Vouchers vs. Promotions: What's The Difference?

Whether you're a retailer or a shopper, vouchers and promotions are likely important to you. In this article, you will learn the difference between these two marketing techniques and find an explanation of how to use them. Promotions and vouchers have always been essential to a successful business, and that truth is only becoming more prominent in today's competitive environment. With more eCommerce companies than ever emerging to take their shot at success, only those with a successful promotional strategy will manage to hold power.

For many businesses, managing promotions is the key to success. But what does it really mean? Promotions are more than just a blanket term - it's about specific strategies that work for you and your business. So, we are going to explore promotions and vouchers in terms of their differences according to various characteristics, how each is best suited to your business going forward and how you can implement them both in your business using Synerise.  

General definitions of vouchers and promotions

A Voucher is usually a simple set of alphanumeric characters (code), which is then recognized at the time of purchase and converted into an appropriate benefit for the customer.

Learn more about Voucher pools in our User Guide.

Promotions, on the other hand, are a broader concept presented in various forms of communication, that include a product, group of products, or even an entire shopping cart or service enriched with additional information related to the description of the benefit for the customer and the specific rules for its allocation.

Learn more about Promotions in our User Guide.

Where do they come from in Synerise, are they unique, and how can customers use them?


Synerise’s Promotions tool enables the creation of promotions directly from the platform. If required, promotions can also be imported from the client’s ERP systems, allowing seamless integration with existing business practices and effective management and tracking of running promotions.  

Each promotion created on the platform has a unique promotion code. In other words - a simple, unique ID that helps identify the specific promotion that should be assigned or redeemed for a particular user. The created promotion has conditions and rules that should be met for it to be activated. However, the fact that it is activated for a specific segment means multiple customers can access the same promotion simultaneously.

Promotions enable dynamic segmentation, meaning that it is available to customers at any time they meet certain business conditions.

To use a promotion, the customer should be identified by any Synerise ID in the form of a customID (loyalty card number) or email address.  


Voucher codes can be easily imported into the Synerise platform and used in communication with customers, through channels such as for example email, push or SMS. Such codes can be unique, meaning that each code is assigned to a specific customer, however, it is also possible that any person who knows the code can use it and get a discount on the amount defined in the logic of this code.

Segmentation for voucher dispatch is one-time and only possible during distribution. Once assigned, vouchers cannot be taken back from the user, especially if someone copied the code.  

After receiving the voucher, its owners can use it by entering the code during the checkout process or showing it at the point of sale.

What is Synerise's role in managing promotions and vouchers, what are the main channels for their distribution, and how can AI be applied to these activities?


Synerise automatically distributes promotions based on the rules of the created segment or uses the API for personalized promotional campaigns. The platform also helps control the limits and ownership of these codes, enabling efficient management of all active promotions. AI is used for personalized promotions, but it can also have applications such as creating segmentation based on propensity scores.


With vouchers, Synerise is only responsible for their distribution and possession control while having no control over the logic of calculating gratuities. Vouchers are mainly distributed through campaigns, while there is always the option of using the API directly

Biggest pros and cons  


The undeniable advantage of Vouchers is the time needed to implement them. Most e-commerce engines, as well as POS systems, support voucher mechanisms. After setting the primary conditions according to which the products will be discounted, you can distribute vouchers. Synerise offers advanced segmentation capabilities based on behavioral profiles and becomes an ideal partner for existing solutions. If external systems can handle many discount scenarios for different discount code pools, the possibilities of creating scenarios on the Synerise side are almost unlimited.  

However, you should remember that simplicity and speed carry some limitations. POS or e-commerce needs to keep the logic of rebates as well as control the usage of codes. Voucher redemption is an essential part of the solution in order to prevent fraud and money loss.


Integrating the Synerise promotion engine with sales systems opens a new area for creating advanced promotional scenarios. In the full version, Synerise controls all processes related to burning the voucher. Thanks to this, the knowledge about the effectiveness of the proposed promotional activities returns to the CDP platform and provides additional knowledge for future activities. Equally important is the possibility of deep personalization of the promotion. As a result, knowledge gained is used in complex customer journey scenarios, regardless of whether they are intended for anonymous customers or members of a loyalty program.  

Although the mentioned integration requires additional outlay (time and money), which may seem to be a significant disadvantage of this solution at first, the effects we receive in return will more than cover the expenses incurred.

When is it best to use Promotions vs. Vouchers?

Promotions are typically used as an advanced tool, usually the culmination of loyalty integration efforts. This is a more complex method that requires the creation of content for the presentation of images and descriptions to represent the rules and conditions of a given promotion in the most appealing way to the customer.

Vouchers are mostly used as quick wins because similar solutions are usually already available to customers – they are offered as part of online store solutions. Using Synerise, customers gain the ability to handle code distribution in real-time, precise segment selection, and digitization if it was not used before (codes were sent only by mail or even on paper).


Overall, vouchers and promotions are two different marketing techniques that can be used to benefit both retailers and shoppers. Promotions are more complex and require more planning, while vouchers are easier to use and can be implemented more quickly. However, both techniques can be successful if used correctly. With Synerise, businesses can efficiently manage both promotions and vouchers, using AI to personalize campaigns and distribute codes seamlessly. Try out both business techniques to see which works better for you.