coupon – cou·pon – [ˈk(y)o͞oˌpän] – NOUN
coupons (plural noun)

  • A voucher entitling the holder to a discount for a particular product.
    synonyms: voucher · coupon · chit · docket · stamp · order · credit note · IOU · chitty
  • a detachable portion of a bond which is given up in return for a payment of interest.
  • a form in a newspaper or magazine that may be filled in and sent as an application for a purchase or information.
    synonyms: form · tear-off slip · entry form · application form

coupons (third person present)
(of a business) issue or distribute coupons or vouchers offering discounts on particular goods or services.
“the company announced plans to reduce its couponing and just cut prices instead”

(of a consumer) collect and use coupons or vouchers offering discounts on goods or services.
“couponing has dropped their monthly grocery budget by upwards of $1,100 per month” · “since she’d only been couponing for a few weeks, she didn’t have much of a grocery stockpile built up”

early 19th century (denoting a detachable portion of a stock certificate): from French, literally ‘piece cut off’, from couper ‘cut’, from Old French colper.

n marketing, a coupon is a ticket or document that can be redeemed for a financial discount or rebate when purchasing a product.

Customarily, coupons are issued by manufacturers of consumer packaged goods or by retailers, to be used in retail stores as a part of sales promotions. They are often widely distributed through mail, coupon envelopes, magazines, newspapers, the Internet (social media, email newsletter), directly from the retailer, and mobile devices such as cell phones. Since only price conscious consumers are likely to spend the time to claim the savings, coupons function as a form of price discrimination, enabling retailers to offer a lower price only to those consumers who would otherwise go elsewhere. In addition, coupons can also be targeted selectively to regional markets in which price competition is great.

In government, a coupon is a paper certificate used to administer a benefit or permission.

In 1886, The Coca-Cola Company was incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia, with Asa Candler as one of the partners. He transformed Coca-Cola from an insignificant tonic into a profitable business by using advertising techniques. Candler’s marketing included having the company’s employees and sales representatives distribute complimentary coupons for Coca-Cola. Coupons were mailed to potential customers and placed in magazines. The company gave soda fountains free syrup to cover the costs of the free drinks. It is estimated that between 1894 and 1913 one in nine Americans had received a free Coca-Cola, for a total of 8,500,000 free drinks. By 1895 Candler announced to shareholders that Coca-Cola was served in every state in the United States.

In Australia consumers first came in contact with couponing when a company called Shop A Docket promoted offers and discounts on the back of shopping receipts in 1986.

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