Interview with Torsten Latussek About His Career Path, the Idea of Creating a Product for Generating Coupons and Discounts.
Time to read: 20 minutes
Torsten, please, tell us about your career path. And how did you come up with the idea of creating a product for generating coupons and discounts?
While studying Chemnitz economics and marketing I discovered the possibilities of the WWW and tried to do my first steps with a website using books such as Game Cube. I also integrated tracking links to Amazon to earn some money. I was fascinated by affiliate marketing and integrated more links through affiliate networks like Zanox (now AWIN).
Meanwhile, I loved to travel to the U.S. where I discovered coupons - everybody was using them to save money in groceries and drugstores. I was amazed at how much money people could save by using coupons, and I realized the potential of bringing this concept to the online world. So, the idea of creating an online version of coupons with links to online shops called coupons.de was born in 2004. Since then, I have been constantly improving and expanding the website, adding new features such as personalization and mobile optimization.
Today, coupons.de is one of the leading coupon platforms in Germany, with a large and loyal customer base. Additionally, I have been invited to speak at several e-commerce conferences and have been interviewed by many reputable media outlets to share my experience and insights in the field.
How long has your product been on the market? How does it differ from competitors? And can the niche you operate in be called competitive?
As the owner of coupons.de, I am proud to say that we have been in the online coupon industry since 2004 and have rebranded our business in 2019 to better serve our customers. Our platform has evolved to provide not only coupons but also deals, discounts, and cashback options.
We understand that in today's market, there are many coupon platforms to choose from, which is why our mission is to provide the highest quality coupon codes and the most diverse options to our customers.
Our team of editors carefully tests every single coupon code before it goes live on our website, guaranteeing that our customers are getting valid and up-to-date coupons, deals, discounts, and cashback options. We believe that this level of quality control is what sets us apart from other coupon platforms and has helped us build a loyal customer base over the years.
Our customer service team is available 24/7 to assist with any inquiries or issues. We are committed to providing our customers with the best possible experience and strive to continuously improve our services and offerings.
As a business owner, how do you see the core value of your product?
The core value of our product is providing a win-win situation for both our customers and our advertisers.
For our advertisers, we drive a lot of sales, increase their conversions and baskets, and provide them with a platform to reach a large and engaged customer base. Our platform allows them to offer new discounts and offers to customers, which in turn drives more sales for them.
For our customers, we deliver only working coupon codes and provide them with an easy and efficient way to save money on their purchases. We strive to satisfy our customers' needs and make their shopping experience as convenient as possible.
We believe that by providing value to both our customers and advertisers, we can create a sustainable and mutually beneficial business model.
Looking back at your experience, what are the top 3 tips you would give to anyone starting their e-commerce product?
When it comes to launching an e-commerce product, there are a few key things that I have learned from my experience as the owner coupons.de.
Firstly, it's important to always keep the customer in mind and make sure that you are offering a product or service that addresses their needs and preferences. This means conducting thorough market research, testing, and gathering feedback from potential customers.
Secondly, I believe it's crucial to add value to your product. This could be in the form of a unique feature, a superior quality, or a lower price compared to competitors. This will not only attract customers but also help you to stand out in the market.
Lastly, having efficient systems and processes in place is crucial to running a successful e-commerce business. This means optimizing your website, streamlining your inventory management, and automating repetitive tasks. Improving these internal processes will not only save time and resources but also increase customer satisfaction.
Can you discuss the effectiveness of using coupons and discounts as a strategy for retaining customers? How frequently do companies implement this strategy and in which industries is it most beneficial or detrimental to use? How does offering discounts potentially impact a brand's image and reputation?
Offering coupons and discounts as a strategy for retaining customers can be an effective way to increase sales and customer loyalty. By sending follow-up coupons to customers who have previously been triggered by coupons, it becomes easier to reactivate them and direct them to specific sales areas or introduce them to new products, leading to increased sales and revenue.
Our experience has shown that coupons and discounts can be a powerful marketing tool to achieve a short-term increase in demand, activate or reactivate customers, and inspire and motivate them. Additionally, customers in every industry are interested in saving money, and using coupons are like a game or a challenge to them, resulting in high conversion rates and fewer dropouts.
However, it's important to note that while discounts are generally well-received by customers, their use should be approached carefully, particularly for premium brands, to ensure that they are in line with the brand's image and reputation.
Overall, offering coupons and discounts as a strategy for retaining customers can be an effective way to increase sales and customer loyalty, as long as it's done strategically and thoughtfully.
Do you think personalizing coupons is an effective marketing strategy? For which types of companies does it work better?
At coupons.de, we believe that personalizing coupons is a crucial strategy for businesses looking to increase customer retention and loyalty. By providing our customers with personalized offers tailored to their specific needs and interests, we create a sense of exclusivity and value that leads to increased customer engagement and sales.
We use personalized coupons to target specific categories or products that we want to sell off, for example, by targeting customers who have shown an interest in a particular category of products or services. Our personalization strategy also includes targeting a specific audience and the purpose of the personalization, which enables us to reach a wider audience, including new customers.
Our platform also allows customers to use more generally applicable coupons that can reach a wider audience and attract new customers.
We understand that personalizing coupons is a crucial strategy for businesses looking to increase customer retention and loyalty, and we constantly strive to improve our service by providing our customers with the best and most personalized offers.
Have you noticed any new trends in how businesses offer discounts right now as the recession is coming? How do you think companies can survive and grow during a recession?
I have noticed that some brands are becoming more cautious with giving discounts, and as a result, are doing it less frequently. This is likely due to the current economic climate, where customers are becoming more price sensitive. However, I believe that it is important for businesses to continue to offer discounts and offers to their customers.
While it's essential to consider the targets and margins of the business, discontinuing discounts altogether may not be the best strategy. Customers have come to expect discounts and offers, and are now looking for them more intensely than ever before.
Instead of eliminating discounts, businesses should focus on finding a balance between offering discounts and maintaining profitability. One possible approach could be to offer more targeted and personalized discounts to specific customer segments or to offer discounts on particular products or services rather than across the entire product line.
Overall, I believe that while businesses should be mindful of their targets and margins, they should not stop offering discounts and offers to their customers. The key is to find the right balance and to be strategic about how discounts are offered.
Torsten, please, share your opinion about the COVID-19 impact on e-commerce. What’s changed since the start of the pandemic? Did the brands and vendors adapt to new consumer behavior? And how did they manage to do it? What other innovations or new technologies are coming to change e-commerce? How can we prepare for them?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the e-commerce landscape, forcing businesses to adapt quickly to the new reality of social distancing and lockdowns. As the owner of coupons.de, I have observed firsthand the challenges that vendors and businesses faced in the early days of the pandemic. However, as time progressed, vendors and businesses have adapted and are now better equipped to handle the increased demand for online shopping.
One of the most significant changes we've seen is the accelerated shift toward online shopping. The pandemic has forced consumers to rely more heavily on online shopping for their daily needs, and we have seen a significant increase in sales and customer engagement on our platform. This trend is likely to continue in the future, as more and more consumers become accustomed to the convenience and safety of online shopping.
We see that individual coupon code tracking will become more important in our business as a way to track the performance of campaigns and also as a secure billing method for voucher portals like ours in terms of cookie-free tracking. Another trend that we are following closely is the rise of the metaverse and its potential impact on e-commerce. The metaverse, a virtual shared space where users can interact in a social and economic context, could bring e-commerce to a whole new level and would be beneficial for companies that can adapt and leverage the technology effectively.
I am not a futurologist, but e-commerce businesses that can adapt to this new reality by providing a seamless and personalized online shopping experience and leveraging new technologies such as metaverse will be the ones that survive and thrive. Additionally, businesses that can offer innovative solutions such as virtual styling and consultations, personalization, and individual coupon tracking will have an advantage in the market.
Torsten, you have already mentioned the metaverse. So, do you think this trend has huge potential and can bring e-commerce to a new level? And which types of companies would benefit from it most?
The metaverse is a game-changer for e-commerce. Imagine, instead of browsing through pages on a website, customers can step into a virtual store and explore it like they're physically there. It's like the ultimate online shopping experience.
In the metaverse, businesses can create virtual storefronts that are not only interactive but also immersive. They can showcase products in a way that's never been done before. Imagine virtual product demonstrations, interactive visualizations, and virtual try-on features. The possibilities are endless!
But it's not just about the shopping experience. The metaverse also opens up new opportunities for businesses to offer services like virtual styling and consultations. Customers can experiment with different looks, and try on clothes without ever leaving their homes.
And let's not forget about personalization. With the ability to track customer behavior and preferences in a virtual environment, businesses can tailor their offerings to each customer. It's like having a personal shopping assistant that's always on call.
In short, the metaverse is the future of e-commerce and it's going to be a wild ride. Businesses that can adapt and make the most of this new technology, will be the ones leading the pack.
More and more people from Gen Alpha and Gen Z are becoming consumers in the e-commerce landscape. What advice can you give the e-commerce business to faster adapt to the buying preferences of these generations?
I believe that e-commerce businesses must adapt to the buying preferences of Gen Alpha and Gen Z to stay relevant and attract these younger generations of consumers.
One key aspect to consider is the importance of mobile optimization, as these generations are heavily reliant on their smartphones and are more likely to make purchases through mobile devices. Additionally, businesses should also consider personalization and customization as key aspects of their strategies, as these generations are looking for unique and personalized experiences.
Another important aspect is the use of social media and influencer marketing. These generations are heavily influenced by social media and are more likely to trust recommendations from influencers and peers. Businesses can leverage this by partnering with social media influencers and incorporating user-generated content into their marketing strategies.
E-commerce businesses must focus on mobile optimization, social media and influencer marketing, personalization, and customization to appeal to Generation Alpha and Gen Z consumers. By understanding their preferences and adapting accordingly, businesses can attract and retain these valuable customers.
Today it's essential to quickly adapt to the shifting market conditions. But also, only some trends are worth chasing. What are the key trends, tools, and priorities for e-commerce businesses in 2023 to stand out from the competitors and lead the market?
The key trends, tools, and priorities for e-commerce businesses in 2023 include focusing on the customer experience, implementing new tracking solutions and technology, and staying ahead of industry developments, such as the rise of the metaverse.
Another trend that is gaining momentum is the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology in e-commerce. This allows businesses to provide a more immersive and interactive shopping experience for customers, allowing them to see products in different settings, and even try them on virtually. This can also improve the chances of a sale, as customers have a better idea of how a product would look in real life.
Finally, sustainable e-commerce is another trend that will become more important in 2023. Customers are becoming more conscious about the environmental impact of their purchases, and businesses that can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability will be better positioned to attract and retain customers. This could include incorporating eco-friendly packaging, using renewable energy, and promoting products made from sustainable materials.
By keeping an eye on these trends and incorporating them into their strategies, e-commerce businesses can stay ahead of the curve and provide a more engaging and relevant experience for their customers.
Torsten, thank you for your time and for sharing the experience. It was so exciting to know so much about the coupon business and your point of view on the future of e-commerce.
Let professionals meet your challenge
Our certified specialists will find the most optimal solution for your business.