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Couponing the Modern Way

The goals of coupon and rebate programs are usually the same, and can include: encouraging repeat purchase, increasing product awareness, getting consumers to try a new product, moving overstocked inventory, softening the blow of price increases, launching a new marketing campaign, and responding to competitive pressure. The global recession has seen the emergence of a new budget-conscious customer who displays new consumer behavior around coupons. Today, digital and mobile coupons (mCoupons) represent a growing proportion of the overall coupon market.

Given the pace of change in media, and the mobile landscape in particular, mCoupons present tremendous opportunities for marketers with a vision. A new generation of digital-minded consumers prefers to read news online and via mobile devices, as opposed to via the traditional printed press which, for decades, has been the main distribution outlet for traditional coupons. This generation of digital natives will not spend their time clipping coupons in the kitchen. They will instead explore new ways to engage with coupons digitally. Borrel Associates reported that mobile coupons have a redemption rate up to ten times higher than that of paper coupons. Digital coupons are more flexible, efficient and more effective at enticing new buyers. They also appeal to a more attractive demographic (Millennials and other digital natives). Beyond this, the benefits of digital coupons are many. They offer improved personalization, protection against fraud, opportunities for socialization, greater convenience, and more.

Innovative Approach

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Ogloba’s innovative new technology replaces paper coupons with digital coupons distributed through email, social media, mobile apps and loyalty cards. Digital coupons increase the frequency of visits, drive sales by giving customers a coupon to spend in-store, and promotes consumer loyalty. In addition, customers can receive a bonus on their coupon by volunteering some personal information online. This extra incentive is very popular and helps retailers build their customer database.

How It Works

The Ogloba system delivers digital coupons to the mobile apps of customers, based on their actual shopping behavior. The Ogloba servers receive a detailed SKU list from the store ECR with all items in the customer’s basket. Ogloba checks if the SKU items on the list are flagged to receive a coupon and delivers the particular digital coupons to the mobile app immediately. This way the customer receives only relevant offers which they can redeem next time they visit the store. (e.g. a customer buying baby diapers receives a coupon for baby food).

Ogloba provides retailers with a mobile app for smartphones that acts as a wallet for giftcards and coupons. Customers can download this app free of charge and register by sharing their mobile phone number and Loyalty Card number. All coupons and giftcards can now be stored and displayed in the app, shared with friends and family by SMS, email or on Facebook. Retailers can deliver new coupons or targeted promotions directly to the registered customers’ mobile app or to email inbox. The coupon is viewed by the customer, then stored in the coupon tab of the app ready to be redeemed during the next purchase transaction in the store.

The cashier scans the items in the basket and the ECR sends the SKU list of this particular basket to the Ogloba server, including the loyalty card number of the customer. Based on the loyalty card number, Ogloba knows which coupons this particular customer currently has, and matches this with the SKU list of the current basket. This applies the discount to the bill of the customer. For those products in the basket that have a coupon flag on the Ogloba server, new coupons will be delivered instantly to the mobile app of the customer.

Having the coupons in the mobile app rather than just linked to their loyalty card, the customer can scroll down their list of coupons and see which product they should put in their basket during their next visit to the store. The mobile app also shows the expiration date of coupons, alerting the customer to visit the store before they expire.

Generally, retailers negotiate the coupons (and associated discount budgets) with the manufacturers but, there are also coupons that the retailer issues regardless of the product. For example, the retailer may give a coupon of a certain amount to a customer for standing in line a long time, or as a “sorry” note after a customer service issue. Both of these types of coupons are delivered to the Ogloba app (retailer design or embedded in retailers app) so that the customer can see which coupons are available.

Social coupons

Social coupons are coupons that can be shared among people online. Ogloba enables customers to share the coupon from the mobile app with their friends and family, who will then be able to redeem the coupon in the store, where the cashier scans the barcode from the smartphone screen. Alternatively, if the customer has a loyalty account, the coupons are linked to the loyalty card account and the customer just needs to present their card to the cashier.

Customers can also deliver the social coupon from their retailer mobile app to the Facebook account of a friend. The retailer can even offer a coupon to all the friends of the friend, so the coupon becomes viral and the marketing message is passed on to an exponential target audience.

The Ogloba Back Office platform includes a messenger tool that is used to create messages that are delivered to the mobile app of the registered customers, reminding them of a certain promotion (including a coupon). This helps increase the redemption rate of the coupons, driving up sales.