Using Mobile and Online Coupons to Attract Local Customers
February 11, 2019 | Contributed by: Bernadette Coleman
We can all remember the days when we cut coupons before going to the grocery store or other retailers. That time seems so long ago now that we have a mobile “wallet” and smartphones with easy access to digital coupons and offers. Today’s conveniences are appealing because not only do they allow us to leave the house with less, but they also allow us to shop online and compare offers easily.
There is a new type of consumer – the super-empowered consumer, as coined by Google. This consumer is one who lives in a digital, hands-free world. They love conveniences like digital coupons. Capitalizing on these realities makes for an easy win.
Why Local Marketers Need to Consider Online Coupons
Online couponing is on the rise, and is quickly becoming customers’ preferred way to score the best deals at their favorite stores. CodeBroker’s 2018 Mobile Coupon Consumer Research Report stated that 47% of the 1,204 people surveyed prefer using mobile coupons when they shop as opposed to paper. This isn’t surprising.
With directories, review sites and even Google My Business adding ways to include online coupons, it’s a no-brainer to integrate them as part of a business’ local marketing strategy. Today, we’ll talk about this and a bit more.
It Starts With the Convenience Factor
Previously, I wrote about the “Me” Generation, and how local businesses can win over this generation with the real-time tactics they’re looking for. While the “Me” Generation is in reference to the millennial age group specifically, members of this generation and beyond comprise what has been dubbed as the “super-empowered consumer.” This is the new kind of consumer I mentioned earlier that exists in most of us these days – even if we don’t care to admit it. We’re impatient, we have less tolerance for incorrect information, and we prefer things instantaneously.
That’s why mobile couponing is a perfect strategy; whether implemented in a customer’s Facebook feed, a business listing or a text message, promotions have the opportunity to influence consumer behaviors more than ever because they are quite literally at a customer’s fingertips. If placed and designed in a manner that’s engaging, online coupons can not only generate foot traffic for local businesses, but they can also entice shoppers to make a buying decision sooner rather than later. Essentially, it’s a win-win.
Online Couponing Comes in All Shapes and Sizes
Online couponing is not something done in one singular form – it’s 2019, after all. Today, there are lots of options beyond a simple promotional email to get consumer attention. Four more methods that should be implemented include:
1.) Text Messaging
Text messaging is one of the easiest ways to reach consumers, and the sooner local businesses advertise through them, the sooner they can see results. CodeBroker also found in its 2018 Mobile Coupon Consumer Research Report that 60% of the people surveyed used a text-messaged coupon in the same week they received it.
2.) Social Media Advertisements (Instagram, Facebook, etc.)
According to Horowitz Research, as reported by MarTech Series, 63% of 18-34 year-old respondents in their State of Advertising and Social Media survey said that the most effective way to reach them was through their social media platforms.
3.) Coupon Applications
Downloadable applications send hundreds of coupons directly to smartphones, including those related to shopping, restaurants, grocery stores, retail stores, and more. Local businesses that share their promotions on these apps can receive more traffic and increased visibility from first-time consumers.
4.) Promotion Through Google My Business Posts
This one may be somewhat unexpected, but it is yet another reason why optimizing and maintaining a local business’ Google My Business listing is fundamental. Google Posts has Product and Offer options for posting. This type of content can be exactly what the consumer is looking for when they’re on a mission. They can claim the offer directly from search or maps.
How Beneficial is Mobile Couponing, Really?
All of this information sounds fantastic, but in the end, would the efforts of a full-scale, online couponing campaign actually be beneficial? The answer is yes, and according to Business.com, these benefits could mean the difference between stagnation and growth for the local business.
It makes perfect sense; when online promotions are able to reach super-empowered consumers faster and at a higher capacity, expansion will follow. Coupons and promotions are also one of the simplest ways to gain customer loyalty, beyond providing high-quality products or services. Everyone appreciates saving money, and local businesses or brands that recognize that are good as gold.
Find the Right Medium and Get Going
Getting started is pretty simple once the optimal medium to reach the targeted consumer is found. The right digital promotion of deals and specials can directly grow foot traffic, visibility and, eventually, profit. Where will you start?