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Mobile coupon users to rise by 30% in 2013 as coupon apps hit social networks, suggests Juniper research

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The number of consumers receiving coupons via mobile devices is expected to rise by 30% next year to more than 500 million people, a new report from Juniper Research has found. However, the report cautioned that retailer reluctance to upgrade POS (Point of Sale) terminals for authentication and redemption was creating a bottleneck, effectively suppressing the deployment of mobile coupons.

According to the report, continued growth in mobile coupon usage will in part be fuelled by the integration of couponing platforms into the leading social networks. Apple’s recent high-profile launch of Passbook is also expected to act as a catalyst to both coupon deployments and adoption. For example, the marketing services provider Valassis has recently launched a ‘Red Plum Social Savings’ app in the US which was built with the Facebook platform, while third-party loyalty/marketing and couponing providers such as Codebroker, Eagle Eye, Yowza! and Valpak have already created apps or microsites which deliver vouchers to Apple’s Passbook.

The report – Mobile Coupons: Strategies, Opportunities & Forecasts 2012-2017 – also observed that increasingly brands were transitioning from using coupons purely to drive retail footfall to strategies designed to develop longer-term relationships with consumers. It found that delivery and redemption data analytics were now being used not merely to assess the progress of a campaign but to gauge what offers could be tailored to which individuals.

But report author Dr Windsor Holden wanrns: “POS terminals can have a lifespan of a decade or more, so understandably retailers are wary about disrupting the terminal lifecycle and investing in new technology – whether NFC or barcode scanner – without being able to demonstrate a clear return on that investment .”

The report also suggests that mobile coupon redemption patterns are shifting, with consumers increasingly storing the coupon on the device rather than redeeming straightaway. Its also found that China has experienced a huge uplift in mobile couponing adoption over the past year, with one couponing app alone – Dianping – downloaded more than 40 million times.

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