From a marketer's perspective, the fact that smartphones are personal and ever-present with their owner -- and that those owners are interacting with their device constantly -- presents them with an opportunity.
To the informed marketer, mobile is no longer merely a channel through which to sell goods remotely, but a series of related channels through which their relationship with the customer can be nurtured and developed over time.
This is a basic principle of multi-platform marketing communication. The approach can transform legacy marketing practices -- such as the process of offering a discount coupon for redemption -- via the creative application of mobile devices.
According the the latest global market study by Juniper Research, they now forecast that there will be 1.05 billion mobile coupon users by 2019, that's up from just under 560 million in 2014.
The surge in user numbers would be driven by increased retailer engagement with the various mobile channels. Retailers are now integrating coupons into loyalty programs to a far greater extent, while focusing on delivering coupons direct to consumers -- rather than relying on aggregator sites.
At the same time, Juniper observed that mobile coupon deployments were benefiting from retailers restructuring their businesses to reflect the wider transition to the utilization of online engagement channels.
It noted those retail businesses are becoming more agile, more efficient and able to implement change more rapidly than would have previously been the case -- prior to the progressive adoption of the mobile channel.
Mobile Technologies that Boost Coupon Redemption
Meanwhile, Juniper has argued that while the use of MMS for couponing was expected to cease, disruptive technologies such as Near Field Communications (NFC) and in-store beacons had the potential to boost mobile engagement in the medium term.
"While NFC has failed to achieve traction thus far, the emergence of a cloud-based secure element through HCE (Host Card Emulation) is likely to stimulate greater integration into wallets. We believe that this in turn will provide the visibility that should encourage brands to run campaigns using the technology," said Dr Windsor Holden, research director at Juniper Research.
Other key findings from the study include:
- Geo-Targeting has provided SMS-delivered coupons with a new lease of life, with retailers seeing high redemption rates from coupons pushed to consumers near their stores.
- Brands are increasingly leveraging the retail database to deliver targeted coupons.
- Lack of adequate point of sale (POS) redemption technology remains the key hurdle to greater deployment and adoption.