But Amazon sometimes makes us check the box to save money. HM? Those orange coupon banners under the price of the Amazon online store are confusing.
Why does Amazon make us go the extra step of clicking the box to “save $2 when you apply this coupon”? Why is the coupon not applied automatically?
The answer lies in the subtle but powerful way that Amazon and other stores use shopping psychology to influence our buying decisions.
By forcing us to click a box, Amazon hopes to avoid the “abandoned cart” problem – when shoppers add something to their virtual cart but end up not buying it.
This is a big problem for online stores. They miss out on billions of dollars of potential sales every year because customers think twice about buying a product.
The main reason customers leave is that they say they were just browsing the site and weren’t ready to make a purchase, according to the firm.
Thus, companies are looking for persuasion tactics to get buyers to complete the order and click the “Buy” button.
Putting “effort” into online shopping
Shoppers also want to be rewarded for the effort they put into shopping. It may not seem like a big deal to click on a cell, but it does matter.
The Amazon coupon box makes customers take a more active and engaged role in earning rewards by making it more intuitive for them, says Tamara Masters, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, who studies shopping psychology.
If you consciously see and click on the coupon field, rather than just automatically apply the coupon, Masters says, “the reward can be expected to be felt more poignantly.” “You apply it and see the happy effects.”
This is an advantage for Amazon in the long run. When a consumer feels rewarded for the effort to make a purchase, she says, “they are more willing to buy and more willing to pay more” from the company in the future.
Amazon said in a statement that its coupons are easy to clip. And the coupon box is just one of the ways Amazon targets shoppers looking for discounts.
Amazon also has a separate page on its website for coupons for some brands. If shoppers go to the page, they can virtually cut out the coupons and don’t have to take the extra step of checking the box.
Amazon’s approach is designed to attract shoppers who will shop solely based on which brands offer coupons that differ from discounted products, price promotions, or discounts.
Having a dedicated page for coupons also helps ensure that coupon clippers stay on the Amazon website and prevent them from using popular coupon sites like Groupon that can be used in any store.
“Instead of letting coupon sites get the money, Amazon is taking it for itself,” Masters said.
Offering coupons is an effective strategy for third-party sellers on Amazon, says Jason Boyes, founder of the consultancy Avenue7Media.
Coupons have proven to be a more successful tactic than offering a direct discount to allow shoppers to make a purchase, he says. They also help sellers climb up Amazon’s search rankings, he says. “Discounted prices don’t have the same results as coupons.”