Hardly a day goes by without Groupon hitting the headlines with some aspect of its forthcoming IPO, so when O2
launched its Groupon-like “Priority Moments” service recently, I decided to have a go at a coupon service for myself.
Signing up was fairly straightforward, except for four pages of terms and conditions (but who reads them anyway? – well I did, just to make sure this time). I was immediately presented with ten pages of offers (a total of 50) starting around 0.3 mile from my location, so that was quite impressive. Now I have to confess I’m not very keen on shopping, so it was quite a few pages of scrolling before there was an offer that caught my eye, saying “free gift with purchase”. Intrigued, I clicked on it and was presented with a map of the nearby store location and a “Yes Please” button to display the coupon code. When I did so I was given a very solemn warning
that “once the offer is accepted it will be removed from the list forever
(my italics), so it’s best to be near the store when you click “Confirm””. Well, heart-in-mouth, I clicked “Confirm”, and the coupon code was displayed, but I was still unaware of what the free gift was – a good strategy to get me inside the store.
And that’s what mobile coupons are all about – getting you in store, one way or another. Other coupon distributors have other methods. Another one is a coupon displayed like a “scratch and save” card – you can only “scratch” the screen (not literally, or at your own risk anyway) to reveal the details of the offer when your device reports that you are very near or inside the store. Given the enduring attraction of scratch cards inciting the human curiosity, this is a good technique and there are many other variations on this theme.
Juniper Research is surveying the mobile coupon market and believes that these sorts of coupon innovations are set to be a primary driver of the ramp up of mobile retail commerce sales.