Coupon Buddy: Building a Successful Product
Posted March 2015
Coupon buddy leverages upper-funnel activity to influence purchasing decisions, increases average order values and prevents cart abandonment all while keeping traffic from bouncing to competing merchants. With over 25M opt-in users, Coupon Buddy is a widely-used utility app that saves consumers money, and improves your customer experience online. What caused Paul Capriolo and Patrick Jenkins to create Coupon Buddy and why was the environment within the affiliate marketing industry ripe for success? An information rich economy creating strong demand for cheaper online retail, along with emerging web-browser capabilities created a disruptive environment for Coupon Buddy to add value to the online shopping experience. While users flocked to deal destination sites with unreliable promo codes and frustrating end-user experiences, Coupon Buddy challenged the status quo and became the leading affiliate marketing partner for Conduit, driving hundreds of millions of dollars in merchant revenue since 2010. While we no longer work with Conduit, we still tap into new user-communities to distribute quality deals and coupons that are always active and never copied from unreliable sources.
E-commerce evolves yet again.
It’s 2010, a growing number of mobile apps begin to offer new utilities to a new community of tech-savvy consumers. An information rich digital economy is disrupting the traditional customer experience, connecting people with information better than ever before. Online search and popular couponing sites are driving huge audiences online to find products at far cheaper prices than in store retail.
With disruption comes opportunity. Computer engineers, Paul Capriolo and Patrick Jenkins were driven to the same question, “how can we simplify commerce?” How can we create more meaningful relationships between brands and contextual information?
After building a successful native advertising platform, Paul and Pat met with software giant, Conduit. They realized an opportunity to leverage their existing brand relationships to create something that would benefit Conduit’s user base and could be distributed at scale. This resulted in the creation of Coupon Buddy, SGT’s e-commerce browser app used by over 25M users worldwide.
The dud-deal with some affiliates.
With 20% year over year growth, affiliate marketing is reaching $1.5 trillion in 2014. The industry has attracted significant attention from affiliate marketers. Unfortunately, brands and their customer experience were not always a top priority. As long as consumer-demand for coupons and discounts remain high, deal destination sites that scrape the internet for coupons and allow end-users to post private promotion codes for all to see, will be popular. Consumers have indoctrinated this method of deal discovery into their casual shopping behavior. But are consumers really getting value at these sites? Are the deal-sites as effective as they claim at driving new retail opportunities? Or are they merely poaching customers during lower-funnel purchasing activity?
Mass couponing sites that re-post expired and unreliable coupon codes do not provide a benefit to consumers or merchants. It’s true that engagement rates at the very bottom of the marketing funnel are generally high, but this model is purely reactive- not proactive. Coupon aggregators capitalize on purchasing decisions that have already been made, leveraging shoppers with the lowest brand loyalty. To show the true value of these affiliates, let’s follow the user-experience from end to end.
The current model is risky business.
At SGT, we have segmented countless customer personas, and all customer types share some key similarities when purchasing online. Just as within physical stores, consumers first identify what they like before ever looking at a price-tag. Only until they identify a product or tier they want, will they begin to weigh the cost/value relationships like price and alternative products.
The expectation of online shoppers today, is that they never have to pay full price. Without incentives, they will flock to deal destination sites for discounted prices. They’ve already identified what they want, and are simply hoping to find a discount that works for the merchant and product they chose. In a perfect scenario, a user would discover your published discount and bounce back to your site- the code would be accepted at checkout, making a successful transaction.
Because these mass couponing sites scrape the internet and republish limited-run coupon codes to mass markets, it’s pretty easy for consumers to find enticing discounts from every retailer. Even retailers who don’t work directly with these sites have coupons and discounts republished. When a consumer uses a mass coupon site and can’t find a discount for the retailer where they found their item, they will find a competitor discount and purchase at another store! These sites can decrease loyalty and actually increase abandoned carts. Similarly, that same user might go through multiple checkout-processes using broken or expired promo codes found at these deal-sites. After creating new carts and entering billing information several times, shoppers can get tired of a painful checkout experience at no fault of the retailer. The end result is more empty carts, a frustrating customer experience, and countless opportunities for competing retailers to poach organic traffic.
The better experience for all.
Coupon Buddy works differently. As a browser application, Coupon Buddy follows users while they shop online, appearing subtly only when they shop. Like a “grocery store circular,” the app allows the user to view all the active coupons and discounts published through the affiliate channel. There is no additional work for the user because they never have to leave the site. Simply visit any retail site, click our app to view all active deals and coupons, click on a deal, and link to the page where savings are earned – it’s that easy. Since our deals appear during the casual shopping process and are slightly higher in the marketing funnel, they influence shopping behavior and purchasing decisions.
Additionally we’re able to identify non-retail destinations like blogs and review sites that have contextual relevance with particular deals, allowing niche user-communities to gain access to contextual savings. Our end-user experience is subtle, never obtrusive and always requires an affirmative click.
The benefits of a better user-experience.
For Coupon Buddy users, our browser app undoubtedly saves time and energy when accessing discounts. Since our merchant partners control the deals we show and our merchant team oversees every deal we load, our coupons always work and convert carts into transactions without the frustration caused by typical deal-sites. This gives our users the reliability and peace of mind to know that they’re never paying full price, while keeping them on your site.
|Coffee Manufacturer||39 days||CB Premium Placements||64% Sales Increase|
|Housewares||55 days||CB Premium Placements, Homepage||125% Sales Increase|
|Printing/Promotion||15 days||CB Premium Placements, Homepage||240% Sales Increase|
|Hotels||55 days||CB Premium Placements, Homepage||33% Sales Increase|
|TV Electronics||22 days||CB Premium Placements, Homepage||58% Sales Increase|
|Audio Electronics||24 days||CB Premium Placements, Newsletter & Homepage||12% Sales Increase|
|Technology||36 days||CB Premium Placements||525% Sales Increase|
Higher average order values.
It’s no secret that users who save more tend to buy more. For Merchants, this means higher volume order values and conversion rates. In the US, the average annual spend per online shopper in 2014 was $1,691 according to industry statistics, With an average transaction frequency of 15.8 transactions per year, the average online consumer spent $107.00 per order. Our users spend $115 per order and we’re optimizing this figure every day. Compound this difference across 25MM users and it’s clear that our browser app adds a huge difference to your bottom line.
Decreased cart abandonment from poached traffic.
Shopping cart behavior is now becoming a leading indicator of a consumer’s action when they can or can’t find the right deal. According to industry statistics, of all the consumers who have abandoned online shopping carts at retail destinations, 78% have claimed they have spent time looking for a promotion. This means that 78% of the most valuable consumers are being exposed to mass coupon sites that can poach or tarnish checkout completions. Our community of users see active promotions 100% of the time without having to search at coupon sites. We help prevent retailers from losing their 78%, while creating a simpler checkout experience for everyone.
Join our community.
Emerging from disruptive technology and challenging the status quo, our mission is to create a better customer experience. Coupon Buddy inspires new purchasing decisions, while extending value to both consumers and merchants. Our loyal user-community of over 25M users worldwide and satisfied merchant partners shows that we deliver value responsibly. And we’re constantly growing our user-base. Our Deals Marketplace at MyCouponBuddy.com drives new users to download the browser app, and active users to organically discover fresh deal content that works. Our strong social media presence on Facebook and Twitter is a testament to our loyal following and ever expanding customer reach. And our campaign services team is dedicated to identifying new partnerships that allow us to tap into new user-communities, strengthening our base while creating a better shopping experience for all.