Mobile Coupon Use Explodes

Along with the meteoric growth of mobile devices, mobile applications and mobile web sites, we are seeing explosive growth of the use of mobile coupons. This is no surprise at all since delivering a coupon right to a device that a customer carries all day is a dream come true for many marketers. A recent study by BI Intelligence details just how hot mobile coupons have become recently and more importantly, they show just how well they work.

The amount of money spent on retail that is generated from mobile is estimated to top 15 percent of retail e-commerce by the end of 2013. Looking back to 2010 when mobile commerce accounted for just 3 percent of e-commerce we see just how impressive this growth has been. At the end of 2012, the amount spent on retail e-commerce via mobile was 11 percent (according to comScore), which equals a massive $18.6 billion in consumer spending.

The rise in  mobile commerce was bound to happen if you look at the massive smart phone adoption rates. Along with this we see that the number of American smart phone users that are using mobile coupons is a significant 29.5 million users, which is a big step up from 2010 when we saw just 7.4 million American consumers using mobile coupons. Over the course of the next year and a half we are expecting this to grow to 47.1 million users by the end of 2014 (BI Intelligence report).

One interesting item to arise from BI’s research is that we are seeing that demographics that typically don’t use coupons are now starting to adopt their use due to the convenience of the coupon being on their smart phone. One of the demographics we are seeing big growth in mobile coupon use is with younger smart phone users. In a recent survey of college students we see that today 51 percent use their mobile device to “always” (20%) or “often” (31%) seek out money saving deals and coupons, while only 10% said they never do so. This is no surprise if you look at the high adoption rate of smart phones by this demographic. The BI Intelligence report states “For close to 50% of 12-17 year old smartphone owners, the smartphone is their primary internet access device. It follows that for younger consumers mobile commerce and buying via smartphones and tablets will be a habit and much less of a novelty than it is for older consumers”.

Coupled with recent research from Deloitte which shows that most (94%) consumers are cautious with their finances right now and with 92% saying they are choosing to be more resourceful with their spending we see tremendous opportunities when it comes to mobile coupons. One item that really stands out with mobile coupons is that they are experiencing much higher redemption rates with mobile (10% compared with print coupon rates of 1%). Additionally mobile coupons give the retailer the opportunity to receive demographic and other information for the coupon’s user. If for no other reason, the ability to learn consumer data will continue to drive mobile coupon growth.

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Kimber Johnson
Kimber Johnson is the co-founder of Pacific App Design. Kimber has worked within the web development, graphics design, mobile application development, marketing and advertising fields for over 17 years.

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