Android – Making Mobile Coupons Mainstream


Anyone who pays attention to mobile technology will confess that mobile coupons are an “up and coming prospect” for the industry. But to present day, the sizzle of the mobile coupon concept is only met with fizzle from mobile coupon implementation. Why the disconnect?

The reasons Mobile Coupons haven’t taken off are fairly basic:

  1. The number of mobile phone users who access “extra curricular” features are not only limited, but spread across handset manufacturers, mobile carriers, handset OS platforms and geographic boundaries making logical, helpful mass distribution a conundrum.
  2. The cost of reaching targeted consumers relative to the potential revenue generated simply doesn’t make it worthwhile for advertisers at the moment.
  3. The process for consumers to retrieve mobile coupons is currently as far from “habit forming” as possible. It’s an inconvenience and for this reason they don’t even try.
  4. If DO go through the inconvenience, they are likely to be left unrewarded as the vast majority of retailers and service providers don’t offer mobile coupons.

You see it is a bit of a Catch 22. The consumers don’t bother with mobile coupons because they are irrelevant in terms of offerings. Advertisers don’t plop down the money because consumers view them as irrelevant and they aren’t likely to earn a return on their investment. But all that is about to change… courtesy of Android.

Android will fulfill the consumer and advertiser end of the bargain in the following ways:

  • Easy for consumers to just download one app.
  • Easy to use after download (ex: view coupons for “select category” nearby)
  • Puts this same application into the hands of a mass population who are spread across handsets, carriers and location but use the software the same.

The question is, who will step up to the plate and make the best Android App involving coupons? The first round of the Android Developer Challenge has passed and we’re wondering how many entries were coupon based. Anybody?

Google themselves is surely trying to capitalize on the value of their own platform. Don’t believe us? They’ve kind of said so themselves. It won’t be hard to tweak a few things and make this applicable to Android.

By the way, something we’re really, really curious about: is Google currently developing a suite of their own Google Android Applications that will compete directly with the 3rd party developers submitting their work to the ADC? Because if so… that could get sticky. But at the same time… we can’t imagine they wouldn’t?

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. We are working on an Android Mobile Coupon App that will access our mobile advertising platform. Dizgo (discounts-on-the-go) provides the world’s first self-service mobile advertising system that lets retailers create real-time demand for their products and services. Consumers use simple SMS to search for deals on the products and services they are currently interested in (i.e., send a txt for “pizza” or “happy hour” and they will recieve back related deals from nearby retailers. Dizgo also gives loyal consumers the ability to subscribe to deal alerts, so they can be the first to find out about real-time deals going on at their favorite retailers. Learn more at http://www.dizgo.com

  2. We have developed a Mobile coupon app and we are going to launch it just after When Google Phone will be availabe int the market.

    Our Application name is RivePoint..

    User can get Coupons of their interest from the near vendors (restorant)by using our Application.
    User can save them into their mobile phones and can show it to vendor selected vendor.

  3. Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

    So, how about this? Let’s keep it simple. If you build it, they will come.

    OK, so we built it and now we’re launching in June.

    We recently launched http://www.GripOffs.com, a central mobile website for advertisers to create, upload, edit, and, in REAL-TIME, actually see any views/redemptions of their particular coupon campaign. The coupons are barcoded, can be changed in an Instant, and are redeembable at the point of purchae by the Users.

    The advertisers, for the fist time, have the ability to create their own Instant Global Advertisement and monitor the analytics, in real-time, creating the best alternative for mobile advertising available. There is nothing like it on the market.

    ANY OTHER TYPE OF ADVERTISING causes the advertiser to WAIT for it to ‘hit’ (whether it’s online, print, tv/radio, or mobile and, then, WAIT for the results. By the way, paper coupons generate 1%, actually through many of the test results in the past few years, the redemption rates are closer to 10-25%+ redemption.

    With GripOffs which uses patent pending PipPops – Partners In Profit Point Of Purchase Savings system – there’s no waiting EVER. It’s Instant Change Forever. For the Users it’s All About Preference and FREE.

    Most important: It’s not you’re father’s coupon program.

    Advertiser’s are learning that a “fitty cent” saving on a burger just doesn’t quite pique our interest, but a $20 discount at Tavern On The Green would be a serious effort for an advertiser to do more than just stick a big toe in the water.

    Speaking of ‘stickiness’ we have marketing campaigns that will improve that stickiness for the advertisers. With the amount of advertisers on the system and their ability to change their ads at will, plus the new ones that will be added every week, users will want to come back and see what the specials are today.

    As far as the Advertisers, speaking of the ‘big toe in the water’, we encourage them to jump in with both feet; in fact, we encourage them to take a giant leap. In fact, we give them at least a two week FREE TRIAL just to play with it to see for themselves the actual views and redemptions of their offers, by the type of person and all of their generic information, so that he sees exactly where every dollar goes, when the offers are looked at, when the offers are redeemed, when the offers are looked at, but not redeemed and whether this campaign worked better than another one,etc. The analytics are able to be scrutinized with changes being able to be made instantly.

    If you’re an advertiser and at all interested in complementing your current advertising campaign and be on the cutting-edge with a state of the art INSTANT software system allowing for Instant savings and a win-win-win situation for all, try it, you’ll like it.

    If you’re a user (aren’t most of us?), then recommend it to your favorite places. Everyone we’ve showed it to: loves it, thinks it’s cool, can’t wait to use it, and have offered many suggestions that are currently being implemented.

    At this point, it’s working and working good for our June launch. Advertisers are screaming for something like this. Users polled said they would prefer (70%) the intrusion of a text or other type of message for available discounts than no message and discounts at all. That’s understandable. Everybody likes to get a real deal.

    But, if there’s a way where the advertiser can Instant Change Forever and, as important, combine it with the real-time analytics, there isn’t anything out there yet that’s faster than RIGHT NOW! Get A Grip. Enjoy shopping again.

    As stated, we have launched, are offering a couple of free weeks to try the thing out and are willing to work with anybody to help them understand the keys to this mobile marketing industry.

    It doesn’t have to be so confusing, but it is because everybody is sitting there realizing that it has such benefits for the Advertisers, Users, and Environment, but just can’t figure how to put it all together at one time.

    Everyday, there’s a report out about the potential, but the ‘challenges’ to reach that potential.

    Folks, this wheel has been invented.

    It’s somewhere an advertiser can, using his computer/laptop, all the while having his mobi open to his ad on GripOffs, make any changes or modifications and hit “Submit.” Reaching over and hitting “Refresh” on his mobi, he will see that INSTANTLY the change has been made. Instant Global Marketing, guys.

    Yes, it will continue to be improved, mostly when retailers have the advanced devices at the point of purchase to allow people to pay, save, store, and, truly know what they’re getting for their money.

    FREE MOBILE INSTANT PAPERLESS DIGITAL coupons are here to stay. Last year, on average, every man, woman, and child in the US received 67 cataLOGs. It is a total waste and a lack of responsibility on our parts. There are alternatives. We have the best.

    Users, simply by using their mobi, can go to the website, and see all of the offers available in the area they’re in. Advertisers can change their ads every minute, should they want, or twice a day, or every day at a particular time throughout their entire campaign. There’s nothing like it on the market. Think of an entertainment/diners and any other things such as shopping, travel, sports, etc. club card only on your mobi where and when you need it at the point of purchase.

    PipPops is THE FIRST INSTANT mobile coupon that is available to the User for free, simply by going to the http://www.GripOffs.com site and selecting their preference and then using it at the point of purchase, plus, all the while giving the Advertiser criticial information for him to focus on surgically targeting his advertising campaigns in REAL-TIME.

    Across the world, more people access the Internet using their mobi than do by using a computer.

    In many countries, it would take too long for the infrastructure for computers to be functional, but satellite works fine. With continuing advancements in mobile devices, a major world-wide social change is afoot and the impetus is going to begin with the way that we use our mobi in the US. GripOffs is poised to play a key role in that impetus.

    The timing is right. It’s a “perfect storm” for mobis.

    Everybody has them. The carriers will be changing. The advertisers will be using it because it works and there’s nothing better out there and they’re shareholders will demand that they be aggressively involved and the Users will be using it like they’ve been using it all of their lives. It is coming together at the same time – it has to – which is NOW!

    We have alot of problems in the world to deal with today, but the economy is critical and retailers are looking for something/anything. The problem is the thinking. There was a report a couple of days ago where in one paragraph, they’re saying that many companies are going to make a lot of money in mobile coupons and marketing. But, in the next paragraph, they have these “people in the know” (who truly act as if they have absolutely no clue) who are saying it’s going to happen, but it’s going to be a very, very, slow process (years and years) until the system can be developed that works and makes sense and everybody starts using and we all live happily ever after.

    Yea, that’s the ticket. Sure. That’s exactly what’s going to happen. Not over years, though, but NOW and over the next few months.

    Our system is ready. If the advertisers from the local to the national and global laid their cards out on the table and basically do more than putting their best foot forward, but go above and beyond, “Give Us More Than Your Best Shot”, this will be an unbelievable kick-off for mobile use in this country like never before.

    Consumers are tired of gimmicks and trickerage, but they’re not tired of fair and/or great deals.

    Let me give one final quick example:

    If I’m a car dealer, I’ve advertised using every type of medium that I can think of and still have everybody (my salespeople) standing around in groups ready to pounce. It’s uncomfortable for the customer and, surely, uncomfortable for the car sales person because other than saying, “Hi, what can I help you with today?” And, getting the typical response of “I’m just looking.” What’s transpires next is the missing link. {What happens next is everybody’s winging it} – The sales person’s been taught that you have to get them to take a test drive; that’s the best ‘next’ step to get them into the booth for the close.

    A car dealers main goal (of course, selling cars and building long term relationships with their customers, run a clean service center – always on time for appoints – etc.) is to get potential customers to get behind the wheel of the car and take it for a test drive. It’s key. It’s one of the things that excellent car salespeople do to ensure they’re going down the right path. Does it work for them, like they’d like it to?

    So, what does all of this have to do with ‘mobile coupons’ and GripOffs?

    Everything! Even thought it’s a simple example that most of us would be familiar with, is it the best way for the dealership to accomplish their goal of getting someone to come in and take a test drive, if it’s true that the test drive is key? Maybe.

    We think there’s a better way.

    There is such a thing as “shopping mode.” When somebody is in “shopping mode” they are going to buy.

    So, keeping the same car dealer example, let’s carry it over to using GripOffs.

    You’re getting ready for lunch today and are used to checking GripOffs to see who’s offering what specials and where you and you’re buddy are going to go grab a bite to eat.

    While checking you come across Don Reid Ford who’s offering a “Drive Your Lunch For $50 CASH.” You read the small print and all you (or your buddy) have to do is to go the dealership and show them the offer, take a test drive and get your ‘Fitty Dollars”.

    There’s got to be a catch – they’re always is – but you’ve been using this GripOffs, it’s saved you a nice chunk of change, so you can’t imagine that there’s a catch, but, come on, we’re talking car salespeople – BUT – “let’s at least go check it out, OK?” OK, and, they do.

    Is there any benefit here? Is there a catch? Of course, you and your buddy realize that advertising is to try to get you to buy their products, so you know they’re going to try to sell you a car, but the $50 lunch money is a pretty good lure – heck, you could even go test drive the car, stop at BK and end up with $40 left over. Plus, you know you’re not going to buy the car today, anyway, right?

    What did all of this do? What’s the normal lead cost been to the car dealer? Guaranteed it’s larger than $50! And, also, guaranteed that the dealer will have a better chance of selling a car to a lifelong future customer if he at least gets that person in there to drive the car. If he can’t do that, he’s got a big problem, no matter how he tries to do it.

    Could a progam like GripOffs help him? What about an airlines or sports team with extra tickets to sell? They’re going to have to fly that bird anyway, may as well fill the seats, right? The uses of the PipPops system are myriad, but with the introduction of the new http://www.GripOffs.com, we’re leading the pack.

    Comments, tips and ideas are always and all welcome. Thanks for the opportunity to elaborate somewhat as to what’s truly going on and coming in this exploding industry.

  4. Does anyone know if an Android API is being developed to support the Near Field Communications http://www.nfc-forum.org/specs/ specifications? This goes beyond coupons to the iWallet with credit cards, tickets, coupons, drivers license all being securely kept on the device.

  5. I for one am actually investing in launching mobile coupon applications. I expect that we’ll see a lot more of these sites in the future and also that “sign up for mobile coupons” buttons will become as common on websites as “sign up for our newsletter” ones.

  6. Hello all,

    If you are into mobile coupons, you should check out Yowza! It’s now the third most popular app in the lifestyle section of the app store, and is currently working with Dairy Queen, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sports Authority, and a bunch of local shops and restaurants.

    The brochure is available at http://www.retailsmartguys.com/Yowza.pdf.

    Right now, it’s super cheap for retailers to get involved. The pricing is in the brochure.

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