Prior to the advent of the Internet, consumers had little choice when it came to shopping and looking for deals. Sales fliers and word-of-mouth were how consumers learned of impending sales, and it wasn’t unheard of to spend an entire afternoon going from store to store in an attempt to find the best deal. Now, however, a few clicks of the mouse will yield results beyond most shoppers’ dreams.
Mobile Coupon Aggregators and Apps
Mobile coupon aggregators are able to offer potential customers up-to-the-minute deals when they subscribe or opt-in to the service. Websites such as Cellfire, Yowza, and Zavers encourage users to sign up to get multiple local promotions in one place. By using an opt-in model, subscribers are able to choose exactly what they want to receive. The fact that they choose the offers they wish to receive makes it almost certain that they’ll read the text message and save it because of the coupon code.
As smartphone use rises with the addition of newer, feature-rich mobile phones, software companies are taking advantage of the newer and more user-friendly cell phone applications. MobiQpons, another mobile coupon aggregator, uses the GPS feature on a cell phone to locate potential customers. It then offers users coupons for restaurants and retailers in the vicinity of their homes or work places, taking advantage of the probability that a subscriber will be more likely to use a coupon that offers a discount for a business they patronize anyway.
Several websites function as all-inclusive clearing houses for the best deals, coupons and discounts on the Internet. One of those places, CouponCraze, organizes their inventory in such a way as to separate new coupons from those that expire soon, exclusives, and coupons for specific stores — making the site much easier to navigate. FatWallet is another good site, albeit less organized and reliable; people who are looking for a discount on specific items like laptops will benefit most from the site.
Social Media Sites
Facebook is one of the social media sites that allow businesses to create pages as a way to communicate with potential customers, while developing a broader presence in the community. Businesses will often take advantage of the “like” feature, using it to their advantage by offering potential customers, coupons or deals for liking their page. Twitter does the same thing by allowing businesses to post tweets up to 140 characters that include a shortened link directing users to a specific offer from that business.
Retailers reaped the rewards of the busiest holiday spending week ever in December, but the record wasn’t a shocker. eBay and PayPal anticipated a significant mobile shopping spike in late 2011, describing a growing trend that has been dubbed “Couch Commerce”. Mobile and tablet applications invited eBay shoppers to take advantage of Daily Deals taken from the auction giant’s bestseller listings, offering consumers huge discounts and free shipping.
As technology continues to evolve, people are drawn to newer and more feature-rich mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets allow people to surf the Internet or shop for anything at any time. There is no question that a service that offers a discount on appealing merchandise will make the prospect of shopping much more inviting – no matter what the marketplace. Mobile devices represent the technology of the future, and smart businesses should drive their marketing towards an increasingly mobile-driven society.