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As popular as the iPhone is, it’s not the only means of receiving mobile coupons; many applications are device-independent and will run on any cell phone. By 2013, over 200 million people will receive and redeem such coupons via cell phones worldwide, according to a new study by Juniper Research.
Currently, “mobile” coupons are most prevalent in Japan and Korea. However, growing numbers of cell phone coupon services are offered in the United States and Europe across all retail sectors, including grocery, restaurants, entertainment and other shopping, the study said.
Western Europe and North America will account for almost 20 percent of coupon redemption by 2013, the study’s author, Howard Wilcox, said.
“Today, the overwhelming majority of coupons are paper-based, but the mobile phone is the ultimate individual marketing device, and mobile coupon pilots show greatly increased redemption rates, often double digit percentages,” Wilcox said.
The report from U.K.-based Juniper Research highlighted the increased benefit in user convenience and the greater efficiencies for companies operating cell phone coupon campaigns as the two key benefits for adoption of promotional coupons on the mobile platform. Some significant hurdles were identified, however, including lack of suitable point-of-sale infrastructure at the supermarket checkout allowing for the quick and easy redemption of coupons, which is critical to the customer shopping experience.
Technology is also a factor since most cell phone coupons today are delivered by a code, usually a bar code and SMS. In the future, the report says, Near Field Communications (NFC) will become popular in this application.