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What Is Coupon Stacking (Benefits And Risks For Retailers)

What Is Coupon Stacking (Benefits And Risks for Retailers)

You might be thinking… what is coupon stacking, exactly?

Businesses are always on the lookout for creative ways to draw in customers and keep them coming back. One strategy that has really picked up steam is coupon stacking. Basically, this involves customers using multiple coupons and deals together, helping them save big.

If you’re running a retail business, getting to grips with coupon stacking can really transform your approach to customer engagement and loyalty.

But like any strategy, it has its upsides and its challenges.

In this article, we’re going to do more than answer, “What is coupon stacking?” We’re going to dive deep into the strategy, examining its finer details and equipping you with the insights you need to use it effectively.

So, are you ready to learn more? Let’s dive in!

What Is Coupon Stacking And How Does It Work?

Coupon stacking, or “deal stacking” as it’s sometimes called, is all about using a mix of coupons, promo codes, and discounts to save as much as possible on a single purchase.

Example of coupon stacking by PrettyLittleThing
Example of coupon stacking by PrettyLittleThing (click to zoom)

You might use a combination of manufacturer coupons, store coupons, loyalty program discounts, and promotional codes. Here’s how it usually works:

  1. Finding the Best Deals: When shoppers hunt for the best savings, they explore all kinds of places to grab the right coupons and discount deals. For example, they could look at retailer websites, mobile apps, social media, and even third-party coupon sites to find exceptional promotions.
  2. Stacking Up Savings: After gathering all the applicable promotions, savvy shoppers play it smart by stacking these discounts together.
  3. Maximizing Savings: By cleverly combining different discounts, shoppers often cut down their total spending significantly, sometimes saving more than what each coupon alone would offer.

It’s important to note that the rules about stacking coupons can differ from one retailer to another. Some might limit how many coupons you can use together, or what kinds you can combine.

As a retailer, it’s key to get a good grip on these policies and make them clear to your customers. This way, everyone knows what to expect and you can avoid any confusion, ensuring a smooth experience.

Benefits Of Coupon Stacking For Retailers

You know, at first glance, coupon stacking might look like just a way for shoppers to save a few extra bucks, right? But there’s a twist—it can actually be a big win for the store owners too.

Let’s dive into some of the major perks for retailers:

1. Increased customer loyalty

When you think about what is coupon stacking, keep in mind that it isn’t just about the deals.

It really plays a big part in building a relationship with your customers. When you allow them to stack coupons, it’s like you’re saying, “Hey, we see you trying to save, and we’re here to help!”

KOHL's coupon stacking policy
KOHL’s coupon stacking policy (click to zoom)

This approach shows them that you value giving them the best bang for their buck. Naturally, this kind of care creates a strong sense of loyalty. Customers remember that kind of support, and it keeps them coming back because they know they can trust you to deliver great value.

What better way to encourage repeat business, right?

2. Boosted sales and revenue

When customers can stack coupons, they often end up buying more than they originally planned. Think about it—adding another item to your cart doesn’t seem so bad if it means saving even more, right?

This approach not only boosts the sales volume but also ramps up the overall revenue.

It’s like, the more they save, the more they spend. Thus, it’s a clever strategy to get shoppers to increase their purchase size without a second thought.

3. Inventory clearance

Coupon stacking is also a smart move for stores, especially when they’ve got too much stock sitting around. Say a store has a bunch of items that aren’t flying off the shelves as fast as hoped.

Here’s where it gets clever: they can roll out stackable coupons:

Example of coupon stacking
Example of coupon stacking (click to zoom)

This strategy isn’t just throwing out random discounts. It’s targeted. You can lure customers into buying these less popular items by offering them a tempting deal—maybe a hat for half off if they buy a jacket at full price. It’s like saying, “Hey, since you’re already here, why not grab this too?”

Before you know it, those shelves start clearing up!

4. Competitive advantage

What is coupon stacking? It’s a strategy that can help you not only survive but also outperform the competition. After all, in a market that’s packed with choices, rolling out the red carpet for coupon stacking can really make your store stand out.

Imagine you’re a customer and you’re comparing two shops; one lets you stack up discounts, and the other doesn’t. Chances are, you’ll go where your dollar stretches further, right?

For this reason, this strategy brands your store as more customer-friendly and tuned into saving people money. Moreover, it might just win over some new fans who are looking for the best deal out there.

5. Data-driven marketing

What happens when you keep an eye on how your coupons are used, especially which ones get stacked? Basically, you learn a ton about what your customers like and how they shop.

This kind of info is gold for shaping your future marketing moves. You can customize your promotions and deals to fit just right with what your customers are looking for.

It’s like having a roadmap to their preferences!

Risks And Challenges Of Coupon Stacking

There’s more to this strategy than answering the question, “What is coupon stacking?” You should also know its risks and challenges.

Coupon stacking sounds pretty great on the surface. After all, it offers some juicy benefits. Nevertheless, it’s wise to keep our eyes open to some of the tricky bits that come with it.

So, let’s break down some of the potential risks and challenges that stores might face with this practice:

1. Profit margin erosion

When customers stack coupons, they’re grabbing some pretty big discounts. But there’s the catch for businesses—if it’s not kept in check, this can really start to eat into the profit margins.

If you’re not careful, you might find that these discounts are actually costing you more than they’re worth, potentially shaking up your business’s bottom line in the long haul.

In other words, you need to keep a handle on how these coupons are used to prevent profit loss.

2. Inventory management complexities

It sounds straightforward, but when customers start stacking coupons, things can get a bit unpredictable. You might see these sudden bursts of demand when you run multiple promotions at once, and that can really shake up your supply chain and how you handle your stock.

Bath & Body Works coupon stacking limits
Bath & Body Works coupon stacking limits (click to zoom)

One week, everything’s normal, and then boom—a big promotion hits, and everyone rushes in.

True, keeping up with these spikes in sales is about having enough on the shelves. However, it’s also about smart planning and maybe even a bit of agility to avoid those out-of-stock headaches or, on the flip side, ending up with too much of something that just won’t sell.

3. Brand perception concerns

When you let customers stack coupons, if it’s not managed well, it might come off as a bit of a gimmick, right? Or even worse, some might see it as a sign that your business is in a pinch and trying to lure in more sales any way it can.

This can really play into how people view the exclusivity and value of your brand.

It’s all about striking that balance to keep the allure of a good deal without making it seem like your brand is just giving things away left and right.

4. Fraud and abuse risks

What is coupon stacking if you neglect to protect your business from deceptive practices?

While most shoppers use coupons the right way, there are a few who might try to play the system. They could use fake coupons, expired ones, or even find sneaky ways to bend the rules to their advantage.

Summersalt's check out page, allowing coupon stacking
Summersalt’s check out page, allowing coupon stacking (click to zoom)

Now, to keep things fair and square, it’s super important for stores to have strong fraud detection and prevention strategies in place. For one thing, this protects the business. For another, it ensures that coupon deals remain sweet for everyone who plays by the rules.

5. Technical challenges

Let’s talk about integrating coupon stacking into your e-commerce setup. It can seem like a daunting task, can’t it? Not only do you have to deal with the nitty-gritty of the technical side, but it also requires a decent chunk of resources and some real expertise to pull off without a hitch.

You need to make sure everything works seamlessly with the systems you already have in place.

Plus, it’s not just about getting it up and running—there’s ongoing maintenance to think about, making sure everything stays compatible and runs smoothly as your platform evolves. It’s quite the project, but when done right, the payoff can be pretty substantial for customer satisfaction and sales.

How Can You Allow Coupon Stacking In Your Store?

What is coupon stacking if you can’t use it effectively? Thankfully, with the right platform, you can enjoy features that not only allow the strategy but also optimize it.

And guess what? Advanced Coupons has just rolled out a couple of exciting new features that open up this possibility! So, want to get into the details and see how you can let your customers stack up savings?

Check out our guides here to learn all about implementing coupon stacking in your e-commerce store:

Advanced Coupons extends your basic coupon features
Advanced Coupons extends your basic coupon features

If you haven’t heard, Advanced Coupons is the best coupon plugin in WooCommerce. Trusted by 20K+ store owners, this plugin lets you run different kinds of coupon deals like:

  • BOGO or “Buy One, Get One”
  • Free shipping deals
  • Cashback or store credits
  • Cart conditions
  • Add products
  • URL coupons
  • Auto-applied coupons
  • And many, many more.


What is coupon stacking? It’s a great strategy that can really ramp up customer loyalty, give your sales a nice boost, and even give you a leg up on the competition. But here’s the catch: it’s essential to have a solid plan in place and to be fully aware of the potential pitfalls and challenges.

So, in this article, we shared 5 benefits of coupon stacking:

  1. Increased customer loyalty
  2. Boosted sales and revenue
  3. Inventory clearance
  4. Competitive advantage
  5. Data-driven marketing

In addition, we shared 5 risks and challenges you need to be prepared for:

  1. Profit margin erosion
  2. Inventory management complexities
  3. Brand perception concerns
  4. Fraud and abuse risks
  5. Technical challenges

Do you have any questions about what is coupon stacking? Let us know in the comments!

author avatar
Belle Berber Writer, Content Manager

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