Coupon codes drastically reduce the financial cost of your online shopping, in essence providing big savings to your daily or weekly shop but the question remains what are online coupon codes and how do you use them!
Coupons have been used by the retail industry for marketing purposes since 1887 when a gentleman by the name of Asa Griggs Candler innovated an ingenious marketing technique for a small company known as Coca-Cola.
Sales representatives and employees were asked to distribute slips of paper known as complimentary coupons; submission of which by the consumer would entitle them to a free drink of Coca-Cola, thereby giving the public a free taste and circulating the name of the brand. This approach turned the fledgling company into a household name and a substantially profitable business.
Fast forward to the modern age and passing around slips of paper cut out from magazines has become somewhat outdated and infeasible with online shopping, where the sole aim is to avoid physically visiting the store you are purchasing from.
To update this concept online retailers now offer 'coupon codes' which are typically a mix of letters and numbers that you can type into a box on a retailer's virtual checkout screen or during your purchasing process.
Different retails or coupon supplies use different names for these special codes such as promotional codes, promo codes, voucher codes, reward codes, discount codes, discount voucher, portable codes, key codes, shopping codes, surplus codes and even source codes.
A few example of coupon offers are as followers: a reduction in price or percentage discount, free shipping, buy one get one free or buy one get 'this' item free. Generally online retailers will only allow one promotional code or voucher code to be used in one transaction.
When visiting a retailers online site take the time to fully explore the checkout process prior to finalising checkout as retailers sometimes vary the exact place the coupon code needs to be entered but if you're buying from a reputable store which offers coupons then you should find the location clearly marked.
If you are having trouble with the location the retailer may well provide a FAQ (frequently asked questions) section or customer service page with more precise information. It is worth making sure the coupon has correctly been applied before purchase, you can do this by examining the order review page prior to completion of checkout, the subsequent discount or offer should be displayed. It is worth remembering promotional codes can and do expire at at the merchant's discretion and they are designed especially for online use, therefore it is highly unlikely that any high street store or outlet will honour these codes in person.