The thrill of the chase. Discounts and e-commerce.


Last night I went to the hairdressers. I paid with a ‘recommend a friend’ voucher; and I left with a 10% off my next cut token. And a few for my friends. The haircut was good – and the fact that I got a good deal made it even better.

The Telegraph recently published a piece on ‘The pros and cons of voucher codes’, exploring the psychology of discounts, and the increasing popularity of online codes, discount boxes and vouchers. It pointed out the ‘thrill of the chase’ satisfaction that we derive from the ‘getting something for nothing’ illusion; and, also, the culture that is growing up around incentivised shopping, an area that we explored in our social shopping research.

Today, shoppers are savvy, resourceful and have high expectations. Whilst The Telegraph points out that the temptation of “discount” can often induce a beneficial flurry of unplanned spending, it also raises some interesting issues about online shopping.

Is discount the only way to gain the competitive edge? And, how do you encourage brand loyalty when the hunting instinct seems to kick in?

Get inventive

Whilst The Telegraph focussed on money-off, our research shows that experiential forms of recognition are equally valued by consumers.  Differentiating in ways other than price (i.e. exclusive offers and VIP status) could sidestep the discount culture and support a closer engagement between consumer and brand.

Setting the expectation

As The Telegraph points out, a discount box sets an expectation. If you’re not running a campaign, revise your site – or your customers are likely to feel a little hard done by.

Recommend a friend

Recommendation is one of the strongest contenders to discounts. We like a bargain – but we also buy on trust. Bringing together rewards and referrals is a smart way of ensuring that the satisfaction from the voucher is maximised – and that it spreads.

And if you are offering vouchers…

Make them stand out. Combining social media with vouchers can be a powerful solution reaching a far wider audience. Not only does the viral effect kick in if the voucher is popular; but it provides an opportunity for relationship development that is harder to replicate through random voucher codes.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Latest Posts

You may have planning hats on for early 2024 – but before you put that plan in action to wind away the weeks before Christmas, read these 5 tips for your next B2B social campaign! Consider them as B2B social solutions. You may have caught our latest…
Read More
Staying updated on the ever-evolving social media world can be challenging. Here are the latest highlights: X announces the return of post deadlines X introduces the reinstatement of post headlines within in-stream link previews. In October, X made the decision to remove post headlines and preview text, altering how publications…
Read More
In Social Media, organic efforts can only take you so far. While they are vital, the secret sauce to elevate your brand's social presence lies in embracing the dynamic duo of organic and paid social ads. Why? Because the two work better together!
Read More