The Growing Market for Mobile Coupons – and Contextual Relevance

An infographic speaks to the power of the mobile coupon offer to drive consumer behavior – regardless of delivery vehicle – while a new app seeks to provide more contextually relevant, automatic location-based offers to users at a retail location.

According to this compelling infographic, mobile coupons appear to be what is driving the mobile advertising market’s growth – and are the most motivating to consumers. Mobile coupons were a $90 million market in the U.S. in 2009, but are expected to grow to $6.5 billion in 4 years. Particularly convincing is that coupons and purchase incentives drive people to spend far more than they would have without said coupon – on average, from $122 without a coupon to $216 with.

That said, the continued opportunity for brands and advertisers that want to see ensuing conversion to sales will be to deliver that ‘coupon’ or purchase incentive in the most contextually relevant and compelling fashion possible. It doesn’t have to take the form of a traditional, easily-forgotten hard-sell with a stand-alone 15% off code. QR code, MMS, geo-location targeting, NFC smart posters, apps and video offering a unique, exclusive customer experience are all possibilities to couple compelling content with the incentive to purchase.

One company that might be trying to facilitate more contextually relevant mobile incentives is Shopkick - a yet-to-launch mobile app that will detect your location and automatically check you in once you’ve arrived at a given location. Using Foursquare’s API, the service will allow brands like Best Buy, Macy’s and other retailers to target and reward loyal customers by unlocking promotional perks upon being detected at the store. Loyalty to particular retailers will be rewarded by accumulation of ‘kickbucks’, which can be redeemed for Facebook Credits, real-world cash credit at partner stores and more (gift cards, downloads, etc.). Users can even redeem any in-app goodies by giving their mobile number to a store clerk.

While applications like Shopkick indicate that mobile coupon/purchase incentive offers may continue to become more contextually relevant, the question remains if they will be delivered in a compelling fashion to customers. Ongoing business and brand loyalty may require more than just a 25% discount offer – it still requires a memorable, differentiated, and consistent experience at every touch point. Might Macy’s also use that opportunity to lead you to a fashion show video showcasing upcoming Fall fashions, which you can watch later (post-store visit)? Might Uniqlo also demonstrate a photo gallery of how new items can be pulled together into different looks? Ongoing engagement and loyalty will still offering customers a brand experience that goes beyond a BOGO offer.

[via Fast Co Design and Mashable]

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