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How to tap into consumers’ “coupon high” this season

As the holiday season approaches and brands get their playbook together, let’s look to the science of consumers’ “coupon high” and how you can tap into it.


Tapping into the “coupon high”

Heading into the holiday season, retailers and business owners would do well to take advantage of what is known among shoppers and researchers as the “coupon high.”

bar and Claremont Graduate University collaborated on a study and discovered that shoppers who used a coupon were happier and calmer than people who had just spent money with no coupon at all.

A happy customer is more likely to spend money

This is a scientific finding every business needs to take into consideration and put into action for themselves this holiday season. According to My Bank Tracker, if your customer is happy, he or she is more likely to spend more money, which is the cultural phenomenon known as the “coupon high.”

According to Dr. Paul J. Zak, Professor of Neuroeconomics at the aforementioned Claremont Graduate University, “The study proves that not only are people who get a coupon happier, less stressed and experience less anxiety, but also that getting a coupon—as hard as it is to believe—is physically shown to be more enjoyable than getting a gift.”

The magic bullet: a coupon

Surely nothing can convince your customer to spend more money like a free gift, even if it’s in the form of a coupon.

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Another angle to consider during your holiday marketing meetings this year comes from a Columbia Business School study: spending more of your own resources can make the customer spend more of theirs.

When surrounded by luxury, shoppers are more likely to give in to extravagant buys. The Columbia Business School study “helps explain why luxury products and services, such as high–end boutiques and luxury hotels, are often sold or provided in relaxing environments. Everything else being equal, consumers will be willing to pay higher prices if marketers are able to relax them first, which has important implications for marketers.”

How you can use the “coupon high” to your advantage

Professor Michel Tuan Pham, Kravis Professor of Business, Marketing, and Columbia Business School concluded, “The study reveals a psychological reaction to the biology of being relaxed: Your system thinks there is no threat in the environment. As a result, you tend to perceive various things as more desirable. Shoppers should be aware of how this impacts their decision–making.”

So while customers may need to be aware of how comfortable and relaxed they are becoming during a shopping holiday shopping trip, these are factors businesses need to take into serious consideration. How can your business to its advantage?

Can you “gift” a holiday discount or create a more luxurious atmosphere that will lull them into comfort and relaxation? The coupon high is a phenomenon small businesses need to capitalize on during the heyday of couponers and coupon highs.

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Staff Writer, Abigail White is a wordsmith who hails from the Deep South, having graduated with a degree in Journalism from Auburn University. She is usually reading three books at once, loves history, sarcasm, and arguing over the Oxford comma.

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