The Modern Odd Couple: eCommerce & eCoupons

Here is another of the Scholarship Essays.  This one was offered by and can be found here.  A word of warning if you want to try and apply–they had some broken links that I found AFTER I wrote the essay and tried to upload it.  Hopefully their coupons work better than their scholarship site 😉

Most of us have come to expect a deal and don’t pay full retail for anything these days. When I considered the subject of this scholarship essay, I decided to offer a coupon to my customers. I sell a couple of items through Amazon. I started with a search of FAQ’s: nothing.  I ended up being eternally passed around in a chat session between three different people and was eventually spat-out without resolution by a company too big to bother with me.

man riding shopping cart
Photo by Diego Cano on

But did you know that discounts and coupons are the number one way to drive customer loyalty (Points International, Ltd., 2018)? About 75% of us expect them—I’m in that group—and 64% say it makes them try a new brand if they get a discount; but the majority of us are doing it more as a hobby or challenge because only 46% report using coupons to make ends meet (Carter, 2017). And what a buzzkill to find a great deal only to see it double in price at checkout because of shipping! So, it shouldn’t surprise you that free shipping rules as the most popular coupon offering (Carter, 2017).

We used to clip coupons but in the day of e-commerce we consumers needed to move our coupon habit online.  Thus, the rise of the electronic coupon.  A good list of 20 of the most popular, according, includes free and paid subscriptions from entities such as eBates, RetailMeNot, and The Crazy Coupon Lady.  Some coupon sites allow consumers to upload their discount codes, and some sites, like, are offered as browser add-ons so that every time you search you are given a list of offers.

But regarding the browser add-on—often the list does not apply to what I am searching for, or the site already advertises the discount, coupon, or free shipping being offered. And have you noticed that those discounts are almost never automatic?  You must enter the code, therefore on some level acknowledging that you have been gifted by the retailer with a discount. Why?  It builds customer loyalty.

For the coupon-addicted there is no worse feeling than learning post-purchase that you could have saved more.  I placed an order this morning and then I looked at only to find I had missed out on a 5% coupon!  Sometimes it’s better not to know.

E-commerce and coupons are inseparable.  It seems that merely offering competitive prices is not enough.  If you look at the world’s top ten eCommerce sites, you will see that most offer coupons in addition to great prices (ClueCommerceTeam, 2019).

The eCoupon is here to stay, and thankfully so.  It helps the consumer by ensuring competitive pricing, and retailers by building loyalty. Me, I’m determined to figure out how to offer a consumer discount on my Amazon goods. Wish me luck, and happy shopping!

If you want to find my stuff on Amazon (yes, shameless self promotion) you can find it here.  Hopefully I will have a coupon for you to use by the time you look.


Carter, B. (2017, Nov 15). Coupon Statistics: the ultimate collection. Retrieved from

ClueCommerceTeam. (2019, April 12). Top 10 eCommerce Websites in the World. Retrieved from

Points International, Ltd. (2018, April 9). News Release. Retrieved from



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