Boosting sales with marketplace coupons, promo codes and gift cards

Whether you’re facilitating transactions between consumers and businesses or just between businesses, there’s always a constant pressure to drive growth. This article explores three key tools for achieving these goals: marketplace coupons, marketplace promo codes, and marketplace gift cards.

Each of these elements provides unique benefits and opportunities to not only incentivise purchases but also build customer loyalty.

Marketplace coupons

Marketplace coupons are an incredibly effective tool for driving sales and generating excitement around your products or services. Offering discounts through coupons encourages shoppers to make purchases they may have otherwise hesitated on. Coupons can effectively reduce the perceived risk associated with trying new products, incentivising customers to branch out from their typical purchases.

By nature, marketplace coupons are shareable, making them an excellent vehicle for word-of-mouth advertising. Consumers often share good deals with their friends and family, expanding your brand’s reach at no extra cost to you. Moreover, they can help attract new customers and re-engage those who haven’t shopped on your platform for a while.

However, to fully harness the power of marketplace coupons, it’s crucial to strategically plan their distribution. Consider factors such as the timing of the offer, the discount’s size, and potential usage restrictions.

Building the capability to manage coupons into your marketplace platform is a crucial step in leveraging this marketing tool effectively. There are several key features that your marketplace should incorporate to maximise the utility of coupons.

Viewing coupons

One of the fundamental requirements for both marketplace owners and vendors is the ability to view all coupons on their marketplace. This feature enables users to manage their coupons effectively, keeping track of active, inactive, and expired coupons.

Creating new coupons

Another vital feature is the ability for vendors to create new coupons. This functionality allows vendors to quickly respond to changing market conditions, customer preferences, or stock levels. A typical coupon should include several features, such as the coupon’s name, code, a brief description, the type of discount (like a discount on the entire order or shipping), the discount’s value, whether a minimum order total is required, the coupon’s duration, its active status, and any usage limits.

Updating existing coupons

Vendors must also be able to update existing coupons. This feature allows them to adjust their strategy based on the coupon’s performance or changes in their inventory or market conditions.

Deleting coupons

Finally, vendors should have the option to delete existing coupons. This feature helps maintain an organised coupon management system, removing expired or obsolete coupons.

Marketplace promo codes

Marketplace promo codes are another powerful tool that can effectively drive sales. Like coupons, promo codes offer customers discounts or other benefits, but the format and method of delivery often differ. Typically, promo codes are alphanumeric codes that users can enter during checkout to apply a specific discount or deal.

Promo codes are particularly popular in marketplace marketing because they are versatile and easy to track. Each promo code can be unique, which allows you to follow the success of different campaigns or distribution channels precisely. You can provide these codes through email newsletters, social media posts, or collaborations with influencers and bloggers.

In addition to driving sales, marketplace promo codes can help you collect valuable data about your customers’ shopping habits. By analysing which promo codes are used most frequently, you can gain insights into what kind of deals are most appealing to your users.

Incorporating marketplace promotions effectively within your marketing strategy requires a clear understanding of their operation, followed by a robust implementation strategy. Here are several fundamental functionalities your marketplace platform should have to ensure optimal use of promotions.

Viewing promotions

One of the primary requirements for marketplace owners and vendors alike is the ability to view all promotions currently running on their marketplace. This is crucial to maintain an organised overview of ongoing promotional activities and effectively manage active, inactive, and expired promotions.

Creating new promotions

Vendors must have the ability to create new promotions. Quick response to changing market conditions, customer preferences, or stock levels can make all the difference in sales performance. The typical components of a new promotion include:

  • Promotion name
  • Brief description
  • Type of discount (e.g., entire order or shipping)
  • Amount of discount (in percentage or £)
  • Minimum order total requirement (if applicable)
  • Duration (Start date/time, End Date – optional)
  • Active/Inactive status
  • Usage limits (if any)

Updating existing promotions

The ability for vendors to update or edit existing promotions is another essential function. This enables vendors to adjust their promotional strategy based on the ongoing performance, inventory changes, or fluctuations in market conditions.

Deleting promotions

Finally, vendors should be able to delete existing promotions. This is particularly useful for maintaining an efficient promotion management system by getting rid of outdated or expired promotions.

Marketplace coupons vs marketplace promotions

While often used interchangeably, coupons and promotions have distinct operational frameworks. Both tools effectively lower the transaction cost for customers, encouraging more frequent and larger purchases. However, the way they are applied varies.

Coupons are specific codes or tokens that customers can use at checkout to receive a discount on their purchase. They often apply to individual items or a group of items, and customers typically obtain them through email campaigns, online pop-ups, or promotional events. The primary advantage of coupons is their flexibility. They can be tailored to different customer segments or even individual customers, offering personalised discounts that can significantly improve conversion rates.

On the other hand, promotions are more comprehensive, providing a storewide discount or deal. This makes promotions an ideal tool for special events, holidays, or to clear out inventory. Promotions apply automatically at checkout without the need for a specific code, making them a convenient choice for customers. They can significantly increase the appeal of your marketplace during peak shopping times.

While both tools provide customers with a financial incentive to make a purchase, coupons offer more personalised discounts, while promotions provide a broader, storewide discount.

Marketplace gift cards

Marketplace gift cards serve a dual role: they’re both a product and a marketing tool. As a product, they provide a convenient gifting solution for consumers, particularly around holidays or for last-minute gifts. They also present an opportunity for a customer to introduce their friends or family to your marketplace, acting as a personal endorsement of your brand.

As a marketing tool, gift cards can drive sales in several ways. They encourage the recipient to visit your marketplace and browse your offerings. In many cases, the total cost of the items the gift card recipient wishes to purchase exceeds the value of the gift card, leading to additional sales.

Creating gift card categories

To help organise gift card products, marketplace owners can create and assign categories. When creating a gift card, you can select from these pre-created categories or create a new one on the fly. This feature allows you to manage and search for gift cards more effectively.

Reporting on gift card sales

In order to track the performance of their gift card sales, marketplace owners should be able to generate reports. These reports should include information like:

  • Total number of gift cards sold
  • Total revenue from gift card sales
  • Most popular gift card denominations
  • Number of gift cards redeemed
  • Revenue from redeemed gift cards

Gift card refunds

In the event of a refund, owners should have the option to refund the customer back to their gift card.

If the original payment was made with a gift card, the refund should automatically go back to the gift card.

Reviewing gift card purchases

After purchasing a gift card, a customer should receive an order confirmation email. This email could include details of the gift card, including its value, code, and expiration date. Customers should also be able to review their gift card purchases in their account.


Marketplace coupons, promo codes, and gift cards are more than just incentives for consumers; they are powerful marketing tools that can help drive sales, increase customer loyalty, and provide valuable insights into consumer behaviour. By effectively leveraging these tools and integrating them into a broader marketing strategy, marketplace founders can not only meet but exceed their sales goals.

Remember, the effectiveness of these tools hinges on understanding your customer base. Regularly collect and analyse data on their usage to refine your strategy, ensuring that your promotions align with your customers’ needs and preferences.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to using these tools – what works best will depend on your unique marketplace, offerings, and customer base. However, with careful planning and strategic use, marketplace coupons, promo codes, and gift cards can provide a significant boost to your platform’s sales growth.

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