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SMS mobile coupons preferred over push notifications, bar code scans: report

By
February 19, 2013

Mobile coupons are being embraced by consumers, but not all mobile offers are created equal, with 42.3 percent of consumers preferring SMS-based coupons over bar code scanning and push notifications, according to a new report from RadiumOne.

The report found that 61.9 percent of consumers are redeeming grocery and consumer retail goods-based coupons. The “Improving the Performance of Mobile Coupons” report shows that when it comes to redemption, 51.5 percent of smartphone users prefer displaying a coupon to a cashier while 23.8 percent prefer scanning-based methods.

“Based on our results, we can make the assumption that people prefer to have control over the mobile coupon process and want to have mobile coupons readily available anytime on their mobile device,” said Kamal Kaur, vice president of RadiumOne, San Francisco. “Consumers also view push notifications as more invasive than SMS, which is another reason why SMS coupons are preferred.

Findings from the latest RadiumOne survey reveal keen insight into how women between the ages of 35 and 54 engage with coupons on their mobile devices for household purchases,” she said. “When presented with a sales opportunity or coupon, the in-ad options allow women to engage with a brand’s content with great autonomy and choice – a method most preferred and appreciated by this particular demographic.

“Coupled with the rise in social and mobile, this data unearths a profound untapped opportunity for brands to better connect with women consumers – a demographic, that for the most part continues to feel misunderstood by advertisers.”

Meeting consumer needs
Mobile coupon use is quickly growing.

Recent research from eMarketer forecasts that mobile coupon users will grow from 12.3 million in 2010 to 46 million this year. By next year, the number is expected to reach 53 million.

The majority of mobile coupon use is happening on smartphones, with 40 million smartphone users also expected to use mobile coupons this year.

The RadiumOne report analyzes how consumers interact with mobile coupons on their devices, with an eye toward determining which types of digital promotions best fit consumer needs.

One key finding was that women between the ages of 35 and 54 are gravitating towards mobile coupons, giving marketers an opportunity to develop relationships with these consumers.

The results suggest that mobile users value efficiency, utility and ease-of-use when it comes to mobile coupons, with users showing a preference for SMS-based coupons and wanting to be reminded about coupons via push notifications.

There are at least four different ways that by which a shopper can redeem a mobile coupon: scanning a 2D bar code, checking-in on a mobile app, tapping their phone at a point-of-sale terminal and using a digital loyalty card.

Best practices
Key advertiser best practices for mobile coupons uncovered by RadiumOne include avoiding multi-step redemption processes, tailoring mobile coupon offers to everyday consumer products, pushing relevant offers to mobile shoppers via SMS text and leveraging in-app loyalty programs that automatically redeem mobile coupon offers.

“The ability for brands to identify consumer behavior and understand when people are most likely to interact with brands on their handheld devices is critical when designing a multi-channel media strategy that may include in-store digital promotions,” Ms. Kaur said.

“According to survey findings, the top three most frequently redeemed coupon categories included groceries, retail goods and food and drink,” she said.

“Along with that, retailers are currently delivering coupons in four different ways including: scanning a QR code, checking-in on a mobile application, tapping their phone on a point-of-sales terminal or redeeming coupons via digital loyalty cards.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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