How Promo Codes changed online shopping

    The first two decades of the twentieth century have brought about some significant changes in the way people shop. Selling online in the year 2000 was more of a science-fiction concept, available only to those in the know and with the appropriate infrastructure in place.

    Now, we just type a few things on a keyboard or screen, tap a screen or click a mouse a couple of times, and our order is ready to be sent out, quite often across the globe.

    To put this in the perspective, global e-commerce is a multi-trillion dollar industry and during COVID-19, as more people work and study from home, that has only accelerated.

    While everyone and their mums know how great it is to buy things online, some people are still unaware that the Internet has graced us with a secret (or not so secret) weapon that helps you get the best price possible.

    Promo codes have changed the way people shop online.

    woman in red sweater holding white cellphone

    It’s not such a new thing after all

    Promo codes actually pre-date online shopping and even the internet. They were first used in 1888 by Coca-Cola. People would get them in mailboxes and these coupons could be redeemed for a free Coke.

    Considering cocaine was one of the main ingredients of the drink until 1903, it might have been one of the most effective drug sales in history. After all, our parents warned us about scary drug dealers who would offer “the first one for free”.

    person using black and silver laptop computer

    Here’s how it works

    Obviously, the procedure must be as easy as possible so that everyone is able to follow it. So, you go to a website that gathers all the codes, such as and you search for the store where you are about to do your shopping. Once you find that, you will see the list of codes.

    Click on the one you want to use, and it will be copied to the clipboard. Next up, click ‘go to store’, and you will be taken to… you guessed it, the store.

    Once you put all the items in the shopping bag, there should be a special box where you can paste your code. Click “apply” and you should the difference in price.

    By providing discounts through promo codes, it’s a win-win situation. The business can drive increased sales, while the customer feels like they’re getting a bargain.

    laptop office working men

    Some more Promo Code stats

    If you don’t like stats, we can’t be friends. If you do, I’ve gathered a few interesting ones to show you the impact discount codes have on shopping on a larger scale.

    According to a survey conducted in the US and Canada:

    • 81% of people shopped online using a mobile device at least once
    • An average shopper using discount codes saves 24% compared to the one who doesn’t
    • 77% of shoppers follow their favorite retailers on various social media platforms in order to keep in touch with their latest promotions and promo codes
    • 37% of people shopping online used code-finding websites
    • 17% of customers use a browser extension to find codes automatically
    • Stores using codes see the increase of an average purchase by 26%

    If this data were true in terms of the whole e-commerce shopping, that would mean savings counted in the billions. Another impact that can be seen here is the importance of social media in the search for special deals.

    Technical solutions such as browser extensions and smartphone apps that pre-fil promo codes for you, are rapidly becoming the tool of choice for online shoppers, further reducing the friction to buy at the best price.

    With the recent global developments, it looks like we’re going to rely on e-commerce even more than we have until this point. That gives both the stores and us, the consumers, the chance to save some money and get some brand loyalty. After all, if the price is right and the product is fine, there is no need to look elsewhere.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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