E-coupon

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7-Eleven e-coupon from Taiwan

E-coupons (also known as electronic coupons) are the digital analogue of paper coupons which are used to provide customers with discounts or gifts in order to attract the purchase of some products. Mostly, grocery and drug stores offer e-coupon services in loyalty program events. Even though there are still traditional coupons for daily must-have items such as diapers, detergents and toothpaste, e-coupons are actively issued in services like amusement parks, performances, restaurants and travel agencies.[1] E-coupons are becoming one of the most used forms of sales promotions since technology continues to make the Internet faster and easier to use. Also, e-coupons are considered one of the E-marketing tools that tend to be obtained from Digital Media.

How E-coupons work[edit]

Online registration is required to use this service. Customer account information and loyalty card number are important. After registration it is possible choose e-coupons. E-coupon services and store websites distribute coupons to their customers. E-coupons tend to contain the description of the product, its value, restriction on its use and other fields.[2]

Top E-coupon services[3]

  • Cellfire
  • ShortCuts
  • Zavers
  • SavingStar
  • UPromise

E-coupons classification[edit]

Static E-coupons

Static e-coupons are quite similar with traditional coupons and their value does not change over time. Once the user has downloaded e-coupons, the offering value does not depend on the period of time. It is assumable to indicate the validity period with the case of possible changes of the value but there is no determination of exact period of time after the users have obtained them.[4]

Dynamic E-coupons

Dynamic e-coupons, unlike static e-coupons, tend to contain information of the downloaded time. They make the users to purchase the product as soon as possible with an offered discount whose value is about to decrease from the date of the download. In this way of offering e-coupons, manufacturers take an advantage of immediate selling goods and promotion of product circulation while it is more pressure for customers that they have to find a better priced products on time. Hence, dynamic e-coupons are preferable for the companies to advertise their products and services on the web.[5]

Pros and Cons[edit]

Pros

  • E-coupons services are very simple to understand and easy to use websites to go round for people who are comfortable to use computers
  • They are eco-friendly and save money from printing coupons
  • Sometimes e-coupons are offered for store brand items
  • The e-coupon services send a notification to the user when new e-coupons have been listed

Cons

  • Because of technical failure in some stores, it is not possible to verify customers' e-coupon accounts
  • If there are many identical coupons from different e-coupon services, the system is able to compensate for just one coupon
  • E-coupons can not be piled up with other coupons
  • It can be a challenge if store employees are not comfortable with e-coupons

E-coupon using companies[edit]

Tesco-money saving e-coupons

According to Tesco's Terms and Conditions, e-coupons can only be used on Tesco direct site and using of e-coupons indicates that the user agrees on all requirements given by e-coupon Terms and Conditions. Additionally, e-coupons are always considered the property of Tesco and distributed without the written approval of Tesco. Each given e-coupon will be valid to be used by a recipient once only and it is prohibited to exchange for cash or gift vouchers. Furthermore, in order to get an e-coupon with a £3 off £30 or 5 off £50, it is required to do purchase at least £80. Also, it is important to be aware for customers that Tesco reserves the right to vary or terminate the e-coupon operation at any time without notice.[6]

Hong Kong Tourism Board - Discover Hong Kong

Hong Kong Tourism Board offer various e-coupons for every means of transportation in order to attract more tourists than ever before. From 15% off plane tickets to 40% train passes are available in Hong Kong today since the board of directors believe that it can promote the increase of tourist flow into their country.[7]

Jet Airways - eCoupons

Jet Airways has introduced the new initiative which is intended to provide customers a flexible booking to travel to any destination, making convenient cancellations and getting full refund. Moreover, other benefits of e-coupons include:[8]

  • Flexibility to change date and sector
  • Availability of single and multiple travel
  • On-line Check-in and availability of seat selection

E-coupon security and manageability[edit]

E-coupons have not been fully exploited today because of lack of techniques to tackle the distribution. It is essential to meet the requirements of the e-coupon system so as to achieve security and efficiency in management. The system must satisfy the following requirements:[9]

  • Identification - each e-coupon must belong to its eligible owner
  • Transferability - every e-coupon must be transferred among customers and be authorized by the user
  • Unforgeability - valid e-coupons must be offered by only issuers
  • Non-repudiation - each entity must accept the e-coupon owner's participation in transactions
  • Expired - each e-coupon must be set with expiration date
  • States manageability - all e-coupons whether they are being used or not must be in the system
  • Independence - e-coupon system must be utilized in diverse platforms
  • Machine-understandability - e-coupons must be run with XML language that can make machine-readability more efficient

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kang, Hyunmo; Hahn, Minhi; Forfin, David; Yong, Hyun; Eom, Yunni (2006). "Effects of perceived behavioral control on the consumer usage intention of e-coupons". Psychology & Marketing. 23 (10): 841–864. doi:10.1002/mar.20136.
  2. ^ Mohan, Rakesh. "Sales Promotions on the Internet". Academia.edu.
  3. ^ Montaldo, Donna. "Online coupons". The balance. thebalance.com.
  4. ^ Blundo, C; Cimato, S; De Bonis, A (2005). "Secure E-coupons". Electronic Commerce Research. 5 (1): 117–139. doi:10.1023/b:elec.0000045976.24984.48.
  5. ^ Blundo, C; Cimato, S; De Bonis, A (2005). "Secure E-coupons". Electronic Commerce Research. 5 (1): 117–139. doi:10.1023/b:elec.0000045976.24984.48.
  6. ^ "Money saving eCoupons-Tesco". Tesco.com. Tesco.
  7. ^ "e-Coupons". Discoverhongkong.com. Hong Kong Tourism Board.
  8. ^ "Jet Airways - eCoupons". Jetairways.com. Jet Airways.
  9. ^ Chang, Chin-Chen; Wu, Chia-Chi; Lin, Chang. "A Secure E-coupon System for Mobile Users". CSNS International Journal of Computer Science and Network Security. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.529.5211.