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Why a voucher offer can help your business

The rise of voucher codes in online transactions has been quite phenomenal. Over the last few years, they have increased in popularity and they’re seen as a great way for a business to convert a customer.

There are many ways a voucher can work.

You can offer a voucher discount to people who subscribe to your newsletter.
You can offer a discount on a second order
You can offer a discount on an order amount over a set limit.
You can offer a free delivery voucher.

You can offer a discount for everyone and advertise this on other websites. There are many voucher websites out there. Some charge for a listing but some don’t.

There can be various issues with a voucher code for your business that you need to consider.

Is it profitable to give a discount? If it’s damaging to your business figures then you might need to reconsider the straightforward voucher offering and think about using a second-order voucher, as this encourages repeat business giving you more chances to shine with the customer. Adding a minimum order amount to the voucher offer is often a good idea.

Expiry date – many companies offer open-ended vouchers, but you need to consider whether this is a good idea, or whether it’s best to re-assess the voucher offer a few months down the line and perhaps change the terms and conditions. Having a new voucher offering on a regular basis is something you can share with customers in a newsletter and get repeat business on.

Terms and conditions – make sure they’re clear and you’ve thought them through properly. Is there a minimum order? Is there an expiry date? Does it apply to all products? Does the discount apply to delivery too? Is it easy to understand? Money off as a figure rather than a percentage can be easier for people to understand.

Increase in sales – if the voucher gets listed by a newspaper or other media source that has a huge readership then will your company cope with the extra demand? If you got an extra 100,000 orders overnight would your staff be able to handle that? Getting bad service because of over-demand could damage your business. A way around this is to issue individual takeaway voucher for customers by email and ensuring your system allows the voucher to be used once only.

Improve sales whilst increasing prices – A voucher can help you when you want to increase your costs. You could offer a discount code to allow people to buy at the old price for a limited time.

Some sample terms and conditions you might want to consider for your voucher:

– 20% discount on cheesemongers at Cheesemonkey Seller website until 31st December 2010.
– Applies to full-price Cheesemonkies only, does not apply to any sale items.
– Discount does not include delivery charges. Offer valid for first 10,000 orders only. Discounts can not be applied to gift vouchers. Cheesemonkey Seller reserves the right to cancel any vouchers at any time. The voucher is redeemable online only and can not be used retrospectively. The voucher can not be combined with any other discount code available for the Cheesemonkey seller website. The voucher can only be used once per household.

Implementing the vouchers – you’ll have to discuss with the person who deals with the technical side of your site whether you can add a voucher in. There are systems such as Smart Vouchers that allow custom e-vouchers to be created for users. Services on offer such as CouponPress, Smart Vouchers, and there are many more for specific shopping carts.

Benefits of using a generic sharable voucher code – You should be able to get your site listed on many of the voucher sites. Customers may share the code with their friends, post it on their profile pages on social networking or tweet it. They will include a link to your site so you’ll get more inward bound links. This should increase your site ranking and traffic. You can approach related niche site owners to see if they will list the code too.

Benefits of using a non-generic non sharable voucher code – You get managed traffic levels that your business can cope with. You get less linking to your site from social media. You can reward loyal customers.

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