Grocery and the art of persuasion

Coupons are a tried and true way of engaging consumers: 92% of shoppers have used coupons, and almost 90% say coupons influence both their choices and decision to try new products.

In grocery specifically, 60% of shoppers are influenced to make a purchase by coupons, and almost 70% decide where to shop based on whether they can use paperless discounts on their phone or loyalty card.

 
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So while many grocery brands are sticking to the tried and true and continuing to print coupons in circulars or on the back of paper receipts, there’s no denying digital is on the rise: 31 billion digital coupons are expected to be redeemed by the end of 2019.

 Going digital also means it’s easier to use your knowledge of buyer behavior and shoppers’ specific data to connect with them on more levels than is possible through a piece of paper. How? A little psychology goes a long way! Use these six persuasion techniques when designing mobile coupons for your customers, and get more shoppers into store, more often.

6 ways to use persuasion in your marketing

Reciprocity: if you want shoppers to get your app and start redeeming coupons, give them something up front. Send them a high value welcome coupon, surprise gift, or bonus points the first time they log in to your app. It’s the same principle that drives Costco’s amazingly successful free sample strategy.

 
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Scarcity: coupons can be pitched as strictly limited, only available at this store, only available on this day, or exclusive to the recipient. Craft your coupons to create a sense of urgency and you’ll give customers that all-important dopamine hit when they redeem. And this strategy works: customers overwhelmingly prefer to receive a one-time-only high value coupon to a lower value coupon they can use over again.

 Authority: Credibility goes a long way. Have you been in the grocery business longer than the competition? Do you have a better understanding of what customers want, so you can give them promotions they really care about? Is your app used by 156 million people, meaning you have better data and more smarts at your disposal? Be sure to tell people that when you’re marketing your loyalty program.

Consistency: If someone redeems a coupon, they’re likely to do it again – and the more they do it, the more likely they are to continue doing it. What does that mean for you? Personalize your promotions: give people every reason to use that first coupon, and make sure you use that data to refine your marketing and stay relevant, encouraging further redemptions and more store visits.

 
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Liking: people are more likely to do something if asked by people (and brands) they like. So be likable. Be personable. Get to know your customers and give them what they want. Another way to do this on mobile is to not make it all about the transaction. Can you give your customers additional utility? In an app that may be calendars, calculators, loyalty point trackers, shopping lists, order updates, store locators etc. Helping people makes your brand more likable, and that makes your coupons easier to say ‘yes’ to. 

Consensus: demonstrating that people are using your app, redeeming coupons and getting value, is a really good way to encourage even more people to use it. Consider:

  • Show how many shoppers use your app, how many coupons are available and how many coupons people are redeeming

  • Make recommendations. Show people what ‘customers like you’ or ‘customers who like what you like’ are buying, and which deals are popular. 

  • If you have positive reviews and testimonials, make sure they’re front and center on your site, in your store and linked from your app.

 Trust us, we know what we’re doing

Grocers know that coupons work; we know that digital coupons work better. Not only does digital allow for more personalization, it makes it easier for you to use some basic principles of buyer behavior to encourage engagement and redemption.

Check out our article Did somebody say coupons? for more on the importance of coupons in shopper engagement – or get in touch to see how more personalized promotions can work for your customers.


Further reading 

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180522005419/en/New-Research-Displaydata-Planet-Retail-RNG-Estimates

http://intelligence.valassis.com/rs/275-QRU-089/images/Coupon-Intelligence-Report.pdf

https://www.influenceatwork.com/principles-of-persuasion/

https://www.apnews.com/2d25352183624383ae898a384c0dce79

https://www.plexure.com/plexure-blog/2019/4/4/did-somebody-say-coupons

https://blog.hubspot.com/news-trends/customer-acquisition-study

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180522005419/en/New-Research-Displaydata-Planet-Retail-RNG-Estimates

https://www.business.com/articles/improve-mobile-coupon-redemption-rates/

https://codebroker.com/resources/text-marketing-and-mobile-coupon-whitepaper/

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/10/the-psychology-behind-costcos-free-samples/380969/