Using Mobile Coupons with Your Small Business
Every marketer knows the power of coupons. Coupon programs make going to businesses far more attractive for customers, and even having a coupon puts a business on a customer's mental map. And because customers need to bring in the actual coupon to take advantage of it, businesses don't lose as much money through coupon promotions as they might through, say, an across-the-board sale.
The Power of Mobile Coupons
While customers like the idea of coupons, they don't like the trouble of finding, clipping, storing and bringing in physical coupons to the store. It's time-consuming, takes a lot of a customer's attention and wastes a lot of paper.
So many businesses have moved to mobile coupons. Mobile coupons come in a variety of forms: for instance, customers can receive text messages with coupon codes or URLs. They can scan QR codes to go to a mobile coupon on a website, or can get the coupon directly from the website themselves.
Mobile coupons are more cost-effective than paper coupons since they don't need to be printed or mailed. Customers may throw out physical coupons or forget to bring them in, but they'll always have their smartphone on them.
And sure enough, customers are taking notice. Nearly half of all coupon users use mobile coupons.
Just for Big Businesses?
Still, many small businesses balk at the thought of distributing mobile coupons. They think that requires a level of technical sophistication that many small businesses don't have available given their small staff. They think distributing mobile coupons may require hiring coders or other technical specialists, who'll charge the small business an arm and a leg for their services.
Given these apparent options, it just seems easier for small businesses to keep on distributing paper coupons. But are paper coupons really a better option?
First, it's important to consider how much business companies miss out on by not offering mobile coupons. While only 9 percent of businesses offer promotions via mobile coupons, nine in ten consumers subscribe to a mobile coupon app or another service on their phone. Offering mobile coupons launches companies into an elite group -- and customers will notice and take advantage of this fact. The amount of money a small business stands to make from offering mobile coupons far outstrips the set-up costs.
Second, the set-up costs for mobile coupons aren't actually that high. Coupon redemption is easy, and doesn't require special POS equipment or integration. Clerks can manually enter codes from SMS messages, or they can scan a QR code directly from the device. And mobile stamp redemption solutions, like mzCONNECT's mzSTAMP, allows businesses to stamp a particular screen on the customer's mobile device to redeem a coupon.
Implementation is simple, and there's no reason for companies to hire a coder. Platforms like mzCONNECT help small businesses create and distribute mobile coupons easily.
mzCONNECT offers several functionalities. One is SMS campaign management, which allows businesses to send out SMS coupons. Companies and their marketing teams can manage groups to identify customers at various stages of the purchasing process, and with various needs. The program has a date and time scheduler for timing text message distribution and generates unique ID codes for coupons so customers can't use the same coupon twice.
Another mzCONNECT functionality allows companies to easily make even complicated mobile websites replete with coupons. Marketing teams can create categories for coupons, generate unique QR codes for redemption. Promotional and product images sweeten the deal for customers.
Mobile coupon campaigns are nearly a necessity in today's crowded retail market. But they don't have to be complicated to implement. With tools like mzCONNECT, companies can easily create effective, eye-catching coupon campaigns - without going to great expense.