M-Retailing

10bn mobile coupons to be redeemed this year, up 50% on 2012, predicts Juniper

mobile-couponsThe number of discount coupons redeemed through mobile and tablet devices is expected to reach 10 billion this year, up by more than 50% on last year, a new report from Juniper Research has found.

According to the report, innovative retailers are increasingly seeking to offer mobile as a delivery channel, both as a means of driving retail footfall and to enhance consumer engagement and retention. It pointed out that while mobile still accounted for a comparatively low volume of coupons issued, retailers had been encouraged by the markedly higher average redemption rate of mobile coupons (10%) when compared to traditional print media and PC coupons (typically 1% or less).

Furthermore, the report observed that mobile couponing offered retailers the opportunity to marry their digital and physical assets. As report author Dr Windsor Holden pointed out, “While we’ve heard that online retail is killing the High Street – witness United Retail filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US and the recent administrations of Jessop’s and Blockbuster in the UK – mobile offers a means of engaging with the consumer at every point in the retail lifecycle, from product discovery to product purchase.”

However, the report stressed that it was critical for retailers to ensure that such coupons had a time-based element, noting that a number of offers had gone unintentionally “viral” leading to brands being unable to service the demand for their products.
The report also suggests that Apple’s recent high-profile launch of Passbook is expected to act as a catalyst to both coupon deployments and adoption, as we have talked about here in M-Retailing over the past few months.

Juniper also expects, however, for retailer reluctance to upgrade POS (Point of Sale) terminals for authentication and redemption to create a bottleneck, effectively suppressing the deployment of mobile coupons.