Mobile Coupons: Banking on It

by Net Future Institute on July 3, 2014

By Chuck Martin

When it comes to how consumers perceive coupon programs, banks may have an edge.

While bank-sponsored mobile and digital coupon programs may be relatively new, banks hold an advantage in trust over retailers, based on a new study.

When asked who they trusted with their purchase transaction data, banks scored a 36% rating, higher than both telecom providers (16%) and major retailers (5%), according to the study by AlixPartners. Leading digital and technology brands were at the bottom of the rankings.

This could matter, since the scope of money moving through mobile devices continues to substantially increase, as I wrote about here last week ($508 Billion Moving Through Mobile).

The Mobile Financial Services Tracking Study, which has been conducted by AlixPartners semi-annually since 2008, comprises a survey of an online panel of a nationally representative sample of U.S. consumers at least 18 years old.

As in other recent studies, this one found an acceleration in mobile shopping behaviors, with most (74%) smartphone and tablet owners using mobile shopping features.

And as you might expect, coupons and discounts are front and center in the shopping process.

Many (40%) consumers between 18 and 54 are using digital coupons but that only paints a partial picture of where things are heading.

In the 26-34-year-old group, digital coupon usage is at 81%, based on the research.

The majority (61%) of smartphone and tablet owners regularly receives mobile or digital coupons and a quarter (26%) of them bought an item they didn’t plan to because they received the coupon.

And as we know from multiple studies, mobile shoppers are attracted to deals. In this study, almost a quarter (23%) of consumers bought an item they were interested in from an alternative physical retailer who offered a lower price.

Other recent research found that a price lower by just 5% or 10% can be all it takes.

But back to the role of banks in all of this.

While market awareness of banks or credit card providers’ targeted coupons programs is low, with just a third (33%) of consumers being aware of them, those that are aware like them.

Of those aware, the adoption rate is relatively high at 39% and most (90%) of those consumers who participate in bank-sponsored mobile or digital coupons are satisfied with them.

Mobile coupons and deals are only going to proliferate for all the obvious reasons.

The more interesting question may be where those coupons will be coming from in the future.



Chuck Martin is Editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk column. He is the author of “Mobile Influence,” “The Third Screen,” and “The Smartphone Handbook.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute. Chuck Martin is a frequent Mobile Keynote Speaker and Mobile Marketing Speaker internationally. He also addresses Social Media in Mobile.


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