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Next-Gen Mobile Couponing Tactics: What They Are & How to Implement Them

Coupons have made a massive resurgence in the last several years. However, rather than attributing their popularity to the Sunday morning circulars, their potency can be chalked up to the ease of saving and redeeming a coupon on a mobile device.

Nowadays, it is easy for shoppers to pause a browsing session, comb through couponing apps, such as RetailMeNot or even the retailer’s own site, and locate eligible deals that can be applied to their checkout totals with the tap of a finger. Several brands in particular have mastered the art of driving sales via mobile coupons, paving the way for others to follow.

From quiz to coupon: Brands looking to up the ante when it comes to consumer interactivity should look no further than mobile quizzes. Personality quizzes have also made the print-to-digital jump with impressive finesse, enabling smartphone users to engage with bite-sized pieces of content during moments of distraction.

One example of a chain that capitalized on this strategy with an added commerce element is Ruby Tuesday. The restaurant marketer recently invited customers to take a mobile quiz to find out which of its new regionally-inspired burgers best fit their personality – and topped off the experience with a coupon for a free cheeseburger on National Cheeseburger Day. This not only enticed guests to think about Ruby Tuesday’s new burger menu but also inspired them to come in-store to redeem their coupon and potentially enjoy a nice family meal.

Going with gaming: Another engagement-based tactic is to combine mobile coupons with branded games. In Chipotle’s case, the quick-service restaurant chain encouraged individuals to play its guacamole-themed game, which required participants to compare side-by-side images and pinpoint the difference. Upon finishing the game, players earned a mobile coupon for a free side of guacamole.

Similarly to Ruby Tuesday’s example, Chipotle was able to ramp up in-store traffic and convince consumers to redeem their mobile coupons in-person. The game also bolstered loyalty among Chipotle’s fan base – a notion that was undoubtedly valuable prior to the rollout of the chain’s limited-time Chiptopia rewards program this summer.

Exclusively on social: Several retailers – including Forever 21 – have also leveraged mobile coupons to boost their social media audiences. Brands that alert their Instagram or Twitter followers to an exclusive coupon are likely to entice those consumers to make a purchase – as well as tell their friends to follow the account and join the action. Additionally, social-only coupons are ideal for retailers that do not have extensive loyalty programs but still want to reward loyal followers with a little something extra.

Instant add-ons: Marketers seeking to drive higher usage of their available coupons may want to look to Victoria’s Secret’s mobile site for inspiration. Earlier this year the lingerie giant rolled out a new feature that lets mobile site users tap a button to instantly add an eligible coupon to their shopping carts. Consumers who peruse its daily deals page and find an enticing promotion – such as free shipping with a $50 purchase or a free fragrance rollerball with a bra purchase – can click on the small button and wait for the checkmark to appear, indicating that it has been successfully applied to their shopping carts.

During checkout, customers do not need to input any promotional codes, thereby streamlining the entire process.

Ultimately, there are a slew of different types of mobile couponing strategies that brands can implement into their apps, mobile sites, and social channels. The key is identifying the tactic that will reach the widest range of consumers and culminate in the highest amount of purchases. 

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Kristin Schepici, Director, Marketing

Kristin is a senior marketing professional with a strong focus in multimedia and experience developing and executing integrated marketing communication plans. With a strong focus on inbound marketing, she oversees the development and implementation of online marketing strategies.

Topics: mobile couponing

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