With the surge of voucher codes, the travel sector in particular has witnessed a significant increase in the availability of both exclusive and non-exclusive voucher codes. We regularly see 10%, £25 off and £50 off codes within the travel sector, where a code is entered before purchase at the checkout point. However, can a travel merchant survive and see growth in today’s fast paced voucher market without voucher code functionality? At first we would assume no or very little, however if you are able to understand and utilise the voucher market you can help your merchants achieve growth without the use of voucher codes.

Research by VoucherCodes.co.uk states that “67% of UK adults are now going online to find discount vouchers with 18% claiming to use voucher codes at least once a week”. There is a common misconception that the consumer has already decided on their purchase before they visit a voucher code website – however this is not necessarily the case. Consumers can originally start their purchase research not on a travel site, but rather on a voucher code site. Research recently carried out by Tradedoubler indicates that 59% of user’s research voucher sites before purchasing, which highlights the importance of visibility across voucher sites during this stage.

A Strong Call to Action

Therefore, with this in mind how can we advise and grow a merchant within the voucher code space, when they have a lack of voucher code functionality due to perhaps internal/technical restraints?

Let’s take merchant A – a well-known travel merchant with voucher code functionality offering exclusive voucher codes on a weekly basis. Through the use of exclusive codes we can maximise exposure on voucher code sites with inclusions in newsletters and homepage placements, as well as increased exposure within the travel category on a weekly basis.

However, if we take Merchant B – a travel provider without voucher code functionality – how can we push growth in such a competitive space? One of the significant drivers for growth for such a merchant is offers.

Utilising the offers the merchant has available and producing a plan to obtain the best exposure is vital. A little goes a long way in terms of making the offering competitive and appealing – starting with the call to action. By making the call to action strong, drawing on price points such as “Stay for only £x”, can aid in appealing to consumers and can ensure the merchants’ offers appear alongside other voucher codes.

Ensuring the offer appears alongside competitors in terms of exposure on key voucher code sites is essential, particularly as the research stage is a significant influencer on the consumers end purchase decision.

Trialling Publishers

Strategic CPA increases also aid merchants without voucher code functionality. By providing a strong offer alongside a CPA increase you can secure a strong position within voucher newsletters, increased homepage exposure as well as blog and social media posts.

Furthermore, trialling a number of different publishers on a monthly basis will allow you to understand which offers work best with which voucher publishers, and will also open up new relationships with additional publishers.

Also do ask the merchant to provide regularly updated banners with each new offer they release. This will aid in the brands exposure on content sites and by drawing on the specific call to action and savings, this will improve conversion. A recent study by Econsultancy found that ‘42% of consumers liked ads that gave them special offers’. Therefore this is another avenue to use to push your merchants specific offers. Consider offer feeds as well, whereby you can create a feed which publishers can easily pull onto their sites on a regular basis.

Co-branded pages with partners can also aid conversions with merchants without voucher codes. This will provide a smoother user journey from publisher to merchant. It can also be seen in the industry that even if a merchant is unable to offer a specific voucher during the purchasing process, they may be able to supply a discount through a specific landing page which is automatically applied. If possible this is an additional way to utilise the co-branded pages with publishers and could be offered out on an exclusive basis.

Finally are there any additional extras your merchants can offer? A free night’s stay? Free breakfasts? If yes, utilise this as another offering to the consumer, these additional extras will ensure the merchant stands out in such a competitive space.

Staying Competitive

As a brief summary, the above outlines how you can work with your merchant to produce growth within the voucher code sector – even when they are unable to offer voucher code functionality at this time.

Firstly offers, make sure they have a strong call to action. Utilise CPA increases to gain additional coverage, particularly to gain coverage within a travel specific newsletter in key seasonality periods. Trial a number of different publishers, utilise the publisher base and consider what works well and take learning’s from this. Ensure creative is updated on a regular basis in line with the specific offers you are pushing. If your client has the ability to offer a discount through a specific landing page, consider using co-branded pages with key publishers. Finally, if there is anything additional the merchant can offer, ensure these appear on site as this will add to the appeal of the offers.

By using some of the suggestions you will ensure your merchant stays competitive within the travel sector, by strategically ensuring you market your offers appropriately within the space.