Benjamin Franklin once told us that a penny saved is a penny earned. If you are able to save an extra penny somewhere, that is just as valuable as earning a penny. We really need to control the way that we spend our money and one of the best ways to do that is through the use of coupons. Why would you ever want to pay full retail for something?
While you could certainly spend your Sunday afternoon clipping coupons, it’s a lot easier when other people do all the hard work for you. CouponMeUp.com is a website that aggregates coupons from hundreds of online retailers. Is it any better than the other shopping-style sites on the ‘net? Read the rest of this review to find out.
Coupons Keep It Simple
When you are hunting for a deal, you want to get straight to the goods. You don’t want to get bombarded with all sorts of flashing banners and other distractions. Thankfully, this coupon site features an incredibly simplified design.
The categories and sub-categories are listed along the left side of the main page, directing you to coupons for everything from oil changes to office supplies. There are also quicklinks to “hot stores” like Dell, CompUSA, and Geeks.com.
If you are looking for something specific, CouponMeUp.com also features a basic keyword search bar near the top of the page.
While I certainly appreciate the relatively simple and clean layout, CouponMeUp.com does suffer from some branding issues. The main character in the logo is far too similar to the one from GoDaddy. Partly because of this, CouponMeUp.com has the appearance of a landing page or parked domain rather than a legitimate shopping site. I don’t really mind the white text on the dark background, but that’s a bit of a dated look as well.
Coupons Are Left of Center
For most of the main pages on CouponMeUp, the site content is centered in your browser window. Upon navigating to a coupon page, however, the content gets pushed to the left to accommodate an ad banner on the right.
For example, I’m interested in getting some of those cool new Street Fighter IV controllers from Mad Catz, so I went to the page shown above. If CouponMeUp is going to use ad banners in this way, their implementation has to be more consistent. It was quite jarring to have the content suddenly fly to the left side of my monitor.
Realistically, the main monetization for a coupon site like this should come from the affiliate links to the various online stores. The added banner may be detrimental, but a little experimentation on the part of the site owner would be needed of course.
A User-Driven Database of Savings
I’m not sure how far they go in verifying the validity of submitted coupons, so you may end up with a lot of coupons that simply do not work. This issue is further exacerbated by the lack of user interaction and lack of an expiry date algorithm.
A lot of the coupons on the site are no longer valid, creating unneeded frustration on the part of the site visitor. The coupons should be designated as expired (or simply deleted) when they no longer work. Another way to aid this would be to allow visitor comments on each coupon page. This way, online shoppers can describe their experience with each specific coupon.
The Signal-to-Noise Ratio
For the most part, CouponMeUp.com has a solid framework in place that could provide a lot of value to value-minded online shoppers, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.
The site needs a stronger identity and this starts with a logo that isn’t quite so GoDaddy-inspired. Second, more visitor interaction needs to be implemented in the form of comments or a forum. This way, invalid coupons can be more easily removed. Without some sort of system to address this, you get very little signal compared to all that noise.