Coupon Clipping in the Digital Age – A tool for yesterday, or THE tool for the future?

Tony Repaci, Sales Director - ANZ, Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions

Coupons used to be a popular tool for brands to engage with their customers outside stores by sharing deals and building customer loyalty. However, traditional coupon clipping has become a thing of the past for many people, who today tend to look for deals other than in their mailbox. That doesn’t mean coupons are dying, rather the opposite – according to Juniper Research, total coupons issued will reach over 360 billion globally by 2021, up from under 225 billion in 2016.

For brands this presents a whole new set of challenges (and opportunities) on how to engage with existing and potential customers in compelling and innovative ways. Coupons are clearly still relevant but how retailers deliver these effectively is undergoing a drastic transformation. There has been a fundamental shift of shoppers in this day in age – they are no longer loyal to a brand, but are loyal to an experience. People are less likely to be concerned with building loyalty points with a certain company and more likely to be swayed by the instore experience. A big part of this is delivering relevant deals in real-time and with a location element, which typically results in far higher redemption rates than those without, particularly in the form of impulse purchases.

The only way to do this today in mobile-first countries like Australia, is with mobile offerings. However, with consumer behaviours and expectations evolving faster than technology itself, retailers are struggling to keep up with consumer expectations and earn their loyalty. For companies rolling out new in-store technology, and the training behind it can be daunting.

In Australia, this challenge was very true – on average, the Point Of Sale (POS) terminals are seven years old. In fact, 74% of Australian retailers say that an integrated customer view is critical to their long-term success, but few are investing in integration, with many retailers apparently stalled by the cost and technological challenges of putting a solution in place.

So how can and are Australian retailers addressing this problem? Many are turning to an innovative local company that has created a solution that essentially brings old POS terminals into present day: PiCo. Integrated with Honeywell hardware, a small black box, the PiCoHUB, sits at the heart of a store and enables retailers to connect their old POS systems to new technology.

By being able to deliver coupons instore to mobile devices, not only does it increase consumer spending and brand perception, but provides retailers with data and key insights they haven’t had previously. For example, it allows retailers to make smarter business decisions through better product choices, merchandising, store layout, and inventory management. It also unlocks valuable customer insights at the cash register, allowing retailers to have real time engagement by giving each shopper on the spot pricing, rewards and tailored offers.

All this rolls up to a better customer experience and therefore increased likelihood of return visits (and spending). With the coupon consumption expected to explode in the next five years, now is the time for retailers to get ahead and gain more insights from their customers.

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