The Last Days of Paper Coupons?

Summary:Coupons can have a really positive impact on consumers buying habits. But in today's mobile world, you really need to get that coupon on someone's phone.

Who doesn't like a coupon? We all love getting things for free or discount, but clipping coupons is absolutely not worth the time or trouble. And besides, I never remember to bring them with me. That’s why I can’t wait for the day paper coupons’ are officially extinct.

I use the Starbucks mobile app—especially when I’m in the US, doing my best to avoid collecting small change. (I can't get my head around US coins – how can 5¢ be bigger than 10¢?) For consumers based in the UK, every 12 purchases earns you a free drink. Now, Starbucks is really a pioneer in the mobile retail space. So you’d think that they’d load the credit to the app. Or better still push it to Passbook? Nope. They send a postcard. In the mail. Crazy.

Starbucks Coupon


My local award-winning Mexican burrito chain, Poncho8, is a bit better. Whilst they send my free burrito coupon via email, at least they let me redeem it by showing my phone to the cashier. (Unlike some ticketing companies than still insist you print your emails… See my post about the Edinburgh Festivals.)

Around the corner from our office, a new wrap place opened. In the weeks before it opened, they advertised a link to get a coupon for a free wrap. Two problems:

  1. bitly.com/wrapitupmonument rather misses the point of the URL shortening service. It was a pain to enter, and after all that,
  2. My voucher never arrived...

(Incidentally, these guys were on the BBC's Dragon's Den recently - love that programme, even if Dragons live in Lairs)

Coupons can have a really positive impact on consumers buying habits. You'll be able to read more about that in our upcoming survey report. But in today's increasingly mobile-centric world, you really need to get that coupon on someone's phone.

Updated with Lair typo fixed.

Topics: Enterprise Software


Diarmuid Mallon is the Director, Global Marketing Solutions & Programs – Mobile, which includes the SAP Mobile Services division and SAP Mobile solutions. Before joining SAP, Diarmuid was a Product Manager for Logica's Wireless Networks division. He has worked in mobile messaging since 1996, holding a wide variety of range of roles and ti... Full Bio

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