eMarketer released its “E-Commerce in a Recession” report where it notes that consumers are moving towards online retailers versus traditional retailers. According to the report, online sales increased 4.6 percent in 2008 despite the fourth quarter contracting at 4.9 percent. Traditional retailers saw a decrease of 0.6 percent in 2008 with the fourth quarter declining by 8.6 percent.
These new numbers put a call to action for anyone who operates an e-commerce site. More and more consumers will be browsing your sites as it looks like the recession doesn’t appear to be leaving us this year. And one way to entice consumers is with online coupons. Everyone loves a discount, especially when money is tight during a recession. Sites like RetailMeNot.com and CouponCabin.com offer consumers directories of coupons for hundreds of stores.
According to Compete.com, both sites experienced drastic increases year over year with RetailMeNot seeing a 194 percent increase in visitors, and CouponCabin experiencing a 61 percent increase. And the number of unique visitors hitting these sites is definitely impressive with 6.4 million consumers visiting RetailMeNot in May 2009, and 2.5 million consumers visiting CouponCabin in the same month.
Both RetailMeNot and CouponCabin allow merchants to easily upload coupons onto the sites. Consumers can search by location, stores, categories, and most popular coupons. In addition, both sites send out weekly newsletters with coupons that consumers in which they are interested.
RetailMeNot and CouponCabin are good places to start but here are a few others:
CoolSavings.com allows users to search by categories, featured offers and even includes a grocery store section. The site provides recipes, price comparisons and a community for users.
CouponCraze.com divides coupons by category and tools to organize coupons. Merchants can submit coupons and users can submit public coupons on behalf of merchants. CouponCraze also sends e-newsletters with the latest coupons and discounts.
CouponMom.com, a property of Coupons.com takes Coupons.com a step further by providing online coupons whereas Coupons.com only provides printable coupons. It lists coupons by location, store, and more. Users can browse articles, blogs and forums for additional support regarding savings.
FatWallet.com has coupons from 2,500 retailers. It categorizes coupons into “Cash Back Offers,” by store name and “Top Deals.” Users cans participate in forums which discuss coupons and top deals. FatWallet also sends newsletters to its members.
DealCatcher.com also lists online coupons – by category, popularity, top deals and expiring coupons. Beyond listing the coupons, DealCatcher links to merchants’ websites. Merchants can’t simply upload coupons as they can with other sites because DealCatcher works as an affiliate site. Contact the company if you’re interested in posting coupons on its site.
So if you don’t already, now may be the time more than ever to participate in coupon sites like RetailMeNot and CouponCabin. And if you already do participate in these sites, consider refreshing your coupons.