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Valpak integrates augmented reality for easier coupon discovery

Valpak has made it easier for consumers to find coupons for nearby restaurants and services with its new augmented reality feature in its mobile application.

The direct marketing company introduced augmented reality coupons in August through its Blue Envelope, but consumers can now access the new technology without the envelop, straight from their phone. The feature lets consumers hold their phone up to see nearby businesses that are offering a Valpak coupon.

“Our goal was to reach consumers when they are in decision-making mode, spread awareness of our local advertisers as well as the Valpak app and offer a fun and engaging way for our users to access local coupons,” said Michael Vivio, president of Cox Target Media, provider of Valpak, Largo, FL.

“The utility and value the Valpak app provides with augmented reality functionality also helps merchants’ offers get found and used by consumers,” he said. “Whether it’s map, list, or augmented reality-based, the Valpak app makes it easy for consumers to find offers nearby using geo-location in the app.

“Although augmented reality has actually been around for quite some time now, Valpak wanted to come up with a creative way to use the technology in a way that would delight our users and enable them to discover new businesses around them that offered money-saving coupons.”

Mobile coupons
Valpak provides consumers with mobile coupons through its app that is available in Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

Consumers can search the coupons by store, category or name. With the new augmented reality feature, consumers can also easily view coupons for stores that are close by.

Once consumers open the Valpak app and click on the augmented reality icon on the homescreen, they can hold the phone to the horizon and coupons will pop up for nearby stores.

By showing consumers nearby coupons, Valpak is making it easier for them to actually use them. If a consumer is looking for a pizza shop and one particular one is offering a Valpak coupon, this feature is a great way for the consumer to figure it out.

Valpak worked with WillowTree Apps to create both the app and the augmented reality feature.

Augmenting reality
Valpak is not new to the augmented reality technology.

Earlier this year, Valpak added the augmented reality feature to its mailing envelops to provide geographically-aware coupons (see story).

Now that the feature is integrated into the app directly, consumers do not need the envelop to trigger the feature.

Valpak takes mobile seriously, and after integrating with Apple’s Passbook, Windows Mobile Wallet and Google Wallet, augmented reality seemed like the best next step.

“As you know, people are increasingly accessing information through their mobile phones and less and less through desktop and laptop computers,” Mr. Vivio said. “Mobile technology may be replacing TV and radio but at the same time, it is allowing us to deliver our content to a new and valuable demographic.

“Valpak is experiencing a large increase in our mobile website traffic, mobile app download and the use of our offers in digital wallets,” he said. “Because of the growth in consumer use in smartphones, tablets, and soon, wearables, combined with increased consumer use of our native mobile channels and those of our syndication partners, Valpak has made the investment in developing the mobile app for iOS smartphones, iPad, Android and several other mobile operating systems.

“Valpak’s mobile strategy is to help families save money anywhere, at anytime at work, work, or at play. Mobile is an important channel in delivering our local offers to the right consumer, at the right time, and at the right place.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York