When you’re trying to promote your product or increase the volume of sold products as a retailer, you need to employ every kind of marketing strategy out there. And sure, with the advent of digital marketing, new options and techniques are appearing all the time. But sometimes, it’s a good idea to go back to the basics – such as the many different types of coupons you can offer! Though, once you get into it, you’ll realize that even the basics aren’t so basic anymore. There are quite a few different kinds of coupons; so, which ones should you use? Don’t worry; we’ve got a nifty guide for you right here!

Manufacturer Coupons

You’ll find that most businesses out there offer coupons from time to time. No matter what kind of service or product they offer, from moving companies such as movingofamerica.com to basic store retailers. But what types of coupons can you offer? For starters, there are the manufacturer coupons. These coupons aren’t designed or provided by the stores and other sellers. They’re provided by the manufacturers of the products themselves, in a bid to increase the sales and demand for the products they offer. And you’ll usually find these in the Sunday edition of many newspapers all over the country.

Still, any retailer can decide for themselves whether or not they want to accept these coupons, on a case-by-case basis. Naturally, you’ll find that most stores do accept them, as doing otherwise would just bring them a bad reputation. Once stores gather the redeemed coupons, they will forward them to clearinghouses. That’s where the manufacturer of the discounted product reimburses its partners in the retail chain for the amount that the product was discounted for.

Store Coupons

On the other hand, you’ve got your run of the mill store coupons. The stores issue such coupons themselves, without any connection to the manufacturer of the products. Naturally, these are store-specific, as they’re designed for the particular customer base of the store, depending on its location and the customers’ preferences.

These are designed to entice the specific customers of the store which provided them; which also means that the store itself bears all of the costs related to the discount. Bear in mind though – some customers will attempt to use store coupons in tandem with a manufacturer discount for a bigger discount. Some stores allow this, but you need to make your store policy clear on this to avoid customer dissatisfaction.

Digital Coupons

This is a catch-all term that we give to coupons customers stumble upon online, or which stores and manufacturers distribute via digital means. In other words, these are the types of coupons you can offer using SMS or other messaging services, as well as social media platforms. Basically, with all of the different ways you can reach customers, the sky’s the limit with digital coupons. Both store owners and manufacturers provide these, and their use has skyrocketed along with the Internet since the early 1990s. They are also called coupon codes and eCoupons.

A person holding a mobile phone.

These days, people find coupons on their mobile devices as well!:


The interestingly-named Catalinas are one of the types of coupons you can offer. And they’re actually dubbed after the name of the company that produced the tiny boxes which print such coupons. Unlike other product-related coupons, Catalinas are the ones you get right from the cash register as you make a purchase.

A cash register in a retail store.

Catalinas are a type of coupon offered at the cash register:

Often enough, they’ll be printed on the back of a customer’s receipt. Most commonly, they include discounts provided by the manufacturer for future product purchases, or by the store, for purchases at other local stores in the same chain. If they’ve been provided by the manufacturer for a specific product, the said manufacturer will usually pay the retail for what basically amounts to advertising space.


In most cases, hashtags are the types of coupons you can find on store items like soaps, oils, two-liter soft drinks, and basically anything stored in bottles. And how do they get the name? From the fact that they are usually papers which hang from the neck of the product’s packaging. So, the name actually refers to the look of the coupon, not the type of deal you can find on it.

A retail store with signs saying “save” over the isles.

Retailers use sales to attract customers to specific products!:


Blinkies are actually not that popular anymore, and you’d be hard-pressed to find them in larger retail chains these days. But they were very prominent in the early 2000s and the late 1990s. You’ll find such coupons in front of the discounted products on the store shelves. And they’re named Blinkies because many of them attracted customers using small blinking lights. As we’ve mentioned above – the advent of other types of discounts has rendered these coupons almost extinct.


With Peelies, we continue our streak of funnily-named types of coupons you can offer. These are coupons that are placed directly on the packaging of a discounted product. And they’re basically stickers a customer can peel off and use immediately while making the purchase. In 99% of cases, these are manufacturer coupons, seeing as they’re closely tied to the product itself. And as they have a very immediate effect, they’re usually utilized to great effect.

Percent off

Lastly, we arrive at one of the most popular types of coupons you can offer – and the simplest one  – the “percent off” coupon.

This coupon involves a deal which gives the customer a specific discount in the form of a percentage of the product’s full price — most of these range between 10% and 25%.

Author bio: Nathan Williams is a freelance author, mostly writing about the microeconomics of modern retail stores, as well as the logistics in the chain of production.