How to select the right coupon management system - 14 criteria retail CMOs consider

60% of consumers love receiving digital coupons, and 77% spend $10-$50 more than intended when redeeming coupons (Source: spendmenot). With such positive statistics in favour of coupons, retail CMOs need a reliable coupon management system to increase customer lifetime value and boost overall revenue.
Loyalty App for grocers personalized coupons

Using coupons, retailers get the following options: they can encourage customers to add specific items to their cart, spend above a specified minimum order total, reduce cart abandonment and more.

We believe that all of these functions/ features are critical to any coupon management system today.

Let’s dive in!

What should a good coupon management system include?

If you are planning to invest in an offer personalization platform, be sure to check if the system includes these key features.

1. Seamless integration

To personalize promotions a retailer needs to have all customer data made available to his coupon management software.

Retailers can either import the relevant information or connect the two systems: coupon management software and customer data platform. The connection with a customer data platform is crucial for running the campaigns and reporting on their outcomes.

2. Segmentation capabilities

Successful couponing is about designing eye-catching coupons that customers can redeem in-store or online – but not ONLY. An attractive coupon that is sent to the wrong customer will not motivate a purchase.

To correctly personalize and target retail promotions, enterprise retailers need access to Smart Audiences, they should be able to create customer segments, both static and dynamic, to be able to send the right coupons to the right customers at the right time.

3. Budget control

A coupon management software should let a retailer control the promotion budget by setting up safety limits that automatically deactivate a promotion.

It should be possible to set budget constraints based on:

  • Total discounted amount
  • Total orders value
  • Total number of redemptions
  • Total redeemed gift amount
  • Campaign timeframe
  • Redemptions per customer
  • Redemptions per customer in a campaign
  • Redemptions per customer per day

4. Support for many campaign types

Retailers should be able to launch various campaigns from one platform and be able to manage them in one place, combining and stacking various types of promotions.

They should have the option to launch discount coupons, cart promotions, gift cards, referral, and loyalty initiatives from one software.

Loyal Guru’s Personalization Engine helps enterprise retailers scale hundred fold their personalized offers in one fifth of the time.

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5. No code user-friendly dashboards for marketing teams

Having a campaign editor that can be used by marketers without the need to request help from IT to access customer segments or program campaigns is a must.

Marketers, sales and customer service agents should be able to independently and easily:

  • Launch a flash sale in a couple of clicks to meet the daily turnaround goal.
  • Check the Single Customer View to see the customer’s history
  • Quickly change the promotion mechanism in response to response from the market, any legal requirements or competitor landscape
  • Find and deactivate a single coupon
  • Double-check the validation mechanism
  • Return the money to a gift card in case of reimbursement

6. Role-based access control

A retail coupon management software should let CMOs and Heads of Marketing establish roles and access flow for their team members to prevent any unauthorized changes.

For example:

  • Customer service agents shouldn’t be able to launch new campaigns, but they should assign a “We apologize” coupon for a customer with a valid complaint.
  • Junior marketers shouldn’t be able to give 50% off discounts for the whole inventory, but they should be able to compile a performance report from A/B tested campaigns.

In essence, managers should be able to create specific read/write, read-only, no-access permissions for every team member or partner.

7. Omnichannel & automated distribution

To engage customers in the right context and at the right time, a retailer should be able to distribute coupons to all channels.

When a retailer can manage coupon campaigns and distribute them from one place, this will impact speed of distribution. It will also ensure cohesive messaging and data coherence across channels.

In addition, users should offer omnichannel capabilities by integrating the redemption process with every customer touchpoint.

8. Self-service mobile app capabilities

A retailer should be able to pull the data from the coupon management system to create customer cockpits where customers would see all their rewards and incentives from all campaigns that are running.

This will take the heat off customer support agents by helping the customers to self-serve.

With Loyal Guru’s end-to-end Loyalty App solution, you can digitize your loyalty program experience without breaking the bank.

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9. Drive new retail revenue with CPG collaboration

Retailers and CPG brands are a match made in heaven. Retailers have access to valuable customer data, and can help CPG companies understand trends, changes in consumer preferences, and get the best business results by putting their products in front of the right clients.

Brands use offers to review and track campaign sales through coupon code redemption details, because they help understand better what promotion has worked best.

Comparing the different data sets will keep the brands informed about the best-performing deals and give them clear visibility about the partners driving the most sales.

Bring concrete value to your suppliers by sharing Loyal Guru’s automated campaign forecast and leveraging campaign data in your CPG promotion negotiations. Give access to your partners to our platform’s partner portal with reports that help them track sales attribution and more.

10. Advanced analytics and reporting

Retailers should be able to get advanced insights into campaign performance so they can plan and execute improvements in future campaigns, instead of shooting arrows in the dark.

A personalized offers software should have built-in tracking that does not require manual set-up for each campaign.

11. Anti-fraud mechanism

A coupon management software should check if a customer profile and current context are eligible for a discount and should have an option to cancel a redemption if it was granted to a non-eligible customer.

It should also save the details about successful or failed redemptions and potentially notify a retailer if fraudulent behavior is detected.

12. Compliance with legal requirements

One of the important things retailer should keep in mind is involving the legal department in making sure the data storage, processing and all consents they collect are compliant with the local laws.

Retailers with an international customer base need follow regulations based on the countries where their customers are located, not where the company itself is located. This laws and regulations often involve consent, privacy, data security and tax.

13. Training and documentation

Retailers benefit highly from a coupon management software that has up-to-date, user-friendly tutorials and manuals, as well as impeccable customer success support, so that users can operate the software independently and get support and guidance when necessary.

14. Reduced maintenance and running costs

Developers’ time is not cheap. Retailers have a lot of challenges to solve in their day to day operations, and technology is usually not part of their core business.

Developing an offer personalization software in-house can become a nightmare, as well as ineffective and expensive.

Retailers often prefer to go for an API-first solution that quickly and cheaply integrates with their current tech stack as well as allowing for plenty of customization.

If you’re a retailer and you’d like to talk about any of the customer engagement strategies outlined in this article in more detail, please get in touch with our team – we’ll be happy to show you examples or talk through your brand’s unique challenges.