Smart Money brings us some novel new coupon delivery methods. These are quite interesting and innovative and shows that as times get tough companies are continually finding new ways to lure shoppers to their stores via coupons. Here are some of the methods highlighted leveraging technology to its fullest (and none of them require a pair of scissors)
Now shoppers can print coupons inside the store. Shoppers at CVS, Marsh Supermarkets and Giant Eagle stores can swipe their loyalty card at an in-store kiosk and receive coupons based on purchase history and current store specials. At at Mesa Riverview Mall in Mesa, Ariz., recently-installed interactive kiosks enable shoppers to look up coupon codes — like 10% off at the mall pizzeria — and send them via text message to their cellphones.
[I can see this taking off at stores around the country as it allows companies and marketers to get buyers information by having them sign-up for loyalty cards. By knowing their shopping habits they can target advertising specifically at them, for a higher return on advertising spend]
Last month, grocery chain Meijer released Mealbox4, a downloadable computer program that helps consumers prepare shopping lists and find associated deals. The widget alerts shoppers to store sales and automatically attaches any available coupons. Shoppers then print out the list so the coupon barcodes can be scanned at checkout.
[This is a much more proactive method that users can configure to their requirements. The concern I have is around privacy because of the widget you have to install on your PC, but it would be quite cool to be able to get coupons specifically for your shopping list items and avoid all the other junk]
The next big thing in coupons: cellphones. According to Juniper Research, a U.K.-based market researcher, marketers expect mobile coupons to generate $7 billion annually by 2011.
[Editor – Google Mobile anyone? This is one of reasons Google is developing new mobile technology software. Even today you can sign up for mobile alerts, but once major department stores and vendors get behind cellphone coupons they will explode. Basically you can go to your local grocery store and SMS a message to a given number and the coupons codes will be sent to you for use at the checkout or directly onto your store card]
From sites like Groupon and Living Social. One of the hottest new trends to hit the internet over the past few years is social media coupon sites. These websites offer incentives to people to make it easier for them to save money, as well as to share and earn coupons for products and services with friends. These websites will often use social media channels like Facebook and Twitter to help people find deals that are of interest to them in their local area. The interested individuals can then recommend and share these deals with their own group of friends and contacts, thus spreading the word exponentially.
The full article can be found here.