By Rimma Kats for Mobile Commerce Daily
The number of discount coupons redeemed through mobile and tablet devices is expected to reach 10 billion this year, up by more than 50 percent from last year, according to a new study by Juniper Research.
Mobile coupons are clearly on the rise. Furthermore, technology such as Apple’s Passbook helps build on the mobile coupon loyalty.
“Arguably, that retailers are finally coming on board,” said Windsor Holden, research director at Juniper Research. “There’s recognition amongst retailers that mobile isn’t just something that they ought to do, it’s something that they have to do if they wish to remain competitive.
“Mobile allows retailers to engage with the consumer at every touchpoint from product discovery through to product purchase – and indeed beyond, with repeat purchases,” he said.
“Mobile coupons are very much part of that process: they do so much more than drive retail footfall, they enhance customer engagement and retention.”
Mobile couponing According to Juniper, retailers are looking at new ways to incorporate mobile into their strategies and use it as a delivery channel to drive in-store traffic, consumer engagement and, ultimately, retention.
Juniper found that while mobile still accounted for a comparatively low volume of coupons issued, retailers had been encouraged by the markedly higher average redemption rate of mobile coupons – 10 percent – when compared to traditional print media and PC coupons – typically 1 percent or less.
The research company also found that Apple’s Passbook is expected to act as a catalyst to both coupon deployments and adoption.
Additionally, retailer reluctance to upgrade point-of-sale terminals for authentication and redemption is creating a bottleneck, effectively suppressing the deployment of mobile coupons.
“There’s been a gradual shift in mobile couponing redemption patterns: with the advent of mobile wallets, consumers are now storing some of their mobile coupons, rather than redeeming the coupon immediately after issue,” Mr. Holden said.
Rise of coupons Mobile coupons are a great way to offer garner loyal consumers.
In addition, mobile coupons are a lot more easier to use for consumers, especially for the fact that they do not need to cut them out and store them in their wallet.
“If we just look at this from a consumer perspective – firstly, we’re still in the midst of an economic downturn and some developed markets, in a recession,” Mr. Holden said. “Coupons and vouchers in general experience an uptick in usage in such conditions. “Secondly, it could be argued that historically, there was somewhat of a stigma attached to couponing usage.
“Mobile coupons are easier and faster to use for people than cutting out paper coupons and storing them in a wallet,” he said. “They are also handy for impulse purchases; users may have a selection of coupons on their phone that they could choose to use, or may search and download relevant coupons when in-store – the attraction of a 10 percent discount might just tip the balance for that impulse purchase.
“At the same time, post the app store revolution, consumers are embracing the wider concept of mobile commerce: they expect to be able to receive coupons via their handsets. This ties into my final point – couponing is social, it’s becoming integrated into an array of social sites, like Facebook, Foursquare: mobile couponing can be personalized and targeted at the individual, and it’s far more appealing to receive targeted coupons than encounter a scattergun approach.”
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer.