Mobile Coupon Usage Is Growing
It is estimated that by 2013 16.5% of all mobile phone users will redeem coupons activated through their mobiles. The number is currently not that high, but is growing at an impressive pace with 20 million users redeeming mobile coupons this year. While mobile coupons includes those offered by daily deals, the number is not exclusive to daily deal offerings. There are traditional methods of offering coupons: SMS, web pages, even subscription based emails.
From an eMarketer Article: "Among smartphone users, penetration is significantly higher. This year, nearly one in five smartphone owners ages 18 and older will redeem a mobile coupon, representing growth of 117.6%. Triple-digit uptake rates will be short-lived, but by 2013 almost one-third of smartphone users will be redeeming discounts on the go."
The big lesson for the digital agency from this new data set is that it should not be caught up in the daily deals offerings. There are millions of people using daily deals offerings, but more traditional methods are time proven. The excitement over daily deals, Google Offers is making noise and the Groupon IPO is still on the table, could easily overshadow the other methods of delivering coupons to mobile users. These efforts require more effort, hence more labor and cost, but with less overhead they may still return a very profitable ROI.
The real exciting news of the new data is not the nominal growth of mobile coupon users, but rather the percentage of mobile users also using coupons. These estimates are conservative, because as mobile coupons become more commonplace it will incentivize the proliferation of smartphone use. People want to access savings and as smartphones are seen as method of delivering those savings then the growth estimates will be revealed to be overly conservative.
This growth trend is good news for digital agencies that focus on mobile and want to deliver coupons to potential customers through mobile devices. This will also impact companies like MobileCoupons.com who offer easy to use platform for businesses to add coupons online and drive customers to their sites.