Yes, mobile coupons haven’t quite caught on here in the US like they have in Japan, Eurpope and other areas, but it doesn’t mean the technology isn’t growing rapidly. A new study sponsored by Juniper Research suggests that mobile coupons will be used by nearly 200 million mobile subscribers globally by 2013. More specifically, The developed nations of the Far East, North America and Western Europe are forecast to account for the major part of the market by 2013.
“Today the overwhelming majority of coupons are paper-based, but the mobile phone is the ultimate individual marketing device and mobile coupon pilots show greatly increased redemption rates — often double digit percentages,” as the report states. While this is true, some significant hurdles were identified, including the lack of suitable point of sale (POS) infrastructure at the supermarket checkout allowing for the quick and easy redemption of coupons, which is critical to the consumer experience. Another obstacle is the fact that most mobile coupon campaigns rely on the use of mobile barcodes or SMS- technologies that not all devices support right now.
The industry is facing some problems, but all in all I think the technology will come around globally in the end. With the advancement of more ubiquitous technologies aside from mobile barcodes, etc. more people and businesses will be able to participate. For example, In the future Near Field Communications (NFC) will become popular in this application. The numbers don’t lie- 200 million users in only 4 years means mobile coupons are expected to catch on in a big way.