How do you prefer your ecommerce discounts?

I received this email from ecommerce retailer Online Shoes the other day. The email talks about this 20% off sale and shows some of the shoes available with this offer. However, it’s a bit confusing because there’s no discount code, and it’s not very evident how you get the discount. Take a look:

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I clicked through on “Shop Mens” to head to the Online Shoes website anyway to find out more. When I got to the sale, I was still confused. All the products are displaying at the regular price. The email didn’t provide a code for me to use, so I’m not exactly sure how to get the sale price…

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I ended up adding a pair of shoes to my cart, and then it finally showed me the sale price. In fact, I went back to the email and read the fine print, and it did say this was the case, but it’s in very small text at the bottom. Once I was actually on the website, I didn’t see this information anywhere. Aside from that fine print, how would I have known to add the shoes to my cart to find out the price?

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Of all the options for offering discounts in ecommerce, this one used by Online Shoes is my least favorite. I would rather see a discount code in the email that I can apply, or even better, simply see the discounted prices right when I land on the shopping page. It shouldn’t be complicated to get a deal!

What do you think? Weigh in on the issue:

When offering an ecommerce sale...
...what's the best method for giving the discount?
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