app-based promotions and digital couponsHow app-based promotions and coupons drive results for ecommerce

According to Mobile Commerce Daily, nearly 96 percent of all mobile users will search for online coupons in 2015. This represents a huge market of consumers your business could engage and convert. And it’s a market that wants to be served—the Netsize Guide reports that 79% of smartphone users would like to download “money-off” coupons to their phones.

Did you know you can build trust with your customers just by offering them these digital coupons they’re seeking? 80 percent of consumers claim they “feel smarter” when using coupons. Seize the opportunity of psychological transference to help your customers feel smarter—and see purchasing your product as the “smart” decision.

Benefits of using mobile- or app-based coupons:

  • Engaging new leads with minimum friction
  • Piquing customer interest in new products
  • Gauging customer use of products beyond introduction
  • Driving customer loyalty
  • Monitoring product performance internally
  • Building brand association

What is the value of using mobile apps to distribute and redeem coupons?

Customers who share coupons via a mobile app will be more likely to redeem the offer—40% of smartphone users, 53% of tablet users and 55% of all internet users will redeem a mobile coupon. With the growing popularity of apps to store wish lists and grocery needs, many shoppers already have their intended purchases at their fingertips. Your coupon arriving in a well-timed push notification or app activity can make all the difference in the customer choosing your discounted product over an item that normally sells at a lower retail cost.

Mobile coupon formats

  • SMS Text – Allows you to communicate short, impactful messages to customers on-the-go
  • MMS Text – Provides opportunity to provide an enhanced couponing experience
  • App – 25 million Americans use coupon apps each month to redeem grocery savings
  • Email – Emails containing coupons have a 27% transaction completion rate and a 48% increase in revenue per email compared to other types of email marketing

Considering that texting is a phone-related activity that predates smartphones, it’s still highly relevant: text messaging is still ranked as the number one activity for smartphone users over age 34. Therefore, don’t discount the power of text messaging as an effective method for distributing coupons to your customers. For example, restaurant chain Jack in the Box reported conversion rates for SMS coupons 3-5 times greater than email marketing.

In the quick service restaurant industry as a whole, 32 percent of SMS recipients attribute their in-store visits to the SMS advertisement. Furthermore, regardless of industry, according to marketing software provider Tatango, the average click through rate of SMS marketing is 36 percent. Coupon Cash Saver states that mobile and online coupon redemption exceeds that of traditional newspaper coupons.

Anecdotally, customers are often more likely to make an impulse purchase if they are presented with a deal that is within the boundaries of product types they typically buy, from a brand they recognize or have previously purchased, and is memorable enough that the consumer remembers and has access to use the coupon during the transaction itself. Therefore, it is important that your mobile coupons serve to reinforce your existing branding. For example, you can distribute coupons within your email newsletters as well as via text and app, each serving a slightly different purpose: the electronic newsletter helps to keep your brand front of mind, the text messages prime your consumer to anticipate positive feedback from you, and the app helps your customer to find the most relevant offers at the most opportune time.

According to marketing agency Flurry, 86% of mobile usage occurs within apps, making the mobile application a familiar and expected platform for communication between consumers and businesses. Maintaining an app-based version of your eCommerce site, such as Ikea’s catalog, for example, allows you to connect with and engage your customers to determine their interests and purchasing habits – valuable data for strategizing future marketing campaigns, within the digital realm, through mobile applications and as part of your broader marketing strategy.

Why businesses are not already using it

App- and mobile-based promotions are clearly being researched as valuable communication platforms, and the continuing interconnectedness of personal devices intersecting with daily life is immutable; so why aren’t all businesses jumping on board yet? Lack of strategy is the largest factor for a company’s decision not to launch a mobile marketing strategy, followed by lack of resources.

Any marketing effort is only as effective as its strategic plan. In order to engage strong leads likely to develop a high interest level over time, it is critical that you consider your mobile marketing efforts as only one component of a comprehensive marketing strategy. In addition to your tried-and-true email campaigns and your electronic newsletters, your website and social media need to all present a cohesive and unified messaging that compels your customers to purchase your products and provide active engagement with your company.

In other words, mobile marketing through apps and text messaging can indeed serve as effective techniques in your marketing strategy—but they must reinforce the overall messaging and branding of your company. Consider how you can leverage your new leads through the sales pipeline so that they become strong sales qualified leads, happy customers and loyal sources of referral. The statistics show the results mobile marketing can deliver. But in order to achieve those results, brands must conduct thorough market research and a continuously examine marketing and sales metrics.

App-based promotions can provide the ideal way to engage your customers, when they are backed up by solid marketing research as part of a comprehensive strategic plan. Mobile engagement opportunities are not going away in our increasingly connected world; if you’re not already actively putting in place a mobile-friendly marketing plan, it’s critical that you consider the potential impact such outreach can have on your existing and target audiences. Take a look at the opportunities available to you and determine what can be most effective and valuable for your own eCommerce needs.

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