Shopping on Familiar Ground

Shopping on Familiar Ground

“Who would bother with online coupons?” One of my designers dismissed the e-advertisement with a click.

On the contrary, online coupons are gaining a loyal following among online shoppers and a firm foothold in the realm of mainstream advertising. This is indisputable as a check using Google’s search returns with 19,400,000 results. That’s quite awesome.

In Singapore, the nearest mall is just 15 minutes away and the farthest can be reached in under one-and-half hours on bus, mass transit rapid transit (rail) or car. With a land area of only 693 square metres, no shopping mall is too far. We therefore go to the mall frequently even for a loaf of bread. Try doing that if you are staying in the suburbs in the United States, Canada or even Australia. Those folks much prefer online shopping.

Quite sometime ago, a very good friend who is zipping between USA, Canada and Singapore yahoo-ed her photo album over. Among the family’s snowball fighting pictures were 2 very unusual photos. One comprising 2 rolled-up piles of direct mailers she received via her post box. The photo caption said, “My 1-week worth of junk mails.”. The other ones were computer print out of online coupons. The photo caption was: “No shopping without online coupons.”

I dug up her email and reproduced an excerpt from Jam just to illustrate how relevant and big online coupon is to her:

“Even back in Singapore, I’m horrible about using coupons off-line. Thursdays through Sundays, I hunt for discount coupons in the newspapers and flyers. Each Sunday, I promise myself that I’ll look them over before I go grocery shopping. Monday comes, and then Tuesday, and before I realize it, I had thrown those newspapers away or wrapped my vegetables and fish in them. So those coupons are gone before I had a chance to use them. In the end, I stick to online coupons. You cannot imagine the difference it made. None of my girl friends here will go shopping without checking on those offline or online coupons. For me, online coupon is less tedious… …”

To write this post, I ran a check with couponchief and found out why Jam likes online shopping. I discovered that I could get $5 off $50 whether I wanted to start a cellar or throw a tasting party with The Wine Messager. The interesting part is, there are pages after pages of tips on how to do just that. I can $5 off any flower order with Discounts are as high as 40% over the Fall sales at WomanWithin. With some of these discounts exclusively for people using online coupons, I can see why shoppers like Jam stick to online shopping.

The take away message is simply this: One man’s meat is another man’s poison. What is irrelevant and useless for us could be extremely helpful and useful for others. Online coupon may not be big in Singapore, Malaysia or any Asian cities. Still, you may want to consider online coupons if you are running an online retail shop that welcomes overseas orders. Your overseas customers are familiar and comfortable with online coupon shopping. If an overseas customer sees your website, like your product, and finds a promotion mechanism that she feels perfectly at home with, it is quite possible that she clicks on the shopping cart instinctively. When you can make the shopping environment close to your customer’s heart, it’s likely she will not engage too much of her brain cells to do shopping. You would like that, wouldn’t you?

[tags]online shopping, coupon shopping, online coupons[/tags]

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