Digital Coupons: How To Strengthen The Millennial Connection

If you think clipping coupons is a passé trend, you may want to reconsider. Many companies are taking advantage of the app space to reach their audiences, providing users with coupons and incentives. For example, Target’s Cartwheel app has saved its millions of users nearly a billion dollars by allowing users to scan items in-store to see if there’s a Cartwheel deal up or opt to receive push messages to learn about the newest deals the day of a Target trip. Similarly, the explosion of digital coupon websites and apps, such as RetailMeNot and SnipSnap, is transforming the way we shop. These providers aggregate digital coupons from a variety of vendors, allow users the opportunity to search a broad database of coupons anytime and anywhere, and, perhaps most important, they let their users find and apply desirable savings instantly.

Digital coupons go above and beyond saving a few dollars here and there—they make shopping an easy, personalized, shareable, and completely millennial-friendly experience. Here are some strategies for ramping up a digital coupon program to reach its full potential:

  • Millennials multitask like crazy, so digital coupons have to function with their divided attention. By offering coupons consumers can keep on their smartphones (86% of millennials have smartphones, after all) in a customized app, stores like Wegmans are guaranteeing their customers always have a reason to shop with them on hand (literally!) and better yet, have an easy-to-access incentive to maintain loyalty to their brand.
  • Millennials like to celebrate their individuality, so create a way for your coupons to recognize customers as unique people. For example, Thrive Market’s homepage greets all of its subscribers with big, bold numbers tracking both their lifetime savings and projected annual savings. By making it very easy for users to see where they’ve been and where they’re going with you, especially in a financial context, you’re making brand loyalty a natural choice.
  • Millennials are accustomed to—and even expect—software updates, so evaluate and revise your coupon program regularly. Target’s Cartwheel is committed to assessing what is and isn’t working, and regularly piloting new ideas. Last year, Cartwheel added manufacturer’s coupons to allow its users to shop outside of Target’s in-house brands and introduced coupons with dollar denominations for savings, as opposed to discounts by percentage. By constantly tweaking its digital coupon program, Cartwheel is both ensuring its users are fully satisfied and giving its millennial users the frequent iterations of a product that they expect.
  • Millennials are social beings, so consider ways in which your digital coupons can involve your customers’ friends and family. Whether they’re using their smartphone to share coupon codes, earning deeper discounts by shopping with a friend, or collecting credit for referring friends to you, millennials value brands that can engage them and their social network together. The Honest Company celebrates the social aspect of shopping with their extensive referral program, which has detailed tracking metrics users can easily access. Shopping with Honest Co. doesn’t have to be a solitary activity —it’s a mutually beneficial, shared experience.

Developing a thoughtful, comprehensive digital coupon program is a smart move for any business aiming to connect with millennials. Leverage digital coupons to court millennials by offering coupons that seamlessly integrate into their hectic lives, complement their individuality, and help them have a little fun with their friends. If your digital coupons can do all of this, you’ve taken the first step toward building a robust relationship with millennials.

Learn more about how you can connect your brand with millennial women and families.

This post was written by Ovia Insights’ contributing author, Emily Madden.