A Retail voucher or coupon has three core elements namely;

  • value/advantage,
  • expiry date and
  • conditions
  1.  Value or advantage

A good voucher will give the consumer a good value that entices him or her to use it. The value is often a discount or cash reward. If you have your consumers shopping data, you can customize the value to suit various catagories of consumers…

  1. A voucher cannot last forever.

In order for it to meet its purpose, it must have an expiring period. This is what compels the consumer to use without taking long.

  1. There have to be conditions

Use of the retail voucher should come with conditions. For example, the voucher may have to be used in a specific outlet or on specific products or services.

Here’s an example to meet all above core element requirements

You sell kitchen appliances and items. You can categorize a group of buyers in one who have in the last 3 months purchased a coffee machine. You know that usually a coffee machine comes with coffee capsules that can last upto 3 months on average. So in the third month you may want to send them discount or “2 for 1” style vouchers for coffee capsules to be redeemed in the next 30 days

The in above example,

  • 2 for 1 is the advantage or value as people drink coffee everyday and usually buy more capsules at one time.
  • 30 days is the expiry period of the voucher
  • Vouchers for Coffee Capsules is the specific product condition

While the above are the core elements that are essential for every retailer to understand, there are many features & elements that can help give the retailer more control. A voucher may have additional elements as follows:

  1. Serial number.

This helps prevent fraud which can result from people duplicating the voucher even though it was not issued to them originally.

  1. Prevailing trend

Understanding the core elements of a retail voucher or coupon is important. However, you will also need to keep an eye on the prevailing trends.

Vouchers have gained more popularity today when it comes to product promotion. However, unlike the past where retailers focused on lowering costs, focus today is on increasing the top line to sell more. When it comes to vouchers the focus has been the promotion of products and services. Gifting is no longer the primary focus.

  1. Vouchers help increase the top line

Today, vouchers are not just used in the retail domain. Almost every business, including the charitable organizations, uses vouchers. Banks have also not been left behind. There are vouchers that are issued by banks and are cashable at specific outlets or across organizations. This means you can issue the voucher from the bank to a real estate agency that cashes it at a retail outlet. Retailers also issue vouchers that can be cashed at different places such as the movie theatre. Simply put, in addition to helping the retailer increase the top line, retail vouchers have become more like co-branding where they can crisscross all over.

  1. Ecommerce

Online businesses have not been left out when it comes to the use of vouchers. It is now possible to use vouchers/codes in ecommerce websites. This is all thanks to the availability of the e-vouchers. These are digital vouchers that can be used online. They are used in the same way the paper vouchers are used by retailers. E-vouchers help promote products and services of online businesses.

There are many ways in which retail vouchers can be used. The important thing that a retailer needs to do is to make sure that he includes all the essential elements in his vouchers more so to prevent fraud which can lead to immense losses. In addition to that, a great voucher management system has to be implemented. With effective voucher management, you will be able to promote your products, increase sales, increase loyalty and do so much more.