Adding coupon codes to your website the how and the why?

Last Updated
May 1, 2023

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Adding coupon discount codes to your website can be a real moneyspinner. Offering codes to customers on an email will help you build your mailing list; offering discounts through partners will help them promote your products with their own defined affiliate programme; and of course, everybody loves to receive a discount so it will boost business too.

Think of the possibilities. You can base entire email and Facebook advertising campaigns around ‘secret codes’, or offer the first 200 who sign up a special offer of a big discount code. This then yields thousands of email addresses that can be used for targeted marketing campaigns around specific products.

Bargain hunt


We have become a world full of bargain hunters now, as we do not need to walk around 10 shops to check prices. A few clicks of the mouse is all it takes to get us to a different store where we can compare prices. If it’s the same product, but one shop has it at a cheaper price, that’s all it takes to secure the sale. There is no brand loyalty when it comes to online shopping; the only things that affect the buying decision when the same product is offered are price and trust.

So we’ll assume that you have trust dealt with as effectively as you can, and now price becomes a factor. Of course you can shave the margins as low as possible and go for volume sales, but then you’re going head-to-head with Amazon. Good luck with that. Another way to do business is to keep the margins healthy and offer enticing promotions to draw customers in, give them a great shopping experience and encourage them to come back and buy from you again at a full ticket price.

Coupon codes are a great way of going about this.

Partners will push it

A coupon code scheme will also give partners and affiliates something substantial to work with. Rather than just banner ads and pretty pictures, you are giving them a campaign in a box to push to their clients.

Give your partners a specific discount code that is just for them and it will instil a great deal of confidence in your affiliate scheme. it will simply make the whole process look more professional and convince your partners to put much more effort into promoting your product. They will know this discount code is theirs and theirs alone, which means they will feel happier contacting their whole list, offering it as an advert on their site and pushing your products much harder than would otherwise be the case.

They can really press each offer home as a separate campaign so they won’t fatigue their own list with non-specific promotions about your store. By working with a selection off a focussed list to push each and every offer you create on to a targeted crowd of potential buyers, the whole concept of a coupon code suddenly seems like a strong option.

So how do you go about putting codes on your site?

It’s easier than you think

It’s simpler than you might think to put codes on the site, and most major ecommerce websites have a means of doing this. Web design and functionality gets easier all the time and discount codes have become so popular that it’s usually a case of simply selecting the option in a drop drown menu.

If you are using Magento for your ecommerce efforts then you’ll be shocked at the simplicity with which you can offer individual codes for discounts, or even special offers like free shipping on individual products. Once you go down this rabbit hole you’ll be amazed at how you can repackage the same products and offer all manner of different offers that will appeal to different people, and put them out there with low cost social media adverts that will increase your sales exponentially, if you do it right.

First, simply go in to your admin section and go to Promotions, then Shopping Cart Price Rules. Add a new rule and then make sure it is enabled. You can choose who is allowed to access the promotion, so if you do business with wholesalers as well then you can exclude them from the promotion and make it available only to the general public.

You will then be prompted to provide details on a specific discount when your customer enters the correct code at the checkout.

Complicate the offer


You can produce more complicated directives, like buy one get one free, and there’s literally no limit to the way you want to set up your offers to attract new business.

Shopify has its own options which work in a largely similar way, and if you’ve built your site in WordPress and you are using Woocommerce, then it is a simple matter of going in to the back end, selecting Add Coupon and then choosing from options that include:

  • Cart discount – This provides your fixed discount on the whole shop, such as £10 off.
  • Cart % discount – This allows you to offer a percentage discount on the cart. A 10% discount is quite common, so it might be worth experimenting to get the best results. Have you ever seen a 12% discount? It might be effective to try it.
  • Product discount – This gives a specific amount of a certain product.
  • Product % discount – Like the cart percentage discount, this offers a proportion of the individual product.

You can then go on to offer free shipping to your clients with a further drop down menu.

Virtually every major ecommerce system allows for coupon codes as they have become such an integral part of modern life. So take full advantage, make your own discount codes, tweak them, test them and see which one works best for you.