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Coupons.com leads charge for local deals on Apple WatchBy
With pre-orders for the Apple Watch beginning today, Coupons.com is ramping up opportunities for brands on the device via an application that delivers personalized offers based on location.
In other Apple Watch-related news, BankMobile is enabling users to view banking information by glancing at their wrist. The two brands’ forays into the wearables sector prove that the devices have the potential to significantly affect commerce, especially if deals are geo-targeted and easily synced with consumers’ mobile phones.
“We want to bring as much utility to consumers as we can when it comes to saving money and that means making shopping more convenient,” said Bruce Sattley, senior vice president of product management at Coupons.com, Mountain View, CA. “We think the watch can play a great role in this area – among dozens of other potential uses (health, messaging etc).
“The Apple Watch keeps savings top-of-mind and reminds shoppers when there is an offer nearby,” he said. “However, this isn’t our first time we’ve created an app for a wearable.
“In 2013, we also created KitchMe for Glass, the first-of-its-kind recipe and meal preparation app for Google Glass.”
Digital savings on wrists
Coupons.com hopes the app will help shoppers find the most relevant and convenient offers in a streamlined manner.
While the Apple Watch works best as a complementary device to a smartphone, the ability to view digital savings with a quick glance at a wrist is certainly a strategy that could spur many other brands to roll out deals on Coupons.com’s platform.
The company claims it is the first-of-its-kind digital promotions and savings app developed for Apple Watch. Its app will be free for download and will be available on April 24 when the wearable hits stores.
Coupons.com offers digital coupons, paperless coupons, promotional codes and Card-Linked offers for hundreds of major national restaurants and retailers, including Kohl’s, Costco, Macy’s, Old Navy and more.
Users must have the Coupons.com mobile app downloaded on their smartphones, as the Apple Watch app works in tandem with it.
“Now saving money becomes as easy as checking time,” Mr. Sattley said. “The Watch app is a natural ‘companion’ to the mobile app.
“Offers appear by retailer and distance, with the closest deals shown on top and notifies the shopper of potential savings right on their wrist. This keeps savings top of mind for shoppers.”
The Apple Watch app will provide some of consumers’ favorite features from the Coupons.com mobile and Web platforms, such as digital offers to show in-store cashiers or scan at checkout. Card Linked Offers, another top feature, will also be integrated into the new app.
It allows consumers to see their savings directly credited to their MasterCard, American Express or Visa cards.
Coupons.com helps users discover local deals with the aid of Google Maps, a tactic that will also be available for Apple Watch consumers via the app’s intuitive interface. Shoppers will see promotions appear by retailer and distance, with closest offers shown at the top.
After a user selects a deal, more details will be shown, including the retailer’s address, phone number and map. Users may launch the map directly from the app to receive directions to the store, a move that will likely help boost in-store traffic for many brands.
If consumers have a Coupons.com account, the app’s buttons will change color when users add a Card Linked Offer to their credit cards, so that they may be aware that the deal is valid and available for automatic redemption at checkout.
Meanwhile, BankMobile, a division of Customers Bank, will be one of the premiere banks offering an Apple Watch app when the device officially launches. The smartwear app will enable users to easily view pertinent banking information, such as account balances and transaction histories, with a quick glance at their wrists.
Consumers will also receive security and account alerts on the device’s app, which will be available in Spanish and English.
BankMobile and Coupons.com’s apps certainly suggest that mcommerce opportunities are alive and well for smartwatches. Brands seeking to bolster their mobile strategies may be well-poised to leverage geo-targeting capabilities and send consumers relevant offers on their wearable devices.
“The watch is good for reminding a user that a coupon is available for the store they are in, or that a coupon they have is about to expire and a store is nearby,” Mr. Sattley said. “For example, when a shopper pulls into a parking lot and gets a notification that there’s a deal at a specific retailer, it reminds the shopper that the retailer is there and has savings there for them.
“It’s a great opportunity for brands to expand in-store deals while continuing to expand digital.”
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York
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