By  on August 12, 2014

Digital coupons are playing a bigger role in completing a sale.

That’s according to a study entitled “The Impact of Online Coupons and Promotion Codes” by Forrester Consulting that was commissioned by RetailMeNot Inc., an online marketplace for digital offers.

In the study, which was released Tuesday, nearly 80 percent of those surveyed said that digital coupons “closed the deal” when they were undecided about a purchase.

The conclusion of the study was that digital coupons help generate loyalty among consumers, as well as play a critical role in incentivizing purchase behavior.

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Among the other findings were that 59 percent of those surveyed said that of all the types of promotions at retail, digital coupons swayed them the most when it came to influencing a purchase decision. Further, nearly one-third of coupons found on smartphones or tablets are redeemed immediately, compared with 91 percent of desktop users who say they redeem a digital coupon within several days.

Nearly half of respondents, or 47 percent, also said they are open to trying a new brand after receiving a digital coupon on a smartphone.

For retailers, there’s an additional benefit: The survey found that 55 percent of smartphone coupon users said they will spend more money during their online or in-store visit, with the majority spending at least $25 more. Further, 77 percent of customers said they will spend between $10 and $50 more, and 17 percent said they will spend an extra $50.

The study concluded that retailers need to master the in-store redemption process as 50 percent of consumers said they are more likely to visit a store if they receive a digital coupon. Of those who prefer to receive digital coupons on their phones, more than 50 percent redeemed the coupon in-store and of those who did, about 85 percent said they relied on the store associate to either scan their coupon or help them redeem it.

Among the key takeaways regarding recommendations for retailers are that they make sure there is inventory availability in the stores; allow for pick-up in the stores; use emerging location technologies such as beacons to make users aware of deals around them, and use in-store bar codes coupled with native apps to educate consumers about additional products to cross-sell when in a brick-and-mortar store.

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