Sure, shoppers love coupons and discounts – but what type of coupons and discounts? A new survey finds that most online shoppers won’t even get out of bed for less than 10% off. And while they’ll be happy with modest discounts on food and fun, they’re not about to buy clothing at full price – ever.

Those are some of the findings in the online marketplace vendor Capterra’s “2022 Coupon Preferences Survey.” Just ahead of the all-important holiday shopping season, Capterra found that almost all online shoppers search for coupons at least some of the time, most are more likely to buy if they find one, and most will rethink buying from a seller that isn’t offering as many coupons as it used to.

When it comes to the most popular type of discount, the percent-off coupon is king. A whopping 93% of online shoppers say they have used one, and nearly two out of three say it’s their preferred type of coupon. That’s way ahead of coupons offering free shipping, which 90% say they will use, but only 19% say they prefer. All other types of coupons are far down the list.

So if shoppers prefer percent-off coupons, perhaps a modest 5% off coupon will do the trick? Hardly. “5% discounts do not appear to motivate consumers,” Capterra found. “Consumer expectations for discounts generally begin at 10% and rise from there.” Shoppers looking for deals on food and entertainment are generally happy with 10% off, while 15% is the threshold for personal care and household supplies shoppers. When it comes to clothing though, nothing less than 20% will do. Nearly three out of five shoppers anticipate coupons for clothing will offer at least 20% off, and only 5% will be happy buying clothes without a discount at all.

And where do all these coupons come from? Younger shoppers are more likely to find coupons on social media or in online communities. But overall, some two-thirds of shoppers turn to coupon websites like RetailMeNot to find discounts, while about the same percentage use coupons they get via email.


In order to get coupons via email, though, you generally have to sign up for them by providing some personal information. And the vast majority of shoppers are perfectly willing to trade some of their data for discounts. 85% will provide an email address in exchange for coupons, and 70% will share their gender. When the questions get more personal, though, the shoppers get a bit more reluctant – 60% will provide their name, 48% their birth date and 32% their home address. Only 7% say they won’t provide any information in exchange for coupons.

Capterra notes that email addresses-for-coupons is a fair trade for both sides. “Acquiring email addresses and other data from potential customers who are already interested in discounts means you can continue reaching out with personalized coupons and other promotions,” its report advises sellers. The majority of shoppers are willing to go further than just providing an email address, by joining a company’s loyalty program. “The most popular loyalty reward according to our survey?” Capterra asks. “Why, it’s more coupons, of course.”

The problem with all of these coupons is that shoppers might get too accustomed to them. Just ask Bed Bath & Beyond – or JCPenney. Both retailers found out the hard way that cutting back on coupons after offering so many for so long, ended up driving customers away. Three-quarters of shoppers in Capterra’s survey said they would stop making purchases from a company if it discontinued coupons they had become accustomed to using. “This is a clear red flag,” Capterra warns. The lesson for companies “is to vary the type of coupons you offer and the cadence with which you offer them from the outset.”

In the final analysis, some coupons are better than no coupons. 71% of online shoppers say they use coupons whenever possible, and 78% say they’ve walked away from a potential purchase because they couldn’t find a coupon. For companies worried about their image, few shoppers think less of companies that offer coupons – 89% said they don’t think coupons or discounts make sellers appear “desperate for customers.”

Given the way inflation has shoppers watching their spending as we head into the holiday season, some companies may indeed find themselves “desperate for customers.” And the only ones that might miss out on attracting customers this year, are those that insist on charging full price.

Image source: Mockuper


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Privacy Policy
Disclosure Policy