Written by: Lilly Cobal

What Are Coupons?
Generally, a coupon is a document or kind of ticket that is redeemable for monetary discount or rebate when making purchases. Traditionally, coupons are paper documents that you have to carry around to your vendors.

However, as technology continues to integrate into the markets, customers can now use e-coupons. These can either be found on websites or retailer apps. Most of them require to be printed, but there are stores where you can use them directly on the app.

Coupons are a way of sales promotions by the manufacturers of goods. Since price-conscious customers are more likely to claim discounts and savings, manufacturers and retailers can offer selective discounting to a particular demographic. At times, coupons are widely used in regional markets where there is a healthy price competition.
Does E-Commerce Support Coupons?

Over the years, online shopping has become widely popular, and e-commerce platforms continue to increase every month. With so many options for consumers, retailers offer online coupons. They are referred to as codes, and sites will use different words such as discount codes, promo codes, vouchers, or referral codes.

Online coupons will typically offer a free or reduced-price for shipping, a percentage discount, or cashback for individual purchases. Some retailers will use coupons to push for the sale of a particular commodity. In other cases, they can be used to encourage consumerism from a specific retailer.
Online coupons are a combination of letters and numbers that are generically generated by a computer. When online shopping, the customer enters the code in a designated checkbox at checkout to obtain discounts on their purchases.

How Do Online Merchants Offer Coupons?
You will seldom find coupons on the shopping site or app. online retailers will place their codes in email newsletters, affiliate program websites, or retail blog posts. However, there are sites that print out coupon codes in business literature or general print media.

In addition, there are websites that keep track of coupon offers from retailers and merchants on a global scale. Depending on the site, you can copy and paste the link immediately, while others will redirect you to an affiliate link. With these referral links, the discount is automatically applied.

How Do Merchants Supply Coupons?
There are hundreds of delivery methods for coupons, with most of them on print media. Some sites, including retailer websites, will offer printable grocery coupons. With prominent stores, customers can have their loyalty cards pre-loaded with digital coupons from home or use coupon dispensing machines.

The most prominent ways of coupon deliveries to consumers include direct mail, Free Standing Inserts, magazines and newspapers, in-store distribution, and product packaging. Coupons on packages can either be outside packaging or inside.

Print media
For the longest time, newspaper clipping has been the most prominent way of acquiring coupons. Nonetheless, there are retailers and book publishers who compile coupons into books. They can be from the same manufacturer or a variety of them for sale, or they are distributed for free.
To prevent unauthorized use or copying, verification techniques such as watermarks, barcodes, holographic seals, and coupon ID numbers are used.

Do Coupons Expire?
A majority of coupons come with a time frame within which they can be used. After a specific date, they expire and cannot be honored.
However, there are manufactures that offer benefits and privileges under certain circumstances. For example, the American Military Commissaries will apply coupons up to six months after expiration.

The advantage of online coupons is that they will have reminders. In other cases, some coupons are offered on a one-time basis and require to be used immediately. A common example of such vouchers is first-timers at a shopping website or app.

Online Sources You Can Find Manufacturer Coupons
Over the past few years, the number of online sites offering coupons have drastically increased, and it may prove hectic trying to get through them all. Some of the most popular free coupon sites include:

1. Coupons.Com
This site is the largest online platform for manufacturer coupons on a global scale. Customers can access and redeem coupons via the platform’s mobile app or choose to print them out from the website.

2. Redplum.Com
The manufacturer coupons offered on this site can either be printed or loaded into the store’s loyalty card.

3. Smartsource.Com
The customers who use this site have the option to print the coupons, access via the app, or loaded directly into the loyalty card of the preferred grocery store.

4. Manufacturer Websites
A lot of manufactures will place coupons on their websites or at the brands’ sites. Such websites include One A Day, CeraVe, Splenda, Hormel, and Dryel. Looking around at websites may save you some cash.
Furthermore, major corporations that run numerous brands offer their coupons at the same place through programs. For instance, General Mills provides their coupons through the Tablespoon program.

5. Retailer Websites
If you lurk around your favorite retailer sites, you may notice that they also offer manufacturer coupons. A good example is Walgreens’. Their website provides coupons that you can easily load to your loyalty card.

6. Retailer Apps
A lot of retailers are embracing the use of mobile apps to attract a broader demographic to shop at their stores. Prominent stores such as Target and Kroger offer manufacturer coupons on their apps.

If you are not sure whether your preferred retailer has a mobile app, you can check through their official website or search at app stores such as Google Play or Apple Store.

Coupon Stacking
At some stores, customers can use more than one coupon to complete a single purchase. It means that you use both the manufacturers’ and the store’s coupons for an individual item.

Depending on the store, there can be a limit on the number of coupons you can use while some stores allow for limitless coupons. In such scenarios, you can use both dollar-off or percentage discount coupons.

Before using coupons, always read the terms to determine whether there is a limit to redeemable purchases. However, not all stores allow coupon stacking, and not all coupons are stackable.


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