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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : February 16, 2016

Expert: How mobile is changing couponing

Time spent on mobile devices is increasing dramatically - in fact, 2015 was the first year in which media consumption on mobile eclipsed desktop. The consumer's ability to consume content on smartphones creates a new marketing channel for retailers that goes beyond the desktop. Here's how mobile is changing one aspect of retail: couponing.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What makes mobile such an important channel for retailers using coupons?

Mark Bees, Vice President of Product Marketing, Linkable Networks: Mobile plays a role along the entire path to purchase from pre-shopping research to coupon redemption to payment. Millennials crave instant gratification, and it's evident in their shopping habits - they are demanding digital solutions. According to recent research by Forrester Research on behalf of Linkable Networks, 34 percent of millennials prefer to use digital coupons loaded into an app on their smartphone. This fact coupled with retailers' needs to compete in-store, proves that the ability to offer coupons on consumers' mobile devices is essential to engagement.

Kristina: How has mobile changed the couponing space?

Mark: Millennials love to research products, read reviews, find stores and uncover deals online. In fact, 56 percent of consumers search online before they purchase in-store, according to eMarketer. They shop in-store to touch, feel and compare and often times resort to their mobile device to check prices in real time. Mobile has allowed retailers to touch the consumer at every step. The ability to insert an offer or price incentive to a consumer while they are actively considering a purchase has changed the game for most retailers. This is most prevalent in grocery retail today and is also beginning to emerge in specialty retail.

Kristina: How can retailers use digital coupons to increase in-store sales?

Mark: Retail is still king. Most people forget that 95 percent of purchases still occur in traditional retail stores. Trouble is (as mentioned above) consumers expect online pricing even when they are at the mall. Consumer behavior has permanently changed - everyone expects deals when they shop. More specifically, millennials want promotions, but without the typical hassle of paper coupons. With an offer linked to their credit or debit card, essentially serving as the coupon, consumers are presented with a hassle-free redemption experience. Additionally, retailers are now learning how card-linked offers marketed to consumers on savings sites, like Ebates, deliver conversion rates in-store well beyond what they are getting online. By promoting CLOs on these deal sites, merchants can target consumers who are actively seeking value often time on mobile while they are in-store. This is a powerful tool that converts shoppers to buyers by delivering them a price incentive in-store.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: Linkable Networks, m:commerce, mobile commerce, mobile coupons, mobile marketing

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