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EMAC 2023 Annual

Beyond Immediate Sales-Uplifts: The Cross-Channel Effects of Online-Only Coupons on Online and Offline Purchase Behaviour

Published: May 24, 2023


Christina Reh, Hochschule Luzern; Christian Schlereth, WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management; Anja Lambrecht, London Business School


Traditional brick-and-mortar stores invested heavily in launching and promoting their online shop to complement their offline business. They often send out coupons, which customers can only redeem online - not in physical stores. Despite the high relevance of online coupons, marketers still tap into the dark on how these coupons ultimately affect customer purchases. In an extensive field experiment with more than >335,000 loyalty cardholders, we explore whether online-only coupons increase online sales in the short-term, long-term, or even both. We also contemplate their impact on offline purchases. By using IPW matching and linear regression analysis, we find that sending out online-only coupons may short-term positively increase online-shopping purchase incidence and also significantly affect long-term offline purchase behaviour. Beyond the online effect, online-only coupons possess the power to affect the long-term offline shopping purchase incidence and customers’ online and offline total basket sizes.