Everyone loves to feel rewarded, even if they are being rewarded for spending money on something that they may or may not need. When customers at the local grocery store see how much money they save because they took the time to clip those extra 4 coupons, they make a mental note to search out more coupons for more savings on the next grocery trip. The same concept holds true with web site owners who offer coupons on products that they sell on their site.
This is especially true with the shipping rates of a product. The most popular way to combat this is to offer free shipping if the customer spends a certain amount of money on products. However, incentives are not just limited to these things. There are thousands of incentives that entrepreneurs can use to get their products into the hands of the customers. The first thing an entrepreneur needs to do is have a plan for the incentive. How long will it be available for? Who will be eligible for it: everyone who is a customer (old or new) or is this an incentive for new customers only?
What about returning customers who have only purchased one or two items a few years ago? Are there incentives for customer referrals, which would be proven? What about the loyal customer who spends half of their paycheck at the web site every time they get paid? Will there be leniency for the customer who is in a different time zone and the incentive is expired in the owner’s time zone, but not theirs? (For example, the owner is located in New York, while the customer is located in Hawaii.) All of these details need to be explained to the customers so that there is no confusion or animosity when the incentive stops. Second, what type of incentive will be used?
Will the customer be responsible for a rebate coupon, in which they have to wait for a time period to receive their reward (delayed gratification) or will it be instant, like a coupon? Will the customer be able to redeem more than one incentive at a time on the same product or on the same purchase, but on different products? How will the owner of the site make certain that the customer does not try to get around the rule the owner decides upon by creating another profile and using the incentive there too?
What is the security feature that the site uses to make certain there is no fraud or hacker waiting for the customer to enter their incentive information along with their credit card information and steal it? If a sample or trial offer is used, how will that be tracked so that a customer is not overwhelmed by many samples, thus eliminating the need to buy the product itself? A word of caution about incentives, however, is that the bottom line, the profit, must always be considered before launching a huge promotion like this. If the bottom line suffers, the incentives are not worth the work.