What is a Digital Coupon? Distinguishing This Type From the Rest

August 31, 2019coupons hub



You're probably more familiar with paper coupons — they fill up your mailbox every day! When it comes to paper coupons, there's a lot of cutting and clipping involved. So what is a digital coupon all about? What makes it more convenient as compared to paper coupons?

What Are the Different Types of Coupons?

A digital coupon is a coupon with a discount, promotion, or offer that provided by an online store to existing or prospective customers. Digital coupons are designed to persuade and encourage consumers to make online or in-store purchases.

In the age of the internet and digital marketing, offers from digital coupons are often customized to fit the recipient consumer's shopping habits and product preferences. There are several ways to avail yourself of digital coupons. Digital coupons come in different types which include:

1. Mobile Coupons

Mobile coupons are electronic coupons which are sent to a mobile phone. These coupons can then be used for discounts or rebates upon purchase of a product or a service. This type of digital coupon is often used by retail stores to entice in-store purchases and by entertainment services as part of their sales promotions. Because mobile phones have become an indispensable device for most consumers, mobile coupons have become an ideal means to provide promotions, offers, and discounts.

Mobile coupons can come in the form of:

  • Text messages with discounts and promotional offers
  • A unique code that needs to be validated at the point of sale
  • An alert which provides a link to a promotional offer
  • A coupon to a loyalty program

2. Downloadable Coupons

As the name suggests, downloadable coupons can be downloaded through a retailer's website or social media or from an email sent to the consumer. Downloadable coupons can also be accessed via mobile phones.

3. Automatic Discounts

Automatic discounts require no effort from the consumer so it's not surprising that they are fast becoming the digital coupon of choice among consumers. All you need to do is make a purchase and discounts will be automatically applied when you check out.

4. Coupon Codes

A coupon code (also called a promo code) is a computer-generated unique code that contains letters and numbers. The code is usually entered in a promotional box found in the retailer's checkout page in order to receive the discount or promo offer. Coupon codes can offer a fixed discount, free shipping, or other forms of discount (such as a percentage off from an entire purchase).

How Do You Use a Digital Coupon?

There are several things you need to know about digital coupons to be able to use them. It's not enough to know what is a digital coupon used for, you also need to read up on how to qualify for the discount or offer provided on the digital coupon.

1. Account Registration Required

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Most retailers will require you to register first for a loyalty account on their websites. Registering is easy and retailers usually have their own mobile app so you can use your mobile phone to clip coupons into your loyalty account.

2. Cannot Be Used With Other Versions of the Same Coupon

Digital manufacturer coupons cannot be used with other manufacturer coupons. Read up on the fine print found on your digital coupon. Digital manufacturer coupons and physical ones that have the same information can't be stacked with one another. However, you can use a digital manufacturer coupon with a digital or physical coupon from the store you're buying the product from.

3. A Loyalty Card, a Phone Number, or a Store App Needed

Digital Number

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Have your loyalty card scanned or enter a phone number to redeem digital coupon offers. Some may require you to use their store apps. Most stores provide loyalty cards or ask for the phone number you registered for your loyalty account. However, some retailers may require you to use their apps to be able to redeem digital coupons.

4. Digital Coupons Come First

Digital coupons take precedence among other coupons with a similar discount. When you check out, your digital coupons will be the first discounts to be taken off your total. That means if you have other physical coupons (e.g. manufacturer coupons, store coupons, or coupons with a minimum purchase requirement), their discounts may not apply.

5. Digital Coupons With Freebies

Be on the lookout for weekly digital coupons with freebies. Some stores provide digital coupons for free items every week. These coupons can be added to your loyalty card and can usually be redeemed within a couple of weeks. However, you need to add the digital coupon to your loyalty account on the day that it's released to be able to get the free item.

6. Ask Customer Service for Assistance

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Check with customer service if your digital coupons don't apply. Sometimes you might run into some errors when redeeming your digital coupons. When this happens, do the following to figure out why the transaction is not going through correctly.

  • Check if you're purchasing the right product, as specified on the coupon
  • Check if you entered the right phone number or if your loyalty card is having a technical glitch

If none of these work, speak with a customer service representative or the store manager and make a request for the credit that's specified on your digital coupon.

Why Should You Take Advantage of Digital Coupons?

For consumers, the ultimate purpose of using digital coupons is to save money. But even with such an obvious benefit, only about 1 percent of shoppers actually redeem them! Did you know that companies shell out billions of dollars a year to entice customers to spend on their products and services? It will make you think twice about what is a digital coupon's value.





woman carrying shopping bags

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Now that you know what is a digital coupon and what the benefits of using one can do to your bottom line, take advantage of it when you do your next shopping — whether online or in-store. If you're not quite the techie-type, you can breathe easy because most digital coupons are still printable. Whether you are using a downloadable coupon, a mobile coupon, or a coupon code the great thing about digital coupons is that processing them is now streamlined and hassle-free.

Digital coupons are one of the many wonderful things brought to us by a capitalist society. Companies actually spend money to satisfy their customers. Before you go on your next shopping spree, consider looking for digital coupons from your favorite retailer and do the math in your head. You might be surprised at how much you will be able to save. Imagine what you can do with $$$$ to $$$$$ of savings a year just by using digital coupons.

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