The idea for couponing is about as old as retail itself. Unfortunately, offering discounts to customers when they present some type of paper proof hasn’t evolved as the retail landscape has. This inefficient model has led to brands losing out on valuable revenue because of fraud, lack of tracking strategy, and so many other failings in the coupon model.
The introduction of a Universal Mobile Coupon™ is a tide shift in a strategy that has long needed reevaluation. The UMC enables brands to create coupons at the SKU-level and deliver them directly to customers, enabling a one-to-one link between a customer and their discounted purchase. It’s a solution CPG brands and retailers have been searching for decades, and it’s finally arrived; multiple major retailers including Walmart, Family Dollar and Giant Eagle have adopted the UMC, with many more joining in 2021.
When a game changing way of doing things enters the market, however, there are always reservations, partially because altering strategies can seem like mountains to climb without meeting an immediate need. The UMC presents a world of immediate opportunity; here are five ways this revolutionary couponing tool can impact your business right away.
1) Get Real-Time, Actionable Coupon Redemption Information
One of the major drawbacks of the traditional coupon process is, well, processing. When a coupon is used at a retailer, they’re collected and sent for processing at clearinghouses, typically located in Mexico. At these processing facilities, the coupons are divided by manufacturer and totaled to create a reimbursement total that is then paid back to the retailer by the CPG company. This whole process typically takes up to six weeks to complete; six weeks of time CPG brands are left sitting on their hands as they’re making sense of how successful their promotional campaign was. With hundreds or thousands of campaigns in a national market at a given time, this logistical nightmare is a major burden on the CPG business.
With the UMC, coupon redemption information is registered instantly due to the digital clearing process. The ability to track the efficacy of a campaign within a day rather than months of lead time means CPG brands are able to adjust campaigns midstream; it’s a newfound agility that stands in stark contrast with the wait and see model of old-school coupons.
2) Instantly Eliminate Fraud
Paper coupons are notoriously easy to fake; in fact, 90% of coupon fraud traces back to photocopying and manipulation. In the past, this level of fraud is almost baked into the cost of doing business. CPG brands are happy enough that customers are buying their products, so they accept that losses in the couponing process exist, almost like shrinkage; retailers have the same mentality and little incentive to crack down on the practice because their bottom lines remain the same as long as sales are steady.
By eliminating paper coupons, CPG brands and retailers are able to virtually wipe out the ability for consumers to commit coupon fraud. Because of several barcode features such as single-use functionality, being tied to a specific SKU and not exposing offer logic in plain sight, once the code is redeemed it can no longer be repurposed. This crackdown on over redemption can equate to millions of dollars saved per year by brands.
3) Help Encourage Contactless Payments
While this may not be the bottom-line argument many brands and retailers look for when exploring new ways of doing business, the truth is that in the COVID-19 era, consumers are concerned about safety. The UMC is completely digital, meaning it can be integrated into a retailer’s contactless payments strategy. Instead of passing off physical coupons and risking the spread of transmissible illnesses, for a coupon to be redeemed a checkout worker simply needs to scan a customer’s phone. For retailers looking to provide a safe environment for their customers, digital-first strategies are a key differentiator in 2021 and beyond.
4) Immediately Make Customer Phones Actionable and Help Spearhead Sustainability Initiatives
At long last, brands are finally able to leverage customer phones in their discounting strategy using the UMC. With traditional paper coupons, brands and retailers do their best to target customers, but are still subject to the chance that a customer simply doesn’t receive the coupon in a mailer, a newspaper, a circular, or other publication. The ability to target a customer for an offer directly on their mobile device means meeting a customer where they are, no matter where they are. And where they are almost always includes their phones.
With the adoption of mobile wallets in the last five years—and the growth contactless payments have seen in the past year—it’s never been a better time for brands to leverage a solution like the UMC. As mobile devices continue to be a dominant mode of payment, the immediate ability to integrate discounting strategies via smartphones will be an essential promotion tool going forward.
Corporate responsibility has been a major concern, particularly over the past ten years. Leadership teams have been given a mandate to decrease waste and adopt more sustainable practices. As a result, more brands have been moving towards digital, paperless strategies. With the UMC, brands are able to severely cut down on waste paper processing, in addition to the transportation miles spent distributing paper coupons. This may seem like a minor benefit of mobile couponing, but for leadership teams tasked with showing real numbers behind their eco-friendly efforts, it can make a major difference on the brand level and in boardrooms.
5) Encourage Consumer Engagement with At-Shelf Activation
As consumers return to traverse the aisles of retailers more regularly, a contactless experience must follow them throughout, even at the shelf holding their favorite products. At-shelf activation is a strategy brands can use to encourage engagement with a promotion at a key point within the consumer purchase journey.
With UMC, brands have the ability to present a fully digital offer to a consumer directly at the shelf. Consumers can easily engage with the offer, save it to their mobile wallet and redeem the offer at the end of their shopping trip. Add in RevTrax AI and brands can deliver the ideal offer value to encourage each individual consumer to convert immediately upon engagement. This allows brands to interact with consumers at the most important point of their journey and push additional sales that may have not occurred otherwise.
Are you interested in finding out more about what the Universal Mobile Coupon can do for your business on the CPG or retail level? Get in touch with a RevTrax specialist today and see what the future has in store for your promotion strategies.