I was asked to evaluate a JC Penny’s mobile coupon pilot program this week for my Mobile Advertising class. This article was written in 2009 and much has happened in this arena since then, but one thing has not changed: The customer has control.
Although I’m of the school of thought that mobile apps are not going to have a long term presence in the marketplace (simply because I believe the web is getting much more smart device friendly) apps such as mobilecoupons.com are certainly growing in demand. The idea is simple: Locate the consumer via their smart phone and offer up all the surrounding area discounts and promos. Consumers are just now starting to increase their awareness of such sites, but my hunch is that it’s only a matter of time before the trend becomes a new level of customer expectation.
On that note, retailers are finding new and more exciting ways to engage the consumer (and his mobile device) at a point of purchase level. An interesting tactic is the bar scanning solutions such as the new QR Code (as seen on mobile-barcodes.com). Consumers can scan these images and receive tons of value added information such as DIY tips, social site remarks, etc. right on their mobile device. It also allows the vendor to offer promotions and discounts as often as they’d like, design entire to-the-minute campaigns around new product releases, etc. In regards to my former rants about the app world fading, here’s Mashable.com just shared how Scanbuy.com created the technology. I love it when I’m right.
In closing, I belive JC Penny was on to something when they launched their point of purchase digital coupon campaign in 2009. I can’t wait to see the next.