A mobile coupon is essentially an electronic coupon or a paperless ticket that can be both searched for and then delivered to consumers using a mobile device. Unlike hard-copy paper coupons that can be cut from newspapers and magazines and redeemed at the register, a mobile coupon requires the internet and a mobile device. With the help of common electronic devices such as mobile phones, offering mobile coupons is a practice that is gaining popularity among retailers, and gaining usage from consumers.
Mobile coupons can be found on some grocer’s websites and can also be found on manufacturer’s websites that distribute materials to grocers and other retailers. A Mobile coupon can also be redeemed for online shopping. Shoppers find these coupons with their mobile devices, download them to a customer loyalty card and then redeem them at the register or online for deals and rebates, the same as they would with a paper coupon.
There are several offers available through a mobile coupon. These offers include discounts on the price of an item, free items, buy-one-get-one-free deals, multiple-purchase incentives, time-release coupons, sweepstakes and universal coupons, which generally entail a manufacturer giving a high-value offer that can be used on several products within the manufacturer’s product line.
To deliver the mobile coupon, shoppers find deals online via their mobile phones or through the internet. Shoppers then enter a short code to have the coupon sent to their email, their mobile phone, or their customer loyalty card. The coupons are typically redeemed at the time of purchase.
There are several reasons that companies are leaning towards mobile coupons. Sending information directly to a loyalty card or mobile device greatly reduces the use of paper in a global market that is trying to be more eco-friendly. Also, coupons that are sent directly to customer cards are able to be scanned in one movement as opposed to scanning several coupons that have been cut from a newspaper individually. This makes the checkout process faster for consumers. The third reason retailers are choosing to offer mobile coupons is for customer ease: shoppers don’t have to remember to bring coupons they have clipped out of publications into the store, but simply have to have their customer cards, which they presumably carry.
Another feature of utilizing a mobile coupon is the ability to receive reminders if those coupons have gone unused on a loyalty card. If a shopper has a coupon that has not yet been redeemed, it is possible for them to receive email or mobile device reminders that the coupon could soon expire.