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The Mobile Coupon Ecosystem will Expand in 2013

The number of consumers receiving coupons via mobile devices is expected to rise by 30 percent in 2013 to more than 500 million people, according to the latest market study by Juniper Research.

They believe that continued growth in mobile coupon usage will in part be fueled by the integration of couponing platforms into the the leading social network sites -- such as Facebook.

The recent high-profile launch of Apple Passbook is also expected to act as a catalyst to both coupon deployments and user adoption.

For example, the marketing services provider Valassis has recently launched a "Red Plum Social Savings" application in the U.S. market -- which was built with the Facebook platform.

Meanwhile, third-party marketing and couponing providers -- such as Codebroker, Eagle Eye, Yowza! and Valpak -- have already created apps or microsites which deliver vouchers to Apple's Passbook.

In the current mobile coupon marketplace, there is the potential for overlap -- an ecosystem player may choose to act in more than one role.


Furthermore, Juniper observed that increasingly consumer product brands were transitioning from using coupons purely to drive retail visitors, to strategies designed to develop longer-term relationships with consumers.

It found that delivery and redemption data analytics were now being used not merely to assess the progress of a mobile marketing campaign, but to gauge what offers could be tailored to which individuals.

However, Juniper also cautioned that retailer reluctance to upgrade in-store Point of Sale (POS) terminals for authentication and redemption was creating a bottleneck, effectively suppressing the deployment of mobile coupons.

"POS terminals can have a lifespan of a decade or more, so understandably retailers are wary about disrupting the terminal lifecycle and investing in new technology -- whether NFC or barcode scanner -- without being able to demonstrate a clear return on that investment," said Dr. Windsor Holden, research director at Juniper Research.

Other key findings from the market study include:
  • Mobile coupon redemption patterns are shifting, with consumers increasingly storing the coupon on the device rather than redeeming straightaway.
  • China has experienced a huge uplift in mobile coupon adoption over the past year, with one couponing app alone -- Dianping -- downloaded more than 40 million times.

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