The ability to deliver savings in the store via mobile is a game changer. It collapses the purchase funnel for new users. It combats showrooming. And it can drive retailer loyalty.
But despite the fact that forty million Americans will use mobile coupons in 2013 (eMarketer), redemption still remains an issue at the store level. Those clunky red line scanners at most cash registers today just aren’t equipped (yet) to accept mobile saving. If airlines can figure it out, why can’t fast moving consumer goods retailers? Cmon!
In January, the Mobile Marketing Association unveiled its “Current State & Promise of Mobile Couponing” which reviews the advantages and challenges of savings by smartphone. You can download their POV here to find some helpful case studies, but you’ll also be disappointed to learn that even the MMA hasn’t landed on a perfect solution for CPG brands. Print FSIs are still king, accounting for 88% of the distribution universe and leads all coupon channel redemption at 43%.
Coupon giants like Coupons.com require people to download their Grocery IQ app. A nice attempt, but penetration is low (surprising since so many have downloaded their desktop print driver for digital coupons).
In short, we’re not there yet.
In our view, CPG brands should work at the retailer level to promote and distribute mobile coupons. Restaurant and retail brands have a little more control and can promote through branded apps, show-and-save, or through email.