Smartphone App Digital Coupon Wallet: Key Considerations

digital coupon walletQuickly Deploy a Digital Coupon Wallet

Written by: Sue LeClaire

For retailers that use coupons to drive store trips and purchases, providing a digital coupon wallet within the retailer’s mobile app can be a powerful catalyst for both the customer and the retailer. The ability to aggregate all of a customer’s mobile coupons into a central location provides unprecedented convenience. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been caught rummaging through the glove compartment of my car or emptying the contents of my pocketbook on the front seat looking for a misplaced offer when making an unplanned stop to pick up something. As a retailer, you can deliver a superb customer experience. A digital coupon wallet will keep your customers engaged with the mobile app via regular check-ins for new offers.

So, you’ve made the decision to incorporate a digital coupon wallet within your mobile app and time-to-market is crucial. If you need to deploy the capability yesterday, then your best bet is to find a solutions provider. Key considerations when working with a solutions provider include:

  1. PROVEN TRACK RECORD. Find a solutions provider that has a well-documented set of APIs (Application Program Interface) and proven track record implementing digital coupon wallets. There’s a lot of noise in the industry by vendors claiming to have an out-of-the-box digital coupon wallet. Make sure they’ve done this before, specifically for retailers. The last thing you want to do is enlist IT to de-bug someone else’s code.
  2. COMPLETE INTERFACE. You want the digital coupon wallet to be fully integrated – the same look and behavior as your existing mobile app. The solutions provider should have a comprehensive suite of APIs that will support custom templates maintaining your brand standards. The only decision the retailer should have to make is where to put ‘Coupon Center’ on the mobile app’s menu. By using APIs, new capabilities added to the digital coupon wallet will not require an update to the app.
  3. OPTIMAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. Delivering the best customer experience means your customers have access to all of their offers. This includes mobile coupons you deliver to customers who signed up to the SMS marketing list, offers you push to the mobile app, savings the customer requests when they text-in a keyword to your shortcode, and even offers you email to them. Other nice-to-have features that will enhance the customer experience include marking the coupons as redeemed once used, automated reminders when an offer is about to expire, and automatically populating the online shopping cart with the offer when your customer is purchasing an item online.
  4. SECURE REWARDS. If coupon liability is a concern, work with a solutions provider that guarantees mobile coupons can only be issued once. In addition to a behind-the-scenes security model, coupon fraud is substantially reduced using dynamic coupons – the offer is rendered each time it is viewed. Delivering dynamic coupons will not only minimize liability concerns but also allow you to deliver some of the unique customer experiences mentioned above.
  5. PERMISSIONS-BASED OFFER MANAGER. Offer set-up should be fast and easy ensuring minimal mistakes are made. It’s one thing to have a sexy UI, but is there a built-in methodology to create, test and deploy mobile offers? This also means that the people responsible for promotion set-up have the appropriate permissions to access, test and approve promotions before they go live. The last thing a retailer wants to send is an “oops, this is what we meant to say” message to their customers.
  6. COMPREHENSIVE REPORTING. Reporting options should include which customers received, viewed and redeemed each mobile offer. A complete picture of each campaign provides you with insight into the entire purchase funnel. In addition, the ability to attribute redemptions allows you to measure offer effectiveness in each of the channels it was deployed.
  7. PLAN FOR THE FUTURE. Make sure the platform will grow with your mobile app. Will your app audience grow over time? If yes, then the platform should be scalable – the ability to handle your performance needs down the road. Do you need the mobile app to integrate with other enterprise systems such as the CRM to deliver personalized offers? The solutions provider should have a set of web services or batch APIs that can be used for effortless integration.

Using a comprehensive set of APIs exponentially speeds your digital coupon wallet go-to-market strategy. The solution you choose should be easy to integrate into your existing mobile app, have a full feature set to deliver an outstanding customer experience, the ability to manage all aspects of promotion set-up and delivery, and give you the information you need to fully analyze campaign results. Finally, you want to work with a solutions provider who will be a true partner. Someone who knows retail, will share best practices, and is equally committed to your success.