Archive for the ‘search marketing’ Category
Posted on January 13, 2011 - by David Etheredge
Groupon’s annoucement, reported by FT.com, that they closed a $950M round of financing to fuel expansion of their online couponing empire, should be a wake up call for businesses that continue to ignore coupons as a viable way to reach new customers. There has long been an attitude among many businesses and ad agencies in the U.S. that the use of coupons serves to devalue “premium” brands while undermining the carefully nurtured notion among consumers that when you pay full price, you end up with a superior product.
The fact that Groupon is so successful that they have exceeded 50 million subscribers and were able to command one of the largest private equity rounds in history shows that consumers at least are moving in a different direction. A report published in The Guardian in June of 2010 indicated that 79% of people polled by UK website Save.co.uk, used online vouchers (as coupons are called in the UK) for food shopping and 47% used them for eating out.
As recently as two or three years ago, it would have been almost impossible to imagine nearly 50% of people who eat out in the U.S. bringing along a coupon – but not anymore. Europe is ahead of the U.S. in mainstream adoption of coupons, but given Groupon’s explosive growth and continuing economic pressures, we may not be far from a time when a significant percentage of consumers are more likely to choose between similar products or services based not on brand, but on the availability of a discount.
The barrier for mass adoption of coupons has always been convenience. Cutting out or printing coupons is tedious. We’ve all experienced repeatedly forgetting to bring coupons to the store with us, only to remember at check out, when its tool late. And who hasn’t triumphantly slapped a coupon down at the check-out counter only to find out it expired a week ago? Everyone wants to save money, but we want it to be easy and to conveniently fit into our hectic lifestyle.
Mobile coupons appear to be the answer. Using a smart phone to find, save and redeem coupons would remove all of the aforementioned issues while allowing consumers to find and choose discounts at the point of purchase decision. A survey conducted by Accenture and reported in Mobile Commerce Daily indicates that 79% of smart phone users want to be able to receive coupons on their phone. Combine the ability of consumers to use GPS based search to find retailers with the products they are looking for and a mechanism for delivering targeted discounts directly to the user’s phone and you have a recipe for an explosive new marketing channel.
79% of smart phone users already see what’s coming. Maybe its time for the retail channel to get on board?