Unilever To Trial Mobile Coupons

4 Comments

image The notion of offering coupons via mobile phones has been bandied about since the earliest days of the wireless web, but now it looks like mainstream brands are increasingly convinced that consumers are willing to give them a try. On Sunday, FMCG giant Unilever will kick off a trial powered by mobile marketing startup Samplesaint.com that will let consumers redeem coupons by having a supermarket cashier scan their phones. The four-week long test will be conducted at a ShopRite supermarket in Hillsborough, N.J., and if successful, will be rolled out to more stores.

Why now? Unilever director of integrated marketing Marc Shaw acknowledged to the WSJ.com that mobile coupons were

4 Comments

Blake Allen

I have tested this technology for myself and it works GREAT!!! I don't have to worry about remembering my coupons and it's very accesible on my phone. I think everyone should sign up on samplesaint.com especially because it's GREEN

Sam Ash

would have possibilities if there was a way to "opt in" (say through a social networking site)
then choose the brands/categories you like and have them stored in a "wallet" say on the phones micro sd card that would sync at checkout with the cash register, so the process is largely transparent and hassle free..save a bit of back end noodling

Anthony Wayne

I think the best thing about a mobile coupon is that you always have it with you. How many times have you gone to a store and remembered "I know I have a coupon for this at home."

Mark Hendriksen

There are many positives, which I can vouch for from experience, having been a publisher some years back and published a guide to the UK's with hundreds of printed offer coupons.

Firstly, paperless is 'greener,'
Second, if necessary, mobile coupons can be 'secure' (think of restaurants etc. giving a bottle of wine for example.)
Third, you can have a 'reward card' with your own code where offers are chosen and simply added to your card for single or multiple redemptions. Fourth, there is a growing opportunity with compatible cameraphones, to scan codes yourself and redeem on the spot or from posters, magazines, tv ads etc.
(I should just add that regarding NFC (RFID) and Bluetoothing, these both require a power source and/or need proximity to work and although they are very good, at this time compared to optical reading the chips/readers are still expensive and limited. Optical can read 'printed codes' from a TV screen, newspaper, magazine, poster etc. and you won't find chips in those so that's another plus point.)

In fact the list goes on and goes beyond use of 1D codes to encompass 2D too. Consider the cost of a mobille/cellphone (as a fixed scanner) given enough scaling and you have a very cost effective way to get a lot of data crm and interact on a one to one with your consumers.
The coupons are not ahead of their time but the systems and applications need better explanation re the possibilities for the likes of retailers and manufacturers, as with the case in point in your article, Unilever.
Well done Unilever for taking first steps – it will get better and it will get easier and it is certainly becoming more widespread as more and more organisations (manufacturers and retailers) are embracing mobile coupons and media + agencies are beginning to see the possibilities too.

As a final thought – In a world where print is being hit badly, a printed coupon or ad where you can get a different offer each day a) increases the longevity of the paper or magazine for example and b) provides excellent CRM and one to one marketing opportunities for the consumer. In terms of advertising revenue and increased readership + real time interactivity with consumers that could be a real boost for media wishing to truly understand and embrace the possibilities.

These are just two examples of the potential, there is much more that can be done right now. Mobile is making it a win win situation.

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