Philippines On Coupon Codes
Will it be helpful if implemented in the Philippines?
Couponing in the Philippines is not precisely what we see in shows like Extreme Couponing where they scour flyers, newspapers, magazine, and the Internet for bargains and discounts at their favorite supermarket. Coupon codes in the Philippines primarily refers to group buying sites where establishments use to improve their exposure and get more people to come in.
Coupons per se are discounts or promotional offers for retail goods distributed by the manufacturer or retailer to promote a certain product or group of products. An example would be buy-one-take-two promos, or 20% off on a product. An interesting question is coupon codes will be helpful in keeping the household budget low if implemented in the Philippines.
Many supermarkets in the Philippines offer in-store promos and discounts, but coupons that one clips or prints out and presented at the checkout counter are not popular. It is unclear why this is. Considering the love of the typical Filipino for a bargain, and the keen competition among local brands for consumer products, it would seem like coupon codes would be the perfect way to improve sales.
One possible reason why the general population may not embrace coupon codes is the tendency of Filipinos to be loyal to a particular brand. Most Filipinos are reluctant to try new brands for consumer goods that they regularly buy, such as toothpaste or hotdogs. They are not easily swayed to try a different brand in order to save a few bucks for fear that they may be wasting their money. Coupons may be more successful when it is for non-essential items, such as yogurt.
Another possibility is the reluctance of supermarkets to put up the system to process coupon codes and discounts for disparate products. It would mean having an arrangement with many manufacturers, special staff training, delays at checkout, and a more complicated inventory and accounting system.
A third possibility why coupon codes may not take off in the Philippines is the prevalence of store brands. Big chain supermarkets typically attract the bulk of the consumer market and have their own white label products. They may not be willing to accommodate coupons that would make branded products more attractive and price competitive to consumers to the detriment of their own brand. There is simply no profit in it.
Each of these possibilities would adequately explain why coupons have failed to make an impression in the typical Filipino consumer’s spending habits, and in all likelihood it is a combination of all three. That being said, while group buying sites operate on more or less the same marketing principles as coupon codes, they target a completely different marketing and consumer niche, which is probably why it is so successful in the Philippines. It caters to the typical Filipino’s love of a bargain without challenging their sense of brand loyalty.
This is not to say that coupon codes will not be successful if the last two factors are not an issue, and the cost-savings is attractive enough to override the consumer brand bias. When that happens, the Philippines may very well have its own version of Extreme Couponing. No one can beat a Filipino at bargaining.