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When Coupons and Vouchers are No Longer Enough, You Know What To Do - Give Them A Review

Updated on September 23, 2013

Discounts, Vouchers & Coupon Codes May No Longer Be Enough!

Retailers and service providers with too much product on their hands do it!

  • Service providers with insufficient work do it!
  • Hotels, spas, restaurants and bars with spare capacity do it!
  • Retailers with excess stock most definitely do it!

Yes, this is most definitely the age of the deal; the voucher, the coupon and the discount code.

Now, if you're contemplating where to go for your next burger, or debating where to go to get your car valeted or serviced, it’s probably possible to just select the retailer or service provider who is offering the best deal and go for that. Websites like Wowcher, Groupon and so on will give you a coupon or code and away you go, substantial discounts are on offer so you may as well grab one for yourself.

When More Effort is Needed To Turn a Visitor Into A Customer

It’s possible to do your shopping that way now because the technology of the Internet and email messaging has liberated the retailer in a way that was never really envisaged just a few years ago.

If a hotel has empty beds the bills don’t go away, so those beds might as well be full – even at a bargain rate. Restaurants that are empty somehow don’t have much atmosphere and might appear to be unsuccessful, full restaurants on the other hand look and feel successful, a great place to be.

So can voucher codes, coupons and daily deals work for all products and services? Not all, perhaps, but there may be a way to make them work for more than they currently do.

When you want a pizza, you know you want a pizza, the only thing you need to decide is which pizza and from where it is to be bought. If you are going out for a few drinks then the bar that’s running happy hour at the time you want to go is probably where you will end up. Not difficult decisions to make, these.

The situation is nowhere near so simple however when you are buying a product or services that is more complex, more expensive perhaps and where the consequences of making a wrong decision are more serious and long lasting.

Welcome to the world of the review

So when the coupon code or voucher is not enough to tip the balance when it comes to making a buying decision, what can the retailer or service provider do?

The answer lies in a relatively new trend in Internet selling, in the world of reviews, feedback and ratings.

Yes, I know that reviews have been around for a long time but the Internet has enabled a new kind of review to emerge – the user review. Yes, we no longer have to take the view of an “expert” who has probably not actually purchased the product himself but has, instead, just reviewed a sample supplied by the manufacturer. You can be sure that that sample that has no doubt been carefully prepared prior to release.

The kind of review I am referring to are customer reviews, user feedback from those who have actually put their money on the table and made a purchase.

Pioneering work by Amazon and eBay has given the industry a new direction.

It would be fair to say that Amazon and eBay were the pioneers of this kind of feedback. Every product sold on amazon has the option for customers, i.e. those who had actually bought the item, to leave a review. Those reviews are visible and can be read by prospective customers to help them to make up their mind.

The approach taken by eBay was slightly different in that it is the seller of the product that is rated but the quality and suitability of the product sold would obviously shape the review to a large extent.

These practices have now extended to smaller, but no less effective, retailers and websites and this enables them to present information in the form of a product or service review to the prospective customer in order to help them to make a decision. The description given to a product in an ecommerce store may be quite brief and not detailed enough to enable the buyer to make up their mind. However, when a full blown product review is also added to the mix, the buying decision is a whole lot easier to make.

Success, therefore, would seem to be heading in the direction of those ecommerce operators who combine coupons and voucher incentives with an in-depth product review to help the customer decide.

The world of online sales is changing all the time but people will always need to be able to buy with confidence so retailers beware, discounts and deals are not always enough – we need to know what we’re buying, even if it is discounted.

Your comments are welcome

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