, Risk shared data in an infographic that 53.7 percent of consumers now focus on needs than on wants when purchases are concerned.

However, this trend toward shopping discipline can be countered when e-tailers use promo codes. Indecision could be the result of price comparing multiple companies or a general reluctance from the consumer to invest his or her disposable income into a good or service. Wineries can make their wine more accessible, and therefore increase sales and grow their customer base, by offering valuable promo codes to guests.

Beyond discounts and cart totals
Promo codes are far more complex than the monetary value they provide to guests and the increased sales they offer to wineries. On the contrary, digital coupons have an array of benefits to wineries that are worth considering:

  • Customer loyalty: The wine market is extremely competitive, especially as more options for online shopping become available. Wine drinkers now have access to hundreds of different varietals at the simple click of a mouse, and are more likely to remain loyal to an online wine store that meets their needs and provides the most value. As a result, promo codes can be a powerful route to customer loyalty.
  • Valuable insight: Promo codes also offer important data to wineries that will help them increase sales in the long run. From mobile data acquired from shoppers purchasing wine on their smartphones to a deeper look into the connection between the online wine store and tasting room, wineries can optimize their marketing efforts by examining promo code usage. Additionally, promo codes, depending on where they are marketed, can help wineries determine how their social media and advertisements are resonating.
  • Word-of-mouth: Promo codes also inspire word-of-mouth marketing from customers. When a shopper discovers an excellent promo code for his or her favorite wine, chances are that consumer will share the deal with friends on social media and other common channels. Ultimately, this translates to more sales and increased site traffic on the online wine store.

The importance of remaining strategic
Despite their many benefits, promo codes can be potentially harmful if they are not executed strategically. For example, Kissmetrics pointed out that the promo code box many consumers see during checkout often distracts them from their purchase as they go in search of codes - and potentially a better deal from a competitor. Additionally, if an online wine store offers digital coupons too frequently, the discount will be perceived by shoppers as an expectation rather than a reward.

Wineries can get the most out of online discounts by targeting them toward the right people based on interest, ensuring their checkout screen is user friendly and effectively communication promo codes to shoppers through email, social media and other channels. One way to ensure customers don't leave their shopping carts in search of a promo code is to feature discounts prominently on the landing page of the online wine store.

With the right strategy and investment, wineries can increase online sales and improve the customer experience with promo codes.

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