Mobile Coupons for Dummies

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A lot of recent press has been focused on mobile coupons of all shapes and forms. Coupons via SMS with promo codes or via bar codes, like for Starbucks and Target written up here, are just some of the ways marketers are delivering coupons to the users phone. I’ll try to break down mobile coupons in three categories. -No tracking (i.e. show your phone at the register and get the deal) -Basic tracking with promo code (delivered via SMS or mobile app) -Bar codes on the phone (delivered via SMS, WAP or mobile app) For mobile coupons with bar codes, the merchant will likely need to buy new scanners (optical versus laser) that will be able to scan a mobile phone. Furthermore, the merchant will likely need to buy a 2-D bar code imager versus the traditional linear scanner (i.e. vertical lines) given that the future of mobile bar codes are 2-D and not linear like most traditional print coupons. These scanner cost some major money, especially for large chains that need 15 per store… Just one thought to consider. The other important point that I will touch on in my next blog post is what types of merchants are best candidates for each type of mobile coupon and which are simply NOT candidates. There are important distinctions to understand from both a business, operational and technological perspective that will drive these decisions to get into mobile coupons. More to come…

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