Monthly Archives: November 2015

Retailer Mobile Coupon Program – Part 2

by Dan Slavin

Having delivered millions of coupons on behalf of retailers – some of the largest in the US – we’ve seen a lot of mobile coupon programs. Following is the second installment of an additional 5 notable retailer mobile coupon programs from US retailers.

Sears logo


Sears text messageSears delivers offers via SMS as well as the Sear’s mobile app.

SMS: Enter the keyword CASH to Sear’s shortcode 73277 to receive weekly coupons and text messages. Up to 4 messages will be delivered per week.


Sears mobile app couponMobile app: Click on Deals & Coupons from the Sear’s mobile app main menu. There are a variety of ways to save including Coupon Center, Hot Deals, Deal Heist, and Clearance.

Coupon Center offers are personalized savings which means you need to create an account to receive Coupon Center offers.



Kohls logo



Kohls sign-up text message


Text the keyword SAVE to shortcode 56457 to sign up for Kohl’s mobile sale alert text messages and receive up to 7 messages per month. Sign up offer is 15% off promo code.


Kohls mobile app deals menu

Or, click to download the mobile app iOS version and Android version. Additional savings can be found in Deals and Coupons from the app main menu including Friends & Family, Kohl’s Cash, promo codes and sale items.



Dollar General logo



Dollar General Sign-up text msgDollar General. Text in the keyword JOIN to short code 34898 and receive up to 12 messages per month. Signing-up is a multi-stop process: 1) click on the link in the text message, 2) fill in the fields on the web form and click on the box to accept Dollar General’s terms and conditions, and 3) reply with an additional keyword (DG3) to Dollar General’s shortcode to confirm your intent to join.


Dollar General mobile couponDollar General supports both mobile and digital coupons. Mobile coupons are instant savings when you sign-up to receive text message alerts. Digital coupons are available for consumers who sign-up for the digital coupon program. Offers can be delivered via email or mobile device.

Click on the link to sign-up for Mobile Alerts instant savings or the Digital Coupons offers program.

Dollar General digital coupon


You can also access both mobile and digital coupons from within Dollar general’s mobile app. Click on iOS version or Android version to download.



Staple logo




Staples website sign-upStaples lets consumers sign-up for mobile coupons from their website. Receive a $5 OFF a purchase of $25 or more coupon as a thank you for joining Staples SMS program.


Staples sign-up web form


You can also text in the keyword JOIN to Staple’s shortcode 555444 and receive up to 6 text messages per month.



JCP logo



JCP website sign-upJ.C. Penney has multiple ways to save.

Website: Click on the following link to sign-up for text alerts from the JCPenney website.



JCP SMS offersSMS: Following sign-up, text messages with promo codes as well as links consumers can click-through to view mobile coupons on a mobile webpage will be delivered to your mobile device using  JCPenney’sshortcode 527365. Offers are sent up to 8 times per month.

JCP mobile coupon


In addition, coupons are available from the mobile app.



Paper to Mobile Coupon to Mobile Coupon Wallet: Major Milestones

by Dan Slavin

A brief history of mobile couponing companies

mobile coupon wallet 11888 – First coupon. Asa Candler, the founder of the Coca-Cola Company (Dr. John Pemberton invented the Coca-Cola formula and eventually sold the exclusive rights to the product to Asa Candler), created paper tickets for free glasses of Coke that were mailed to consumers or placed in magazines. Consumers redeemed their coupons, valued at a nickel, at their soda fountain shop. This effectively made Coke one of the first mobile couponing companies if you loosely define “mobile” as something that is easily portable.

Candler even supplied his customer stores with free syrup to cover the cost of the drink. Between 1894 and 1913, an estimated one-in-nine Americans had received a free Coca-Cola, for a total of 8.5 million free drinks. By 1895, Candler claimed that Coca-Cola was being served in every state (44 at the time).

mobile coupon wallet 2Mid 1990’s – First Printable Coupon. Consumers realize huge savings with downloadable printable coupons. Before smartphones appeared in every pocket, mobile coupon companies began using the Internet to distribute coupons to consumers giving their customers the option to print the coupons directly from desktop computers. The consumer then brought the coupon to the store to redeem. Printing from the desktop is still popular, given how travelers are well used to printing their boarding passes at home.

mobile coupon wallet 32010 – First Mobile Coupon. Target becomes the first national chain to put mobile coupons on customers’ mobile devices. They deserve some credit for being an early trend setter among mobile couponing companies.

According to Target’s website, “Target is the first national retailer to offer a scannable mobile coupon program that allows guests to receive exclusive offers directly on their mobile phones. Coupons are redeemed by scanning a barcode on the phone at checkout. Target is the first major retailer with the ability to scan mobile barcodes in all of its stores. A leader in mobile retail, Target continues to offer innovative mobile solutions for guests.” Today, Target coupons are available via SMS and their mobile coupon wallet.

2011 – First Mobile Coupon Available from a Retailer’s Mobile App. Walgreens was the first retailer to deliver mobile coupons to consumers from their mobile app. The program was launched just before Black Friday in 2011. The coupons were delivered to consumers one at a time every two to three days. In addition, Walgreens was the first retailer to create a mobile coupon wallet – a special section within the mobile application – where consumers could view all of their Walgreen’s offers. Coupons were redeemable at any of the 7,700+ stores by scanning the barcode embedded in the coupon.

mobile coupon wallet 4

mobile coupon wallet 5January 2012 – First Retailer to Deliver True Omni-channel Coupons. Consumers who sign-up for the Bed Bath & Beyond mobile coupons program receive a 20% off one item coupon every six weeks. The coupon can be redeemed from the consumer’s mobile device or desktop computer. To redeem a mobile coupon in-store, the consumer presents the coupon on their mobile device and the store associate scans the mobile barcode. To redeem a mobile offer during an online purchase, the consumer has the option to apply the coupon code as part of the check-out process. Once the coupon is redeemed, it cannot be presented for use a second time regardless of the channel the consumer chose to redeem the coupon.

mobile coupon wallet 6

mobile coupon wallet 7

September 2012 – First Non-retailer Mobile Coupon Wallet. Apple Wallet (previously known as Passbook) is the first non-retailer-specific mobile coupon wallet that allows consumers to store coupons, boarding passes, event tickets, store cards and, starting with iOS 8.1, credit cards, loyalty cards, and debit cards via Apple Pay. The technology is designed by Apple.

We hope you enjoyed this brief history of mobile couponing companies. What’s your story?