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Urban Airship

Have you ever forgotten to bring a coupon to the store before you went shopping? Ever been frustrated when a good coupon expired before you got a chance to use it?

Well, one company has a solution – put all those coupons on your phone, and let your phone tell you when it’s time to use them.

If you got an alert on your phone when a coupon was about to expire, would you be more likely to use it? The majority of shoppers in a new survey say yes. That’s according to the mobile marketing company Urban Airship, which studied the impact of coupons, shopping and mobile wallets.

Mobile wallets are not quite widespread, and integrating coupons into those mobile wallets is even less so. But having coupons on your phone, Urban Airship says, would be better for coupon users and coupon providers alike.

If you’ve ever paid with your phone at Starbucks or Chipotle, you’re already familiar with mobile wallets run by retailers. If you’ve ever used Apple or Android Pay instead of cash or a credit card, you’re even further ahead of the game. But there’s more to mobile wallets than just paying for your stuff.

“Mobile wallets are not just payment tools,” Urban Airship’s report reads. “While the payment side has received lots of attention, it’s the non-payment side of mobile wallet that will deliver true utility to consumers.”

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About half of survey respondents said they’re likely to use their phone to pay for things at the register. But that percentage soars to 73%, when loyalty discounts and offers are automatically applied. That’s because nearly half say they often forget their coupons, or let them expire or go unused.

So shoppers want their coupons to do more than just sit there, waiting and hoping to be used. If their mobile wallet reminds them when coupons are about to expire, 64% of respondents said they’re more likely to use them. 63% said they’ll go into a store if their phone reminds them about a coupon when they’re nearby. And once they use a coupon, or it expires, 77% would like it to be automatically replaced with a new one.

“Considering that coupons/promotions are a key strategy to help bring in sales and foot traffic,” the report reads, “mobile wallets provide another channel to reach consumers with details and are much less likely to be left at home.”

Turning mobile wallets into a coupon delivery system has been a complicated process, and not always successful. They’re best for retailer coupons, when you have just a single offer per store – 20% off any item, for example – instead of manufacturer’s coupons that are likely to be used dozens at a time. That hasn’t stopped some from trying to integrate paper grocery coupons into your phone, though the most high profile attempt, by the retail partnership MCX, ended earlier this year.

Urban Airship is encouraging coupon issuers to keep trying. “It’s clear that mobile wallets present a huge opportunity that has yet to be fully tapped,” the report concludes. “Those who unlock the potential now will not only be industry leaders, but will differentiate themselves by standing out from the competition and meeting growing consumer desire for mobile wallets ahead of the pack.”

So if you haven’t tried it already, mobile wallets could someday transform the way you shop, and save. If proponents like Urban Airship have their way, you’ll be leaving your wallet at home – but not your coupons.

Image source: Urban Airship

One Comment

  1. This would be good for me. I just threw away several coupons (more than 10) that had expired. I always forget about the coupons and all of them were for free items. I need this.

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