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Tesco, The Body Shop tie affiliate site coupons to Passbook

British brands Tesco and The Body Shop are among a small handful of companies testing a new program that connects an online coupon from an affiliate network to Apple’s Passbook.

The brands are trialing a new mobile wallet tool that doles out coupons from affiliate sites through Tradedoubler. The program with the four retailers launched on Aug. 12 and will run in beta mode for the next three months.

“With mobile coupons, there is a smaller conversion rate than other platforms, and some of the reasons have to do with lack of connectivity, time and security,” said Neil Ranatunga, head of mobile at Tradedoubler UK, London.

“What Passbook allows you to do is store the offer by clicking and saving it to your phone,” he said. “It sounds basic, but it gives the customer a choice.

“Once the customer has downloaded the offer, then that offers the brand a new opportunity to market to that customer at a time that is convenient to them.”

Bridging online and in-store
The four brands trialing the new mobile wallet effort are The Body Shop, Tesco, eFlorist and Seatwave.

Consumers that visit one of Tradedoubler’s online affiliates, such as, can save offers from the site straight to their mobile device that can then be redeemed either in-store or online.

When consumers see a coupon that they want to save, they are directed to a landing page where they can copy and paste a code that can be applied to a retailer’s mobile site or application. Alternatively, users can click-through to create a pass that is stored to the Apple Passbook app.

For example, The Body Shop used the technology to push out an offer for consumers to claim two free products when two other products are bought.

Tesco is using the vouchers to offer consumers deals the first time that they use Tesco Direct, which includes the company’s line of electronics, home furnishings and toys.

Current vouchers from eFlorist offer shoppers free shipping or 10 percent off of their order.

The passes are then automatically updated with new information about the offers and include a push notification feature that marketers can use to remind consumers about the offer when it is about to expire or when they are nearby to the store.

The goal behind these passes is to help the coupon affiliates drive a conversion after consumers leave a site and may be likely to forget about an offer.

The Passbook technology is powered by Passforce.

Mobile for direct response
According to Mr. Ranatunga, brands such as Starbucks and Lufthansa were quick to interact with Passbook as a way to extend loyalty and customer service programs.

However, Tradedoubler ‘s use of Passbook is more focused on a direct response tool for marketers, which is a different approach than many marketers take with Passbook.

For example, eFlorist is purely an online retailer and is therefore using Passbook to drive future online sales.

The Body Shop on the other hand is more focused on an omnichannel approach in getting consumers to shop through whatever channel they can find, per Mr. Ranatunga.

“Up until now, there has been no way to affect the customer journey once a consumer leaves a Web site,” he said. “What Passbook allows us to do is affect that and impact conversion.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York