Shopping is, and will most likely continue to be, discount-driven. According to web coupon aggregator, RetailMeNot, 96% of consumers use coupons and 85% look for coupons before visiting a retailer. As shopper behaviors and preferences evolve, however, some retailers maybe sensing a disconnect in how they’re serving up offers to customers.

Why Paper Coupons Are Passé

While printed coupons will probably be around for the foreseeable future, many retailers are shifting their focus to digital offers that consumers can download and redeem on the fly. There are a few compelling reasons for trading paper for digital offers:

  • Digital coupons can help with redemption rates. Google reports as many as 40% of shoppers have left a physical store without completing a purchase simply because they had left a coupon at home. Digital offers stored on a smartphone are almost always with the shopper.
  • Coupons contribute to customer loyalty — if consumers actually get to take advantage of themiVend Retail’s research for our Great Omnichannel Expectations report revealed 36% of North American consumers forget to use paper coupons, and 40% have missed out on loyalty points not used by the expiration date, both problems that can be solved by replacing paper coupons with digital passes.

Customers Want Digital Offers

In an age where the smartphone has emerged as a critical shopping tool, retailers are wise to embrace the revolution and meet consumers where they already are: on a 4-inch by 6-inch, omnipresent glowing screen. Our research found 1 in 5 consumers want to incorporate their smartphones into the store experience more often, and most always have their smartphones with them when they shop.

Moreover, retail marketers are beginning to realize that digital offers can nudge consumers toward making purchases: 89% of shoppers say that being able to use digital offers helps them decide to buy when they’re on the fence or undecided about making a purchase, according to RetailMeNot.

Deliver Personalized Offers to Personal Devices

Personalizing shopping experiences is a central focus for many retailers, and leveraging data from myriad retail systems can help to make digital offers tailored to each individual’s habits and preferences. Our research shows 67% of North American consumers expect retailers to have one view of them as a customer across all channels, a quarter said they want retailers to know how they shop so they can receive better service. You can only do that if you know and track what they’re buying.

Unlike paper coupons, digital offers give you an opportunity to track which offers individual customers are most interested in and the types of coupons they redeem. Integrating this technology with geofencing or beacon technology enables retail businesses to push out digital promotions to consumers who have opted in to receive notifications and other messages when at the store or within the vicinity of the retail location. Sending an offer directly to the shopper’s phone when he or she is shopping totally eliminates the problem of forgotten coupons or a sale that slipped the shopper’s mind.

Is There a Downside at Store-Level?

Consumers are ready to use digital coupons and passes, but stores more accustomed to accepting paper coupons may not have the right technology or procedures in place to make using them a good experience for customers. Look for a solution that makes it easy for you to create, send, and scan offers to make redeeming offers easy for customers.

Getting the right digital offer at the right time can be a powerful motivator for a consumer. Are you delivering offers in a way that makes them easy for your customers to take advantage of them?

To learn more about how integrating solutions that deliver digital offers with your other retail systems, download our e-book: The Digital Store Platform: Better data for survival in a customer-centric world.

For more on an integrated approach to your retail systems, please join me for a webinar for the RSPA community: The Digital Store Platform: Meeting Customer Expectations Today and Tomorrow, exploring how new technologies, such as beacons, store analytics, and fulfillment programs are redefining how a retailer operates and engages with its customers. Plus, an overview of the store platform approach, a new type of technology designed to meet customer demand.

October 5, 2016, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM (Central Time)

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