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How vouchers/coupons work on Amazon - all you need to know

One of the eternal truths of sales is that you will never find anyone that doesn’t love a bargain. 

As you scroll down an Amazon search results page, you will definitely notice the brightly colored tags that show a discount on it. As a seller, coupons and vouchers are a really useful tool in your promotions arsenal to drive traffic to your page, and could just be enough to tip shoppers over the edge to buy your product instead of your competitors. 

They will increase your visibility if you’re looking to bump up your click-through rates and put you in a better position to increase your conversion rate, which in turn will also improve your search results rankings. It will push up your sales velocity and even improve your reviews - you would be surprised what a long way value for money will translate into star ratings. 

Coupons and vouchers are also a great way to move inventory quickly if you need to get rid of stock at fulfillment centers and avoid long-term storage fees, thereby also improving your Inventory Performance Index on top of everything else. 

Types of coupon/vouchers

Generally speaking, there are two main types of coupon/vouchers you can go for: 

  • Percentage off

         Pretty self explanatory - this will take off a pre-set percentage of the retail price from the customer’s order. 

  • Money (USD or GBP or EUR etc.) off

         This is a straight money amount taken off the retail price, easy for the customer to understand. 

Research shows that the straight dollar off coupon/vouchers work better than percentage-based ones. The reason for this may seem small but has a real practical effect: shoppers don’t want to do much math while they’re buying things.

It is far easier to calculate $6 off of a $50 item than to calculate a 12% discount from the same item, and shoppers have tended to respond to that clarity. 

Coupon/vouchers don’t come free - there will be a small charge attached to it each time one is redeemed, around $0.60 in the US or £0.45 in the UK. These still tend to be cheaper than your average PPC prices in terms of getting people onto your page, and also have an advantage over PPC in that it is only charged when people buy an item rather than just click.

How to set up a coupon/voucher/voucher

The first thing you would do is set up a budget for your coupon/voucher. For this, Amazon typically wants you to base it on the lowest price point your product has had in the past 30 days, and your coupon/voucher will fall anywhere between 5% and 80% lower than that. 

When determining what it is you want to knock off the price in a campaign, you have to take into consideration factors including your goals (do you want to move stock? etc.) occasion (is there a seasonal change? Are you getting ready for a sales event) and what your competitors are doing

Suppose, again, you are putting a $6 coupon/voucher on a $50 item, your budget will account both for the coupon/voucher sum itself as well as the fee that Amazon will take. Let’s say 20 people see your coupon/voucher, like the sound of it and redeem it: 

($6 coupon/voucher x 20 sales) + ($0.60 fee x 20 sales) = $120 + $12 = $132 total, which will be depleted the next day. 

You can establish a set time frame during which your coupon/voucher will exist, usually up to 90 days. Amazon will also have you select your target customers, which can include groups such as: 

  • All customers
  • Prime customers
  • Amazon Student or Amazon Mom members
  • Buyers that viewed or bought certain ASINs

Amazon will take your coupon/voucher offline once 80% of your budget has been redeemed, though if customers have already collected the coupon/voucher before the 80% was passed, then they can still redeem it up until the expiry date, which could push the budget up further. 

Once you submit your coupon/voucher, you cannot change most of the details, though you can increase the budget or extend the duration up to 90 days. 

Can I put a voucher on any of my products?

The short answer is most likely, yes.  Amazon does have eligibility criteria but it is quite broad and will include most products on the platform with several exceptions, which include: 

  • Used products
  • Collectibles or certified refurbished items
  • Adult items 
  • Hunting and fishing
  • Books, music, video and DVD, 
  • Alcohol
  • Video games
  • Infant formula
  • Items deemed offensive or inappropriate
  • Guns and Gun accessories 

You can add a coupon/voucher to items that do not yet have any reviews, but if they do have reviews they will be subject to their star rating. ASINs with between 1 and 4 reviews will need an average star rating of at least 2.5 stars, while items with 5 or more reviews will need at least 3 stars. 

Only items in new condition are eligible for coupon/vouchers, but Amazon is not picky about how they are fulfilled - could be seller-fulfilled, fulfilled by Amazon or seller-fulfilled Prime. 

As with any advertising or promotional tactic, make sure you continually monitor the performance of your coupon. If you are eating up too much of your budget too fast, you’ll know that you’ve set your coupon too high and you’ll need to bring it down for the next one - you can still get a magnet effect at a lower discount level. 

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