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Mobile coupon users more willing to switch brands: report

The findings suggest that marketers have an opportunity to attract new customers with a well-executed mobile coupon campaign. The opportunity is not limited to bargain hunters, either, with 26 percent of adults in high-income households reporting that they use mobile coupons when shopping for food.

“Couponing is another long-established behavior that has been transferred, at least partly, to mobile devices,” said Kevin King, senior vice president of mobile product management at GfK MRI. “It opens up a world of new opportunity for brands.

“But they need to stay aware that mobile coupon users may be willing to switch brands more readily – so be sure your deal is compelling to assure that the final sale is yours,” he said.

“Our data shows that even upscale food shoppers show significant mobile coupon use – and these consumers may also be more open to brand switching. This suggests that the brand switching may or may not be price related.”

The findings are the latest insights from GfK MRI’s The Survey of the American Consumer.

Relying on mobile coupons
The research shows that 33 percent of U.S. adults agree completely or somewhat with the statement “I rely on mobile coupons while food shopping.”

Additionally, 60 percent of mobile coupon users say they will “gladly switch brands to use a coupon,” compared to 49 percent of all consumers.

Contextually relevant coupons are important to mobile users, according to the research, with 48 percent of users saying they like to receive mobile coupons based on their current location. In comparison, only 36 percent of the general popular likes to receive location-based offers.

Upscale food buyers
The research also found that upscale food buyers are mobile coupon fans. These consumers also display strong interest in switching brands for the sake of using a coupon – 53 percent said they would do – and receive location-based coupons –51 percent are interested in them.

By age, mobile coupon use when food shopping is reported by 42 percent of 18 to 34 year olds, the highest level among key age groups. In comparison, just 31 percent of those between the ages 35 and 54 report using mobile coupons.

The importance of location-based coupons on mobile is reinforced by research from Koupon Media, which found that 65 percent of convenience store shoppers who use mobile coupons redeem offers within five minutes, pointing to the need to target consumers who are nearby or in a store (see story).

“Location-based coupons are a promising application of mobile couponing, and we see these adopters – including higher-income consumers – showing interest in this new technology,” Mr. King said. “This suggests one possible path for the future of mobile coupons.”