Omnichannel Mobile Coupons. Yes, it can be done!

omnichannel mobile coupons

Retailers Deliver a Superior Customer Experience with Omnichannel Mobile Coupons

Written by: Dan Slavin

There’s a subtle difference between the meaning of the terms multi- and omni-channel and a palpable difference between the amounts of work required to provide a multi- versus omnichannel customer experience. On the surface, both terms mean to provide customers with more than one avenue to receive information and offers. However, the term omni-channel also includes the ability to provide the same customer experience across more than one medium. The number of channels will depend on how many options a retailer wants to provide to their customers.

In the digital world, email has proven to be a cost effective mechanism for delivering marketing messages to customers. According to Experian, for every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment. Since most consumers now open email from their mobile device, it makes sense for retailers to expand email marketing efforts and explore other mobile channels such as SMS, mobile web, Passbook, and a retailer’s mobile app.

The pace of SMS deployment and app development by retailers has picked up significantly in the past 12 months as research shows customers who engage with a retailer’s app spend more. And, retailers are finding new and exciting ways to engage with their customers using these channels. However, consumers agree that the most appreciated content that can be delivered on a mobile device is a mobile coupon. SMS coupons are redeemed 8 times more than emailed offers and 75% of people prefer to receive offers over any other form of call to action (TextMarketer).

So, what’s stopping retailers from delivering scores of mobile coupons to their customers on multiple channels: liability concerns and providing the omnichannel customer experience.

A proven strategy to minimize offer liability and provide a consistent customer experience is to deliver an omnichannel mobile coupon – the same mobile coupon across all channels. Instead of giving a customer three different coupons in three different channels, retailers should provide the same mobile coupon in all three channels. Retailers significantly minimize their liability because there is only one ‘25% off your next purchase’ coupon as opposed to three 25% off mobile coupons per customer. Supporting more than one channel lets the consumer view and use the omnichannel mobile coupon in the channel most convenient to them. For example, a retailer delivers a coupon via email. The customer views the coupon on their desktop and decides to download it to their mobile device. She opens the coupon in the retailer’s smartphone app and saves it to Passbook to use the next time she’s running errands – that same afternoon.

Once an omnichannel mobile coupon is redeemed, it should simultaneously expire in all channels as well. The retailer is guaranteed that the coupon is used once and only once and there’s no confusion on the part of the customer if the coupon is valid or expired.

Customers expect a lot when using their digital devices to shop. The number one factor in abandoning a retailer’s site is a negative experience. In addition, research has shown that omnichannel shoppers spend 15-30% more than multi-channel shoppers. From a retailer’s perspective, creating a true omnichannel experience means delivering the content when and where the customer expects it and that the shopping experience is defined by how the customer interacts with the retailer regardless of the channel. Using one-time-use omnichannel mobile coupons is a proven strategy to maintain a positive and consistent customer experience.