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Mobile Coupons: Growing But Consumers Are Still Afraid

coupon_woman.jpgMobile coupons have long been considered one of the most powerful potential uses for the mobile device. However, consumer uptake has often been slow and coupons have essentially remained a niche market

Now a new survey indicates that growth may be picking up, and sheds light on what factors are still holding consumers back.

Recent figures released by eMarketer have showed that currently around 9.5%, almost 20 million, of US adult mobile consumers will be using mobile coupons by the end of this year. For smartphone users, the penetration rate is much higher at 19%. The industry is expected to almost double by the end of 2013, with over 35 million users at that time.

Clearly one of the strongest value propositions for mobile coupons would be if they could be delivered according to the actual location of the consumer. The technology certainly exists, and many services offer this, but consumers still have reservations which has slowed their uptake.

Although the value proposition for mobile location-based coupons is clear to consumers, many are still reticent to give away their personal information in order to benefit from such a service. Fear of losing control of personal data or being tracked often outweighs the benefits of relevant and targeted money-saving offers.

Up to now marketers and carriers have not managed to convince consumers that this trade off is worth it. As shown below, over half of consumers would prefer to receive coupons via e-mail, whereas only about 30% would like them to be pushed by SMS or IM.


Surveys show that while two thirds of consumers understand the value of having discounts “pushed” to them when they are relevant, nearly half of all consumers worry about the security implications of having their location tracked. This means that the industry still has a lot of consumer education to do.

01.12.2011    Tags: ,
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