The Coupon Train

I blogged the other day about Groupon revelling in their self-description of being ‘the fastest ever growing company’. With several copycat operations setting up in their wake, it’s likely we’ve all been hit by the coupon bug.

Whether it be offers constructed specifically for a mass, community style take-up or not.

So it was with great interest I’ve read this past week about the travails of Tesco. Surprisingly, they’re a shop that most of the British media seem to love to hate. If anything tells you about the damning culture of the country, then constantly smashing one of it’s most successful ever companies is shamefully it.

Even though worries about the “tescopoly” are I believe, founded, their drive has been impressive. Until, it seems, now.

Festive season sales have ‘tanked’. £5bn wiped off their value as a result. Broadsheet gloating abounds.

A key reason appears to be that they chose to promote a huge discount campaign. Whereas their rivals all went down the coupon route. Coupons won, hands down.

Is this a one-moment-in-time event, or does it signify a trend?

If it’s the latter, then what are the implications from this retail emergence for us b2b solution sellers?

It is unfortunate that the largest weapon in our armoury often feels like the price cut. Incentives to buy based on lowering the tag are a scourge on our cut of the sale. Even if you do conclude that some commsssion is better than no commission.

Yet perhaps a coupon approach may counter such diminishing recompense?

Yes, I accept that discounts offered on the proviso of extra spend elsewhere can be a winner, yet a coupon type idea semi-formalising this could also fly, right?

Time dependent up-, link-, cross- and switch-sells could be created in a swift brainstorm session. Act now to get your marketing colleagues out of their post-holidays snooze?

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