As an industry, it has been obvious since the very beginning that digitally redeemed mobile coupons were not only desirable, but necessary if the promise of mobile marketing was to be realized.
Back in the early days of the industry, running coupon campaigns that sent consumers into retailers and being frustrated that the best we could do was “sight acceptance” by the shop staff. This had a number of disadvantages, ranging from fraud to a reliance on manual reporting.
Since those days, nothing much has changed on the coupon front.
Real digital redemption, along with all the benefits it would bring always seems to be two or three years away.
Most solutions either seem to only work in lab conditions – some bar code scanning techniques in store, for example – or rely on an upgrade of the retail EpoS or consumer handset, as in the case of Near Field Communication.
Another much-touted alternative is installing new hardware in the retailer, but this involves a huge investment that most retailers or vendors have been reluctant to subsidize.