More Coupons Finding Mobile Shoppers

Mobile coupons are on the rise, which should come as no surprise.

This is hardly to say paper coupons are dying, though the economics would imply they should be.

A mailed coupon costs a brand or retailer 25 cents, a printed newspaper coupon costs about 5 cents and a coupon that a consumer prints at home costs a retailer pretty much nothing, based on a recent study by Juniper Research.

Only about one percent of paper coupons are redeemed, fueling the natural migration to digital.

But a coupon delivered to a mobile phone can be much more relevant than one to a PC, causing a major move to mobile coupons.

More than 31 billion digital coupons will be redeemed annually within three years, up from about 16 billion this year, according to Juniper. And most of those will come via mobile devices.

Of the 31 billion digital coupons, almost three quarters (73%) will come via mobile, with most (85%) not printed at home.



The digital writing is on the wall.

There are numerous indications that mobile coupons and their redemption rates could be explosive.

This is not only because consumers like deals, but also because they’re becoming easier to attain. This is one of the reasons that apps like RetailMeNot, Retale and SnipSnap are so hot: they deliver deals where and when shoppers want them, near or in a store.

And it’s likely to get even easier.

The monster retail mobile payment venture CurrentC plans to automatically apply coupons and loyalty programs during the payment process, as we wrote about here yesterday (Softcard, CurrentC: The New, Big Names in Mobile Payments).

Coupons are starting to find consumers rather than consumers finding them.

In one recent back-to-school study of 1,000 parents with school-aged children conducted by the Toluna Research Group for Retale, the large majority (92%) of mobile shoppers access coupons.

Of mobile shoppers who want to receive relevant ads while in a store, almost half (47%) said they wanted to receive coupons, the top choice, based on a study of 200 consumers in charge of back-to-school shopping for their families, conducted by Google Consumer Surveys for Thinknear by Telenav.

Like many other aspects of mobile commerce, not all segments in the market transition are impacted identically or at least at the same time.

For example, the majority of grocery store brands still rely on consumers to print coupons at home for in-store redemption, according to research by L2.

While more than a third (36%) of food brands have coupon sections on their websites, only a quarter (24%) offer them during the time that consumers are researching, searching and collecting data period of their shopping trip.

About 329 billon coupons for consumer packaged goods were distributed last year and 3 billion were redeemed, according to the Inmar 2014 Coupon Trends Report.

There are some very big coupon numbers poised to move to mobile.


6 comments about "More Coupons Finding Mobile Shoppers".
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  1. Heather Garcia from Resonate, September 4, 2014 at 1:22 p.m.

    With coupons on the rise, do brand know how to best reach their audience? Coupons are an important way to interact with consumers and to build loyalty. But as the economic landscape continues to evolve, so too does the avid coupon user. Resonate analyzed the profiles of over 19,000 self-reported heavy coupon users and the results may very well surprise you! Check out our blog post and inforgraphic to see who these couponers really are:

  2. Krillion by Local from Local Corporation, September 10, 2014 at 3:05 p.m.

    Chuck, what you wrote couldn’t be more on point—the increase in mobile coupons is predominantly associated with the level of immediate accessibility that these coupons bring. The consumer shopping experience obviously becomes easier and more convenient when coupons can be searched for and attained on the spot, whether in-store or not. Our research indicates that 59% of consumers check for and access coupons at least seven times before visiting a store while 65% of consumers do the same action while in store. With this in mind, also increasing the social aspect of mobile coupons (such as social gifting through apps like Wrapp) presents even greater opportunities for consumers to access these sales.

  3. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, September 10, 2014 at 8:26 p.m.

    Thanks, appreciated, and yes, its all about immediacy and context, based partly on location.

  4. Susan O from ElegantJ BI, October 14, 2014 at 3:15 p.m.

    One of the critical factors in online coupons and discounts is understanding how and where to market these innovative sales leads. If you don't fully understand your target you can't a) design a coupon with keywords and offers that will attract customers or b) find the right place to display your ads (besides your own site) so that you can attract more visitors to your site, and make more sales conversions. At Elegant MicroWeb, we find that internet marketing expertise must include a complete understanding of the newest techniques for social media marketing, pay-per-click, search engine optimization and marketing campaign integration.

  5. Matt Lillig from SimpleSavr, January 28, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.

    Good article Chuck. We just launched our new venture SimpleSavr because of that data (and much more) you mentioned. 300B coupons distributed but with a 1% redemption rate (horrible)! Yet mobile coupons deliver a 10-20% redemption rate. With print FSIs making up 90% of all distributed coupons, we said why not transform print coupons into mobile coupons (kind of similar to SnipSnap but with different technology, strategy and pricing model). Would be curious to hear what you think.


  6. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, January 29, 2015 at 10:44 a.m.

    Thanks Matt, this one was from some time back. Feel free to email me about it.

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