In a recent study by IDC, sales of smartphones grew about 57% in the first quarter of this year. These smartphones account for 18.8% of all mobile phones shipped during 1Q10. Retailers seem to be taking advantage of this “consumer on the go” and mobile coupons are really beginning to take off. It is in a retailer’s best interest to explore a mobile coupon strategy; Graham Charlton of Econsultancy makes a compelling case.
Take Crocs, for example. In-store signs are promoting a 15% discount on any purchase. Customers simply have to text “Crocs” and the store number to the retailer’s short code. The reply text bounces a code right back and the cashier enters the information at the register. This trial campaign has been successful so far, with 94,000 requests in two months as of early May.
Target offers another way to cash in on the savings. Earlier this year they launched a mobile coupon that could be scanned directly from the customer’s phone. Customers need to opt-in at either Target’s online site or their mobile site. The opt-in feature addresses any privacy concerns and ensures that the customer is not being bothered with unsolicited texts. JC Penney got in the action as well by teaming up with a third party coupon provider which provides customers with coupons to be scanned from their phones.
Seemingly one of the biggest benefits to mobile coupons is that there is a platform for customer communication. But the bottom line is that retailers are getting the most bang for their buck. It is an inexpensive way to get consumers into the store and keep them coming back. Who would turn down coupons that find you? In the days of clipping coupons, I would simply forget to bring them to the store or just not feel like being tasked with hunting through circulars. Today mobile coupons have simplified it for me…and I will keep coming back for more.