According to eMarketer, 16.3% of mobile phone users in the United States redeemed a mobile coupon in 2012. Were you one of them? The market research company estimates the number of mobile coupon users will increase to 53.2 million in 2014 and nearly one in four mobile phone users will redeem a mobile coupon next year. I’m always looking for an opportunity to save money, especially during the holiday season, so today I give thanks for mobile coupons and you should, too.
Ibotta is a free mobile application that entered the market just over a year ago with a twofold mission: to increase interaction between brands and consumers and reward participating consumers with mobile coupons and cash rewards. Sound appealing? Here’s how it works. Consumers choose offers and complete the associated task(s), which may include sharing the offer with their social network, answering a trivia question, reading a nutrition label or providing a testimonial. Then they shop for products and verify purchases by snapping photos of their receipts to earn money for PayPal or gift cards from iTunes, Redbox, Starbucks and others.
The app targets the 25 to 34 demographic who “are not typically trawling through the newspaper for information about consumer promotions. They’re not following these brands on Facebook…these are not people who clip coupons.” The Millennial generation is highly targeted by advertisers, so it’s no surprise that this mobile application was designed with them in mind. When you compare the amount of time a Millennial spends with their smartphone as opposed to a newspaper, it makes sense for advertisers to invest in the former. Ibotta works in more than 50 retail chains and restaurants throughout the United States including Costco, Target, Walmart, Family Dollar, Sam’s Club, Smashburger and Walgreens, to name a few. The number of brands adding Ibotta to their mobile advertising strategy continues to increase; Lowe’s, Home Depot and Burger King are among the latest adopters. This app has piqued my curiosity, so I’m going to download Ibotta and give it a try. What about you?
Ibotta isn’t the only company focused on mobile couponing. Advance Auto Parts recently ran a joint print and mobile promotional campaign to test the effectiveness of the mobile component and the company was hugely impressed with its success. The mobile coupons were redeemed at a rate of 30% whereas only 1% of the print coupons were redeemed, according to RetailMeNot, the world’s largest digital coupon marketplace. The mobile coupons were redeemed across a wide demographic, too. "It isn't just about millennials," said Jag Bath, senior vice president of product at RetailMeNot. "Mobile offers can drive foot traffic for more traditional, established brands like Advance Auto Parts." The moral of the story is as long as the mobile offer is attractive to consumers it will be successful. Before this offer, Advance Auto Parts had primarily relied on print and TV advertising to promote its products. Due to the overwhelming success of the trial campaign, it’s safe to assume the company will be incorporating mobile into future campaigns.
As you can see, we can all give thanks for mobile coupons. If you’re a consumer, give thanks because mobile coupons can help you stretch your dollars and ultimately save money. If you’re an advertiser, you should be thankful because mobile coupons will increase consumer engagement and drive store traffic during the holiday season and beyond. It’s a win-win. Increase your digital advertising smarts and download ‘The Smart Marketer’s Guide to Local Digital Advertising.’ You don’t even need to use a coupon, it’s free.
Happy Thanksgiving and good luck nabbing up those doorbusters! Bonus points for those of you who use mobile coupons.
- Advertisers Use Mobile Advertising to Boost Holiday Sales
- The Emergence of Mobile Coupons in Digital Advertising
- How to Use Print and Digital Coupons to Advertise Your Business
Hannah Hill is a marketing specialist at Mediaspace Solutions. Her marketing experience includes writing, inbound marketing, social media and event management. You can connect with Hannah on LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+.