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September 2, 2014

Global online voucher use set to double by 2017

Many retailers still lack the scanning technology in order to fully benefit, however.

By Vinod

Online shoppers are becoming an increasingly thrifty bunch, according to new research which found that the number of online vouchers or ‘eCoupons’ used worldwide will hit 31bn in the next three years.

This is almost double the amount seen this year, which was 16bn, with the growth being driven by mass uptake of mobile coupons, as sites such as VoucherCloud see a sharp rise in visits.

Mobile users will also inspire an ‘evolution’ in customer behaviour, as shoppers increasingly browse online for money-off coupons prior to making either in-store or online purchases.

The report also claimed that even with context-driven offers, consumers were increasingly storing the coupons on-device (often in a wallet such as Passbook, Samsung Wallet or Google Wallet) and redeeming them at a later date.

However, there will still be some growth in the PAH (print at home) space, the report by analyst house Juniper Research predicted.

As for retailers, the report found that many still lack the necessary scanning infrastructure to process eCoupons, meaning they miss out on significant income, and are often also failing to integrate eCoupons with their social media platforms, which often provide a key way to deliver targeted offerings.

Several high-profile data thefts, such as that which hit Tesco in early 2013, have also affected uptake of loyalty cards and other opportunities for targeted couponing, suggesting some brands still have work to do in attracting customers.

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"Coupons should offer discounts on products that a consumer might be interested in purchasing, rather than those purchased on a regular basis," said report author Dr Windsor Holden. "Otherwise, coupon redemption represents a loss to the brand or retailer."


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