Given 85 per cent of British shoppers use coupons, it's no surprise that the cashback market is valued in the tens of billions.
Cashback offerings range from online banks and apps to browser extensions. But, while cashback is a vast and well-established market - one of the biggest drivers of online affiliate marketing - and the coupon industry has spawned unicorns like Groupon and Honey, for most shoppers the user experience still leaves a lot to be desired.
Here’s a closer look at the issues with cashback and discounts…
A feel-good fantasy
Cashback services offer a feel-good fantasy by promising to send money to users' accounts – but in reality, the outcome remains the same as any standard discount, except money is saved at the end instead of the beginning. As such, cashback services often take advantage of the warm glow generated by cash, giving end users smaller savings and pocketing the difference.
Too long to wait
The median waiting time for cashback services varies from service to service: broadly speaking, the average return time is several weeks and can be upwards of several months. There are a number of reasons for this: partner stores set a claim time to ensure orders aren’t returned or cancelled, leading to a period of approximately 45-120 days before any money can be passed on. In other cases, shops will only be invoiced for the cash at the end of the calendar month, meaning longer waits… often the process can drag on until users have forgotten the original purchase when their cash arrives.
Where’s the transparency?
In the world of cashback, it’s hard to see what’s happening behind the scenes. Users often have to give large amounts of personal information just to use a service – and, since many cashback companies lack transparency, there's always a risk personal information could be misused. It’s often unclear where services are based, meaning they may not comply with local data protection regulation.
Wasted time on discounts
The leading brands in the coupon space rarely offer discounts on the most popular and established brands, meaning users are forced to trawl through poorly designed, unreliable, or even malicious sites to find discounts for products they want. Many times, the end result may be a defunct discount code which doesn’t even work – resulting in wasted time and effort.
Discount vouchers are increasingly limited by restrictions: brands set minimum and maximum spends, and regularly require shoppers to buy a certain quantity of goods often beyond their usual means in order to activate the discount.
Encouraging discount-conscious shoppers to make purchases beyond their needs is likely to turn users off vouchers altogether. Similarly, while research suggests shoppers increase purchases when vouchers insist on a minimum spend, it’s doubtful whether this short-term boost will translate into sustained future spending once customers realise they’re spending more rather than less.
Here's the answer…
There is one solution to combine the benefits of both cashback and discounts, while avoiding all the pitfalls at the same time! Slash.com eliminates the uncertainty and waiting that can occur with other deals – taking all the risk and leaving savvy shoppers with a tasty discount on a huge variety of big brand names, from AO.com and Boots.
With the Slash extension, users can find out the size of their guaranteed discount just by hovering over the icon next to the product price.
For more details and great savings today, visit slash.com