Even Cellfire, who’s main purpose was to promote the use of mobile coupons now leans heavily on their club card coupon technology with no sign of a cell phone on their front page.
So what happened?
One problem is the technology. As smart as we, and our phones, are, downloading mobile coupons isn’t as seamless as it should be. My one attempt at using a mobile coupon was for a discount at my local car care center. The coupon showed up on my phone a week after the work was done.
Another issue is the lack of organization. Who has time to sift through a hundred text messages in order to find that coupon code that you’re pretty sure you sent to your phone three days ago. And at the grocery store? I use an average of 25 coupons a week. Finding and showing each coupon to the clerk would be a nightmare.
I think the biggest thing stopping people from using mobile coupons is the unwieldiness of showing the coupon to a clerk. There you are at Starbucks, wallet in hand, hot coffee ready to go and you’ve got to pull up the coupon code then show it to the clerk and hold it steady while they read or scan a barcode. I saw a woman in line at the grocery store doing this yesterday and it looked so awkward.
Mobile coupons are a good idea. They’re an easy way to get $5.00 off your lunch order at that fast food place you visit every week. But as much as we love our deals, mobile coupon technology has to become more uniform and more accessible if it’s going to be the marketing medium of the future.
Have you ever used a mobile coupon? If not, why not?