A voucher is a document, token, or electronic code. It gives the holder access to a discount, special deal, or a specific product or service. Often used as a marketing strategy, vouchers help boost sales, attract new customers, and retain existing ones. They are found in physical and digital forms and used across various industries – from retail and dining to travel and entertainment.

Key Takeaways

  • Vouchers are documents, tokens, or electronic codes that give shoppers access to discounts, special deals, or specific products and services. Vouchers come in both physical and digital forms.
  • Many industries must vouchers, including retail, dining, travel, and entertainment. They help boost sales, attract new customers, and retain existing ones.Β 
  • Discount vouchers usually offer a fixed amount (like $20) of the total purchase price, motivating customers to complete transactions by allowing them to save money.
  • Vouchers are used at retail outlets, in-store or online. They provide flexibility by allowing choices on where and how to spend.
  • Vouchers come in many forms, such as discounts, gift vouchers, store vouchers, online vouchers, shopping vouchers, travel vouchers, dining vouchers, and others.

Types of Vouchers

Vouchers come in many forms, each serving a unique purpose. Here are some of the most common types:

Discount Vouchers


Tip: Discount vouchers offer a percentage or fixed amount of the total purchase price. For example, a retailer might issue a voucher for 20% off on all clothing items during a seasonal sale.

These vouchers can motivate customers to complete a transaction by letting them save money on their purchases. Customers get potentially significant savings on the total bill, and retailers get increased foot traffic and potential upselling opportunities.

Gift Vouchers


Tip: Gift vouchers are prepaid vouchers that can be used as an alternative to cash when making purchases. They are a popular gift choice because they allow recipients to select their own items to get exactly what they want.

Gift vouchers are versatile and are found across various sectors, including retail, dining, and entertainment. For example, a $50 gift voucher for an electronics store is a convenient gift option that allows the recipient to choose their preferred item. Businesses also boost sales with gift vouchers, especially during festive seasons.

Store Vouchers


Tip: Store vouchers are specific to a particular retailer and can only be redeemed at that store or its online platform. These vouchers often come as part of a promotional campaign.

Store vouchers can encourage customers to visit the store and purchase more. They can also be a reward for loyal customers. For example, a $30 store voucher for a home improvement store helps shoppers save on their purchases while encouraging store visits and promoting customer loyalty.

Online Vouchers


Tip: Online vouchers come in the form of electronic codes that you enter at checkout to receive a discount. These are particularly popular in the e-commerce sector, where digital transactions abound.

Online vouchers make it easy to apply discounts without needing a physical item. They can be used for various products, from clothing and electronics to digital services like streaming subscriptions. For example, a 15% off promo code on an online bookstore creates a convenient online shopping experience for consumers who prefer buying from home.

Businesses also increase online sales and improve website traffic by offering this voucher type.

Shopping Vouchers


Tip: Shopping vouchers can be used at a range of retail outlets, either in-store or online. They provide flexibility by allowing where and how to spend the voucher.

Shopping vouchers are often used in shopping malls and can be a major draw for foot traffic. For example, a $100 shopping voucher could be valid at multiple retail outlets in a shopping mall. This allows customers to choose from different stores and helps retailers attract more shoppers to the mall.

Travel Vouchers


Tip: Travel vouchers are used for booking flights, hotels, or travel packages. They can be a great way to save money on vacations and business trips.

Travel vouchers are often given as bonuses by companies or as promotional tools by travel agencies. For example, a $200 voucher for booking flights benefits travelers by reducing travel costs, while boosting bookings during off-peak seasons for airlines.

Dining Vouchers


Tip: Dining vouchers offer discounts or special deals at restaurants and cafes. These vouchers range from a percentage off the total bill to special deals like buy-one-get-one-free meals.

Dining vouchers are a popular promotional tool for restaurants to attract new customers and encourage repeat visits. For example, customers can get a buy-one-get-one-free deal at a local restaurant. Thanks to the affordable dining experience, restaurants attract more diners, increasing sales and potentially creating repeat business.

How to Use a Voucher

Using a voucher is typically straightforward, but it varies depending on the voucher type and the medium (online or in-store). Here are the general steps:

Online Vouchers

  1. Select products: add the desired products to your shopping cart.
  2. Enter code: enter the voucher code in the specified field during checkout.
  3. Apply and check: click β€œapply” to see the discount reflected in your total bill.
  4. Complete purchase: finalize your transaction with the adjusted amount.

Store Vouchers

  1. Select products: choose your products and proceed to the checkout counter.
  2. Present voucher: hand over the physical voucher or show the digital code to the cashier.
  3. Discount application: the cashier will apply the discount, and you complete the purchase with the reduced amount.

Voucher vs. Coupon


Note: Both vouchers and coupons offer discounts and deals, but they have a few distinctions. The distinctions are more technical than significant differences. In practice, they both help you save money and benefit from great bargains.

The technical differences are as follows:

🎟️ Voucher Characteristics🎫 Coupon Characteristics
Usually offers a specific value (e.g., $20 off).Offers either a specific discount (e.g., 10% off) or a deal (e.g., buy one get one free).
Often has broader use; applicable to a range of products or services.Generally more restrictive, often applying to specific items or conditions.
Typically has a longer validity period.Usually time-limited with shorter expiry dates.

Voucher Benefits

πŸ›οΈ Benefits for Consumers

  • Cost savings: vouchers provide discounts, making products and services more affordable.
  • Access to deals: vouchers can offer exclusive deals not available to the general public.
  • Flexibility: many vouchers allow flexibility in redeeming, including online and in-store options.
  • Gift option: gift vouchers are versatile, allowing recipients to choose their preferred items.

🏬 Benefits for Businesses

  • Increased sales: vouchers can attract new customers and encourage repeat purchases.
  • Customer retention: offering vouchers can help retain loyal customers.
  • Inventory management: vouchers can promote slow-moving goods or out-of-season items.
  • Market expansion: vouchers can assist in expanding into new markets by attracting price-sensitive customers.

Vouchers FAQs

What Is a Voucher?

A voucher is a document, token, or code providing discounts or special deals on products or services.

What Is the Difference Between a Voucher and a Coupon?

A voucher usually offers a specific value off, while a coupon generally provides a percentage discount or a special deal.

Can I Use Multiple Vouchers at Once?

Policies vary by retailer; some allow stacking multiple vouchers, while others do not.

Do Vouchers Expire?

Yes, vouchers typically have an expiry date, so it’s important to check the terms and conditions.

How Do I Use an Online Voucher?

Add items to your shopping cart, enter the voucher code at checkout, and apply the discount.

Are Vouchers Transferable?

It depends on the terms of the voucher. Gift vouchers are usually transferable, but some store-specific vouchers may not be.

Where Can I Find Vouchers?

Vouchers can be found on retailer websites, email newsletters, promotional events, and dedicated voucher websites.

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