Consumers are interested in receiving coupons on their mobile phones, but the adoption of this practice by advertisers remains low. According to a new report from Jupiter Research, 30 percent of consumers would like to receive mobile coupons, but just one percent of advertisers offer them.
However, eight percent of advertisers said they plan to adopt mobile coupons in the next year. They may be attracted by redemption rates, which range from five to 15 percent, which is much higher than typical print coupon redemption rates of one percent or less. The higher redemption rates stem from consumers opting in to mobile coupon programs, according to the report.
Mobile coupons are delivered to consumers in one of two ways. In one, advertisers place short codes (numbers registered with telecommunications carriers that contain fewer numerals than standard phone numbers) on print advertisements, billboards or in-store signs. Consumers send a text message to a short code and in turn receive the advertised coupon. Under the other delivery system, consumers can register with opt in programs offered by advertisers.
Redemption methods are inhibiting wider use by advertisers of mobile coupons. Few retailers have two dimensional bar code systems to read coupons directly from handset screens, according to the Jupiter study. Current methods for redeeming mobile coupons include manually entering a code in a cash register, matching a mobile coupon with a customer's loyalty card account or writing information in paper records.
At this stage, advertisers should temper expectations until automated systems are widely deployed, advised the report, which is authored by lead analyst, Neil Strother. The preferred method would be point of sale scanners.
But most retail chains have yet to make the investment in hardware and backend systems. However, as near field communication methods mature, coupon redemption will become more widespread. Among the communication methods that apply are radio frequency identification (RFID) and Bluetooth, according to the report, which is titled, "Mobile Coupons: Identifying New Opportunities Beyond Early Trials."
Mobile phone users interested in mobile coupons would like to receive coupons for a variety of items, the report concluded. Among the options are: exclusive discounts from selected stores, special offers on event tickets, special offers or coupons for CDs and DVDs, special offers or coupons for apparel, personal care products, and special time sensitive offers.
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