Mobile couponing is something that is currently not widely used, however industry insiders predict that by 2016 consumers will have redeemed over $43 billion worth of mobile coupons worldwide. When comparing this to 2011’s coupon redemption value which was only at $5.4 billion, it seems by 2016 the mobile coupon market will grow hugely, increasing in value eightfold.
Although most businesses have been late to adopt this strategy, following mobile couponing trends is a great way to build wider advertisement campaigns and greater loyalty schemes for valuable customers for your business.
What Mobile Couponing Trends to look out for in 2013
Location based Couponing
A few businesses, such as Walgreens Co for example, have started to offer location-based coupons which are rewarded to customers for ‘checking-in’ to different shops. By partnering up with foursquare, and already popular social check-in app, Walgreens manages to send out coupons most relevant to the store they are visiting, which is a perfect method to move certain stock within the local area. More businesses are likely to offer similar benefits this year, and we may even see it in places like chain coffee stores or local restaurants.
NFC to start replacing traditional barcode scanning
NFC is a smart technology, and it is far superior to some current methods of mobile couponing transactions. Traditionally, barcodes can be scanned from the screen of a smartphone to ‘activate’ a mobile coupon, however this process is slow and clunky, and the barcode scanner often fails to read the barcode placed on the screen, forcing employees to manually type in long barcode number strings.
By integrating NFC into shop tills, smartphone owners will not only be able to quickly swipe their phone to activate their coupons, but will also be able to pay right from their smartphone with no fuss. This is something we may not see widely available for a few years, but NFC technology is most likely going to be used in more innovative ways this year, and large retail companies will try to build the basis of NFC transactions by integrating it into their checkout sections as soon as possible.
Social Networks will Help Spread Coupon Interest
It’s rare that you come across someone that hasn’t got some kind of social profile online, whether it’s twitter, facebook, or LinkedIn, people often use these to interact with their friends and associates online. By forcing users to post about their coupon on their social websites after a transaction, businesses will be able to generate interest in the local area, hopefully driving more customers to that store and that certain product.
Mobile Coupons to lead customers to Purchases Online
By offering a mobile coupon via SMS or email, you can usually generate enough interest in customers to get them to search online about the product, and by offering a link for a certain product or offer straight to your business’s website, you’re making sure users are going to your store for that product, and not elsewhere. However, to finalize a purchase, traditionally customers would have to walk into the store, and then find the product in question before purchasing it. If you accompany the coupon with an online purchase link, you’re removing the inconvenience of having to find said item, and customers will feel more inclined to purchase right there and then before the offer expires.
Mobile Couponing is certainly a strong way to generate interest in a product or business, and by using social integration and other mobile couponing solutions, you can quickly build a larger customer base, without having to worry about expensive advertising or other brand building methods.