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Paper to Mobile Coupon to Mobile Coupon Wallet: Major Milestones
November 3, 2015

A brief history of mobile couponing companies

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.


1888 – First coupon.

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).

Mid 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.


2010 – 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. Mobile coupons are redeemed by scanning a barcode on the phone at checkout. Target is the first major retailer with the ability to scan mobile coupon 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.

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January 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 mobile coupon every six weeks. The mobile 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.

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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?

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Restaurants Deliver Mobile Offers to Drive Engagement
August 4, 2015

Written by: Joe Pappalardo

Technology has the potential to have a huge impact on the restaurant industry. Two of the current top trends include mobile apps and mobile payment.

However, a potential obstacle in successfully implementing a mobile app or payment solution is the amount of resources they require to build and maintain. A relatively easy-to-deploy and complimentary technology that has tremendous value to restaurateurs is mobile offers.

Specifically, mobile offers and mobile coupons are proven to drive mobile app downloads, engagement and in-app conversions when delivered to a mobile app. In addition, the ability to redeem mobile offers lets restaurateurs track the entire purchase process providing insight into how mobile users shop.


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The Retailer Ultimate Reward – Family and Friend Referral
April 10, 2014

Family or Friend Referral: The Retailer Ultimate Reward

Written by: Dan Slavin

The retailer ultimate reward is when a customer refers family and friends to a brand. The referral is testimony to both product value and the retailer-customer relationship. The retailer is considered a trusted source. So, what are some of the ways a retailer can embrace and nurture the customer relationship continuing the cycle of creating loyal customers from referred consumers? CodeBroker customers have found that offering additional digital services such as a coupon wallet, support for social media and relevancy (location services) are effective strategies to keep customers engaged.

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