Mobile couponing remains a platform that is as attractive as it is problematic. On the bright side, as consumer sentiment suggests, m-coupons hold great potential to help brands enhance marketing and deepen relationships. The dark cloud hanging over the platform, however, is the in-store redemption experience – a mess that is triggering frustration on both sides of the cash register. The readiness of retailers to accept the smartphone pushed in their face with a discount offer is uneven at best. Ready or not, the mobile coupons themselves are also a pain point for retailers as they are often flawed from the beginning and poorly formatted for easy checkout redemption. Additionally, they are also highly inconsistent – many of the shopper and couponing apps are aggregating offers they find online in all manner of sizes and formats. It is tough enough for retailers to read the fine print on a paper coupon to discover whether it really applies in a given case – and on a phone, it is nearly impossible.
Cumbersome and time consuming, m-coupon redemption is impeding the swift and speedy checkout experience that retailers strive to maintain and consumers have come to expect. As a result, m-coupons are getting a bad rap and turning off all involved at the point of sale, including those impatiently waiting next in line. From more standard and responsive coupon designs that stop using print as the template to consistent in-store policies for handling m-coupons, there is great room for improvement from inception to redemption.
Sources: Solving The Empowered Mobile Shopper. (January 22, 2015). Mobile Insider.
Mobile Moves in on Grocery Shopping. (January 22, 2015). MCommerce Daily.