The mobile lifestyle is reaching into all areas of consumers' lives and now users want to receive their retail coupons on their mobile devices instead of in the traditional paper-based format.

In an independent survey undertaken on behalf of Mobilitrix and Shoprite, over 68% of participants said they are “very interested” in receiving mobile vouchers. The sample of data was taken from a cross section of Shoprite and Checkers customers in the first ever mobile voucher study of its kind undertaken in South Africa.
43% of respondents indicated they “mostly received” in-store paper coupons, with a further 13% using general paper-based coupons and an additional 18% mostly receive vouchers in the form of gift cards. The latest findings mean that CRM campaigns are now set to be more targeted using the mobile vouchers as a tool to drive new customers into stores specifically those mobile users who are keen to gain discounts on a range of retail products relevant and targeted to them.
Potential customers wanting anything from coupons for dish washing liquid to vouchers on general foodstuffs will be able to choose to engage with those retailers offering rewards and developing loyalty relationships with consumers. The consumers are then able to redeem each mobile voucher they receive in stores at the point of sale. Developing new types of customer loyalty through continued mobile voucher offerings, combined with increasing specific sales has made the overwhelming consumer interest in mobile vouchers even more relevant in today’s marketing world.
Mobile vouchers and coupons receivable via mobile phones do not require any additional software on the phone as the voucher is delivered using SMS, so it’s simple for the consumer to understand; from the retailer side, they do not require new hardware of scanning devices to start using mobile vouchers and the system is designed to work around existing point of sales.
Commercially, this signifies the first opportunity for brands to engage with the majority of the South Africa market in dynamic one-to-one marketing manner. As brands connect directly with their customers through mobile vouchers, the loyalty factor is significant, with immediate rewards for the customers and invaluable consumer-related information for the retailer.
In addition, while achieving direct sales objectives, intelligent and targeted voucher distribution allows for real-time reporting and ROI measurability on all media spend, specifically out of store spend. The seamless integration coupled with cost effectiveness is set to save millions in conventional advertising expenses, while exacting invaluable customer data without the traditional time lag inefficiencies.
 “It is interesting that food was the number one item that consumers requested mobile vouchers for according to the research,” notes Mobilitrix CEO Chris Rolfe. “Obviously food is a broad area, but it suggests that consumers want vouchers for the big FMCG retailers, the fast food industry and other specialist food retailers."
With research showing some consumer education is needed when it comes to moving customers forward on the “how to” of using a mobile voucher, Rolfe says “it’s a simple challenge when compared to significant advantages for those retailers who get it right from the start and begin to build targeted databases of their customers".
The research clearly indicates that consumer demand is there for mobile vouchers and coupons and the market wants to engage digitally with brands using their mobile devices.