For some women, finding that pair of stylish ballet flats for 60 percent off is an addictive shopping high. An acquaintance of mine says those feelings of utter contentment and joy will forever categorize that pair of ballet flats as “happy shoes.”
Shoes can’t be happy, I know, but it’s cute she coined her own phrase for a common bargain-hunter experience. Her new term also got me wondering how retailers of every size can find these thrifty, affluent fashionistas who are never caught in a virtual checkout line without a coupon code.
There are still 65-year-old women sitting around the kitchen table, scissors in their inked-stained hands, clipping grocery coupons from the newspaper. Those days are dying, though, (along with newspapers themselves) as more affluent, young and middle-aged men and women are discovering coupon websites. That point was driven home by a quick search on Google.
My search for “coupon codes” revealed the top four natural positions on Google were held by Retail Me Not, Coupon Code, Current Codes and Coupon Cabin—all serving affluent, young and middle-aged men and women of different races, according to Quantcast.
What’s also interesting is how some of these coupon sites position above retail stores in common Google queries for retailer discounts. Take for instance Retail Me Knot, which positions above Eddie Bauer in a search for “Eddie Bauer Coupons.”
Retail Me Knot and Coupon Cabin both positioned higher in natural search results than Ann Taylor in a query for the retailer’s coupons.
People may conduct these coupons searches before heading to a retailer’s website. Or perhaps they followed a link in a retailer’s e-newsletter and are now leaving the checkout to find a free shipping code. Either way, shouldn’t your company remain visible no matter where your customers are searching?
Email and search campaigns are an important part of capturing these customers, but it’s also important to find social networks and coupon sites these savvy shoppers frequent. That’s why this review focuses mainly on Retail Me Not, because not only does it show up frequently at the top of search engine results, it offers more social features than Current Codes, Coupon Cabin and Coupon Code.
Quantcast says Retail Me Not attracts 2.3 million U.S. people, mostly Asian and Caucasian men and women ages 18-34, followed by those aged 34-49 with an average income of $100,000. This site disproves the cliche that men don’t shop, because 43 percent of visitors to this site are male.
Internet shopping adds a level of convenience that attracts male shoppers, especially those who want to save money. Retail Me Not’s social features allow men to get the skinny on which coupon codes work the best, while the social networking community lets men friend other bargain hunters who have money saving tips and ideas.
Retail Me Not’s social networking community lets users see what products top wish lists and what other great deals are out there.
While retailers can’t advertise within the social networking community, they can keep a finger on the pulse of what’s hot with these affluent shoppers. What deals get them excited? What are they saying about your store? Is your product on their wish list? Why or why not?
Retailers can also become fans of Retail Me Knot on Facebook, which is another way of positioning your store in the social graph of this audience.
Many of Retail Me Not’s coupons come from its community members. Any time new coupon codes surface on their catalogs or in email newsletters, this community posts them. The site tallies the success rate its members have with using these coupons, also giving members a chance to comment about their experience with the coupon and the store.
Retail Me Not calls these discounts “collaborative coupons” and encourages retailers to list coupons. Don’t get me wrong, Retail Me Not still wants your advertising dollar. It just so happens that your coupons make their site more interesting to the community.
Other sites, such as Coupon Code, require that retailers become a part of an affiliate network before listing coupons, and don’t offer as many social features.
Coupon code caters mostly to affluent, middle-aged, African American and Caucasian women, according to Quantcast, which notes a little over 35,000 monthly visitors.
My point is simple. There are lots of coupon sites out there with strong search campaigns that filter and redirect affluent shoppers to retailers with bargains. Your online store can leverage these coupon sites to gain exposure and learn more about your target audience.
In the case of Retail Me Not, retail stores and users can both benefit.
The official Oneupweb Review: Oneup Thumbs-Up.