I understand that coupons can’t apply to every little thing. I get it.
But what I hate is when stores offer the coupon as “X off of any order!” when in fact, there are so many orders that aren’t okay.
This is an actual set of restrictions for a “20% Off Any Order” Office Max coupon:
“Valid online only. Limit one per customer. Coupons are non-transferable. Cannot be combined with any other offers or coupon codes. Not valid on purchases of printers, computers, monitors, televisions, digital cameras, lens accessories, camcorders, MP3 players, digital photo frames, GPS systems and accessories, eReaders, eReader accessories, video game consoles, video game accessories, projectors and accessories, fax machines, tablets, iPad accessories, shredders, shredder supplies, cash registers, typewriters and supplies, copiers, scanners, HP products, networking hardware, hard drives, headphones and clearance items. This offer is not valid for customers placing orders on OfficeMaxSolutions.com, maxbuyer.officemax.com, OfficeMaxCommercial.com or Government.OfficeMax.com. Coupon does not include tax and shipping. Online coupon offers cannot be used for OfficeMax ImPress® Print & Document Services, Ctrlcenter® services or any other service powered by a third party website.”
Seriously?! That is SO far from “any order” that… uh… it’s Sarah Palin and the “any order” is Russia. (Much funnier if you’re from Alaska and know you can’t see Russia from your front porch. And it if it were four years ago. Moving on.)
If you don’t want to discount everything, fine. That’s okay. Customers understand. They grouse, but they know you’re not going to give them $20 off a $100 gift card to your own store.
You know what actually pisses customers off? Getting their hopes up and then being told the stuff they want isn’t included.
We understand you can’t discount everything. We expect that store GCs and clearance is going to be off limits. It’s the rest of the laundry list that flabbergasts me.
More importantly, it sows badwill, and it makes customers distrust you overall.
The basic rule here is: Just don’t use the word “any” when you really means “some.”
Yes, “20% off some orders” isn’t nearly as exciting. But I’m sure you have excellent marketing teams, so just set them to work.
And finally, I feel the need to ask: Shredders? Really?
GPS, MP3 players, copiers — that stuff I can kind of wrap my head around.
But shredders?! Do you really think that many people are thinking, “Oh, good, a sale! Now I can get that shredder I’ve had my eye on!”
What makes shredders so integral that your business can’t spare a few discounted ones?
Do you really think there will be a run on them?
That the hordes will descend on your store like locusts and clear out the shredders section? And that your shareholders will be left standing in the ruins of your last, closed store bewailing, “If only we hadn’t discounted the shredders!”?
Seriously, OfficeMax, work on those coupon restrictions.
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