With almost 100 million people using mobile coupons, it’s clear the trend has continued for mobile adoption and overall adoption of coupons in general. The story and study by media post and Koupon Media shares some interesting insights. It’s not as simple as people using paper less and mobile more. People are using coupons more in every vehicle. Mobile is growing for coupons albeit at a rate less than mobile advertising or commerce ironically. One needs to ask why…
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There are so many articles and books written on the subject of entrepreneurship. Most are fluffy and overly positive. Few focus on the negatives, challenges and issues that most entrepreneurs face. This is one of the rare articles that is raw and honest. It hit home for me and likely for most, so I figured I’d share. Check it out here.
Kantar Research has published a report sharing that Kroger, Walmart and Walgreens are the leaders in their categories in terms of the increase in digital coupons offered on their respective websites. The study references digital coupons as a critical pre-shopping planning tool for customer before they go to the store. Retailers that offer digital coupons will engage shoppers and ensure those shoppers plan online and do their shopping inside that retailer’s physical stores. This online-to-offline trend is not new, but is certainly growing in popularity among marketers and consumers.
Progressive Grocer recently put out a very thoughtful article that outlines some ways that brick & mortar retailers can compete effectively in an increasingly digital and ecommerce driven world. There are no surprises here. Many of these suggestions are costly and logistically hard to implement, ranging from in-store digital solutions to new employee training and customer service. Then again, if it were easy, every retailer would have already done it… Full article here.
In a great article recently in MediaPost article click here, it described the value of small business digital loyalty programs. SpotOn seems to be growing on the west coast and provides merchants and consumers with a way to send and receive messages and check-in dying a customer visit with a customer’a mobile phone. Sounds pretty typical. What’s interesting is that some initial data shows that merchants who sent up to 13 messages a month saw an increase in customer return visits. Anything over 13 saw a reduction in visits with diminishing returns. 13 is viewed as an unlucky number. Perhaps we should make an exception for customer loyalty messages…
The big curiosity is if there is any relevance to large national merchants. What can national chains learn from this? – then again, many have had loyalty programs for decades, so I would expect they would know how many customer communications are too much. Then again, if you get the number of marketing messages I do from retailers, it’s apparent they haven’t found the right number yet.
This is totally off topic to the typical retail and CPG industry commentary. I read an article on LinkedIn that I thought was awesome for start-ups and large companies alike. The sage advice can help corporate employees run and participate in meetings more effectively. Check it out if you want some out-of-the-box suggestions for maximizing meeting time and minimizing wasted time.
In an article on Digital Transactions, there was a very good piece focused on the reality (and not hype) of the state of virtual gift cards in the prepaid industry. Check it out here. My take is that virtual gift cards is an innovative concept for an old-school industry dominated by plastic cards. What started with paper vouchers (aka e-gift cards), these virtual cards are becoming increasingly mobile. After all, how un-sexy is a printed gift card, with botched printer inks, torn or crumpled paper. The experience for the consumer sending the gift is great, but not so great for those receiving this type of gift. I’d rather receive a nice shiny plastic gift card than an email that says, please print the gift card on your home printer and make sure you have enough paper and ink. I’m exaggerating to make a point but you get the idea. The main focus of this article is that e-commerce retailers like Amazon have been doing virtual gift cards for a while and typically don’t have issues with consumer redemption because there is a unique code that consumers redeem online by copying and pasting it into their check-out page online. For those retailers with an in-store component, it’s a different story. The redemption experience can be a nightmare for a consumer who has printed and crumpled a virtual gift card. Don’t forget the retailer experience. Redeeming a gift card in-store requires a human being on the store side to do something different (instead of swiping a traditional gift card). Store associates haven’t seen enough of these to know what to do and how to deal with issues around scanning bar codes or manually inputting long strings of gift card numbers. Very messy, and often leaves the consumer with a desire for a different type of gift…
Great article here on Paypal’s big moves into offline payments. They are one of two or three companies best positioned to disrupt the traditional payments companies, often the bane of retailers’ existence. Google wallet is going to get a run for their money, or perhaps not get off the starting line if Paypal can leverage their ecommerce merchant relationships and credit with online customers in an offline environment.
In a recent article on Internet Retailer, mobile coupons is all the rage. It’s a big opportunity for physical retailers, restaurants of all sizes, as well as for consumers who love how easy it is versus print coupons. One of my takeaways is that this is really a trend report showing the future potential out to 2016, and sort of discounts the current environment we are all in where adoption of mobile coupons is still a drop in the overall coupon bucket. There’s no doubt this channel will grow faster and faster, it’s just not obvious to me that it’s significant for marketers today.