Mobile Coupon Ties Apps Into PC Searches

Shooger

Deal seekers searching for money-saving offers through mobile coupon platform Shooger will soon have BlackBerry as an option to clip and save. This week the company made it easier to search for deals on the iPhone, handsets running Android, and the company's Web site, but the company has plans to tie in searches on PC, too. The clip-file-and-save coupon app geared toward local and national specials relies on Google Maps and other technology to pinpoint location and deliver the goods.

Consumers can set perimeters -- adding a city, ZIP code or street address -- and change the radius to find retail offers from 1 to 100 miles. The search results sort based on location by category, merchant or keyword and sort offers. Consumers can share deals with friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Matt Myers, chief marketing officer, Shooger, says there are more than 100 million monthly Google search queries for deal and coupon-related terms.

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Shooger offers about 100,000 local and national deals from 50,000 merchants searchable by categories such as Restaurants & Bars, Home Improvement, Travel, Automotive, Dentists & Doctors and Sports & Recreation. The majority of people carry phones everywhere they go, and simply showing the screen to take advantage of the deal transitions the sale from online and into the store.

"We're working toward the ability for consumers to create an account and save online searches, linking them to the phone application," Myers says. "The offers found on the consumer's PC will show up on the phone. Location is the first step, but we will link that to other information in the future."

Google has also begun to take advantage of coupons. Google Tags, for example, allows small and medium-size businesses to pay a $25 flat monthly fee to promote services on Google Places. There companies can place coupons and photos of other business-related information, making it easy for mobile consumers to find local stores.

Searches on Google for Printable Coupons increased 67% compared with the prior year, according to Coupons.com, which earlier this month reported surpassing more than 1 million downloads of its iPhone and Android coupon applications.

Representing 20.8% of the U.S. population, 46.4 million American consumers now use online coupons -- up from 40.2 million in 2008, according to Coupons.com. The company estimates that of the 46.4 million online coupon users, 12.9 million do not read any part of the Sunday newspaper -- up 18% compared with 10.9 million in 2008.

Mobile and location, the first step in targeting mobile services to consumers, will link to a series of triggers that advertisers can expect to tap, including links to mobile social graphs and profiles. A variety of industry experts participating in the AlwaysOn Summit at Stanford suggested the industry should continue to move in that direction.

During a Tuesday panel, Jules Maltz, principal at Institutional Venture Partners, told attendees that startups designing mobile applications now have an opportunity to make a profit. Proving that point, Sunil Verma, co-founder and COO at MobClix, admitted the mobile ad exchange serves up about 7 billion impressions monthly, working with about 10,000 application developers to gain revenue through clicks, rich media and video.

It will become all about the data for mobile advertisers as more companies provide incentives for consumers to trade information for discounts. But who owns it?

The demand for mobile data has skyrocketed more than 110% on a compound annualized growth, but the revenue generated remains between 15% and 20% -- which provides a huge gap for carriers, according to Bill Diotte, chief executive officer at BroadHop, which sits between the application and carrier to support the flow of information and monetize the assets of the carrier.

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