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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : February 04, 2010

Mobile couponing opens up massive opportunities for retailers

While mobile couponing is in the early stages of adoption in the marketplace the growing interest from consumers, especially young adults, opens up new opportunities for retailers to engage with their customers.

by Helen Leggatt

A recent survey of over 2,250 U.S. adult Internet users, commissioned by Honeywell and conducted by Harris Interactive, found that nearly half (46%) who own a mobile phone are somewhat likely to try out mobile coupons. With 90% of adults owning a mobile phone, it's not an opportunity to be sniffed at.

However, just 4% of respondents said they had redeemed mobile coupons, compared with 86% who had clipped paper coupons and 65% who had used electronic coupons from the Internet or e-mail. With mobile coupon redemption getting easier, retailers need to educate consumers about the benefits of using mobile coupons vs. their ecologically-unfriendly and unwieldy paper cousins.

Perhaps because they are more au fait with mobile phone technology, young adults make up the largest demographic interested in using mobile coupons with 66% somewhat likely to check them out.

"With consumer interest growing rapidly and mobile couponing becoming easy to implement, retailers will be wise to invest in mobile couponing early on," said Dan Slavin, co-founder of CodeBroker, a leading provider of mobile digital loyalty solutions.

And it's not just consumers in lower income brackets that are using coupons. According to the survey, the highest number of coupon users earn $50K and above. Perhaps mobile is the medium which will further transform coupons from embarrassing scraps of paper, shiftily passed over at checkouts, in to an in-demand marketing tool.

Certainly, luxury retailers such as Sears and luxury brands such as Dolce & Gabbana and Hugo Boss, have all embraced mobile as a means to communicating with their affluent followers. Instead of the embarrassment of being seen to pass a paper coupon over at an exclusive restaurant or boutique, classy customers can now simply flash their iPhone.

Google is making it easier for U.S. marketers with Local Business Center listings to have coupons already included in their business listings made available to be viewed on mobile devices.

Tags: coupons, e-commerce, mobile coupons, mobile marketing, research

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