Paper Or Digital Coupons: Which One Is Right For Your Business?

Digital coupons have been gaining more popularity among retailers in the past several years, raising questions about the effectiveness of traditional paper coupons for marketing purposes. Are shoppers still using enough paper coupons to make printing them worthwhile? Are there any inherent advantages paper coupons have over digital? Is it easy to make the switch?

Octopon allows you to create and distribute custom coupons in both paper and digital format. Whether you choose to use one or both options for your marketing strategy, you should learn some key differences between the two so you can utilize them to their fullest potential. These are some of the most prominent key points you should keep in mind.

Digital coupons can reach more people. The Pew Research Center found that 77% of Americans owned smartphones in 2018. Similarly, Statista found that in the same year 73% of Americans owned a home computer. With connecting to the internet easier than ever, and with people spending an increasing amount of time checking their email and posting on social media, digital coupons have more opportunities to reach new and old customers alike. Digital distribution also allows your customers to easily share coupons with friends and family, giving you a wider reach.

Paper coupons offer higher ROI on average. When customizing your own coupons, you ultimately decide how much the discount is worth. However, a big discount means less profit if the number of customers redeeming it is high. Digital coupons are a quick, inexpensive, and powerful way to advertise your business, but if the goal of your coupon strategy is bringing more customers in while minimizing the profits you’ll lose to redeemed discounts, the limited nature of physical coupons are usually the better choice.

Demographic preferences. There have been many polls and reports that show a large preference for digital coupons among shoppers. However, if you look beyond the numbers you’ll find that those with a fondness for digital coupons tend to be middle-aged or younger, with older customers sticking to traditional paper coupons. Carefully considering who your campaign is targeting and what their preference is most likely to be can make your decision an easy one.

Cost mostly comes down to distribution. What you ultimately pay for your campaign comes down to how you market it. It’s something of a myth that paper coupons come at an absorbent cost to print. In reality, printing costs are pretty low. Where money gets spent is on how you choose to get the coupons to customers. You can easily market either form of coupons yourself with little to no cost (releasing digital coupons on social media or handing out paper coupons at the register, for example), but you may choose to hire outside help to market them on your behalf. When it comes to the base cost, paper and digital are on relatively equal ground.

The two biggest factors that determine whether your coupon campaign should be digital or paper are your strategy’s ultimate goal and who you’re trying to target. If you’ve thought this out and still aren’t sure which is the right choice for you, Octopon makes it easy to create coupons in either form. You can start a trial today and begin experimenting right away.


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