Trends in E-commerce (Part 3): Coupon and Loyalty Points Shopping

In this, the last in a series of three articles on the top trends in eCommerce as observed during the first half of 2013, I'll be discussing the role of coupon and loyalty points shopping.


A very exciting development in online trading is trade in ‘alternative’ currencies – specifically in the way of rewards, coupons or loyalty programmes. This change has played a huge role in moving ‘passive’ online browsers into ‘active’ online buyers, and has therefore introduced a very important market to the wonderful world of e-commerce.

Coupon and loyalty points shopping

Consumers are increasingly taking their spending habits online, a trend which is effectively capitalised on by institutions offering rewards, coupons or loyalty programmes. Apart from the consumer perceiving a bang-for-your-buck sale, studies also suggest that many consumers feel ‘safer’ shopping with loyalty points or coupons. In fact, according to PayU’s online shopping research, loyalty currencies are the second most popular form of payment, led by e-bucks and Discovery Miles. The latter recently partnered with PayU, increasing the online outlets where consumers can redeem their Discovery Miles. With this move, Vitality members, for example, who are Discovery Mile subscribers, can choose the full amount of the purchase using Discovery Miles when shopping online, or make a part payment with their Miles and settle the balance with a credit card.