By Katie Wilson, founder and CEO TapOnIt
Do you remember the last time you used a physical coupon? Chances are you probably don’t – and you likely won’t rush to go out of your way to use paper coupons any time soon. Consumers today value ease and convenience above everything else – and couponing is no exception. Look no further than Groupon to see how our relationship with coupons has evolved with digital innovation – with downloadable, virtual, and endless savings at our fingertips.
As couponing continues to evolve, brands and retailers alike must pay attention to text messaging, as it’s going to quickly disrupt the way people access and use deals to make purchases. With 90 percent of all text messages read within three minutes of delivery, this is an exciting opportunity to help businesses deepen brand affinity and engagement with highly personal mobile deals. Because when it comes down to it, the golden rule of 21st century retail is personalization – and what’s more effective to garner long-term brand loyalty than offering consumers with deals tailored exactly to their personal needs?
Here are three ways that the next generation of messaging is transforming the power of couponing:
Putting small business ahead of the race for consumer loyalty
What makes text messaging so different is its unique ability to provide users with efficiency, ease, and accessibility. Consumers are using smartphones to make purchases, research gift ideas, and look for the best deals. It is only natural that businesses should tap into mobile coupons to capitalize on the technology that’s in everyone’s pocket and more importantly, to drive long-term brand engagement.
According to a recent survey, 44 percent of consumers between 18-34 years old have said that they had searched for a coupon on their mobile device. For small business competing for their slice of the retail pie, the power of mobile couponing is increasingly important – and could be a matter of make or break for long-term success. With curated mobile deals, small businesses can now reach local consumers in new and creative ways, and reap an immense return of investment – without coughing up a large marketing budget.
Using personalization as the catalyst for brand loyalty
Mobile messaging gives businesses the opportunity to stand out and connect directly with consumers on a personal level. By understanding consumers’ shopping behavior – and their desired cadence of receiving a brand’s mobile message – companies can drive not only engagement, but also retention. More than 6 in 10 US smartphone users subscribe to mobile messages for deals, but unsurprisingly, 57percent will unsubscribe for receiving too many updates. Brands must ensure they are finding the sweet spot when it comes to brand communication to eliminate the high unsubscribe rate and allow customers to be in-charge of demand.
Generic marketing content – that all too often comes across as spam – is a thing of the past. By providing consumers with particular coupons and deals through mobile messaging, businesses can speak with consumers, not at them. In fact, a Yahoo study reported that consumers are finding personalized content to be more engaging (54 percent), educational (52 percent), time-saving (49 percent) and memorable (45 percent) than general-audience advertisements. By delivering mobile coupons that feel natural, seamless and integrated with messaging, consumers will be more apt to engage and spread the word.
Turning Word of Mouth to “Word of Thumb”
While some consumers are skeptical of mobile offers, one thing is certain: consumers trust word of mouth from family and friends. As a matter of fact, they rely on other people’s opinions of a product or service more than the actual brand itself. 60percent of consumers noted that input from a family member or friend directly influences their purchasing decision. With this in mind, businesses can no longer overlook the option of personal sharing in messaging. By giving consumers the opportunity to share personalized offers via messaging or social media, companies can not only attract new customers, but will also see an evident rise in coupon redemption.
Mobile coupons are set to surpass $91 billion by 2022 – that’s a lot of money and a lot of opportunities. The time is now for retailers, especially small businesses, to transform their mobile marketing strategies to keep pace with the next generation of messaging.
Cover photo: iStock