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Mobile Coupons Slowly Gain Steam With Users

[1]The acceptance of mobile coupons was included in Paul Rosenfeld’s Five Can’t-Miss-Mobile Marketing Trends for 2010 [2]. We saw Google Honeywell [3] survey conducted by Harris Interactive found that while mobile coupons ARE catching on, they’re not doing so at the speed many small business owners may have hoped. In fact, adoption is still pretty slow.

According to the study, customers are still hesitant to take advantage of mobile coupons as we roll out of the recession. The study found that just four percent of users surveyed had redeemed mobile coupons and that only 10 percent of users surveyed said they felt comfortable storing coupons on their mobile phone as opposed to printing them out. Not surprisingly, younger consumers are more likely to use mobile coupons.

And that really seems to be the trend. While most Americans still look to print for savings [4] and find magazines the ‘most helpful’ form of advertising, younger shoppers are headed to their phones.

eMarketer noted:

Adults ages 18 to 44 preferred online ads for bargain hunting by a margin of at least 5 percentage points. The oldest respondents were the most likely to favor print, though they still thought Web ads were better for deal-seeking than direct mail or TV.

While current adoption numbers may be low, the signs for growth are there and offer interested retailers some hope. Sixty-six percent of younger adults said they were at least somewhat likely to try mobile coupons, with 31percent of overall respondents said they’d be willing to give their mobile number to a retailer in order to receive coupons. Not surprisingly, that number grew to one-half when talking to 18- to-34 year olds. And this echoes much of what we’ve seen with social media. Customers are willing to ‘friend’, ‘fan’ and ‘follow’ your brand if you’re willing to offer them discounts for doing so.

Though the numbers look bleak, I think the key takeaway here is that mobile coupons are catching on, especially for businesses targeting a younger demographic. Mobile coupons are still the new kid on the scene, with more companies, restaurants, and grocers starting to launch mobile coupons each month. Exposure is growing and with that comes adoption. As people get more comfortable shopping via their mobile devices and looking up information the go, mobile coupons become a natural extension of that.