Couponing isn’t easy. There is a show, Extreme Couponing, which, as the name suggests, is dedicated to highlighting the “extreme” amount of time and effort some consumers invest in order to save money with coupons. Since not everyone has that kind of time to spare, a new study from NinthDecimal shows that there is a demand for coupons to be sent directly to consumers’ when they enter a store.
According to Ninth Decimal’s Mobile Audience Insights Report Q3 2014: Spotlight on CPG, in order to improve the mobile coupon process, 38% of consumers want to receive a coupon/offer on their mobile device upon entering a store. Similarly, almost half of consumers want it to be easier to save coupons to their mobile device. The two points seem to be saying the same thing, “make it easier for me to save money on my groceries.”
Other research shows that not only are consumers interested in getting coupons upon entering a store, there is an appetite for even more granularity. According to a study by Opus Research and several others, consumers almost always cite coupons as an area of interest when it comes to indoor location targeting. In other words, consumers are interested in receiving coupons that relate to the aisle or section of a store they are currently in.
While consumers are increasingly seeing mobile as a new, convenient outlet to find and redeem coupons, the 2014 Annual NCH Coupon Facts showed that digital formats accounted for less than 1% of all coupons distributed. This highlights a tremendous disconnect between consumer behavior and coupon distribution.
As the usage of location data and technologies continue to improve, consumers are beginning to see what is possible with mobile devices. Online scheduling, on-demand services, mobile commerce, mobile payments and the like are creating new, previously unheard of demands. For instance, the study shows that 56% of consumers don’t want to have to scan coupons at checkout, hinting towards a desire to integrate mobile payment tech with mobile coupons.
Overall, 69% of grocery shoppers prefer to find/save coupons on their mobile device versus printing them out to bring to the store. That is a 25% increase from 2013.
On a category basis, the study showed that food and beverage was the most popular category of mobile coupon that consumers redeemed at 71% while personal care products only accounted for 31%.
In the context of a grocery store, coupons today, printed or mobile, do a few things:
- They may provide a pricing advantage for one consumer packaged good (CPG) over another;
- The time sensitive nature of the deal creates consumer urgency;
- The coupon improves product awareness and recognition.
Despite consumer demand for easier to redeem mobile coupons, stores should be wary of how easy this becomes. There will likely need to be a balance between making coupons easier to redeem, and maintaining the integrity, timeliness and brand benefits they afford. Whatever is next for mobile coupons, they are changing the way consumers behave in a dramatic way.