Tech savvy Mobile vouchers and coupons … an opportunity for The opportunity to use cell phones as a marketing tool and purchase platform is enormous, retailers and especially in the rural market where the majority of the population own a mobile device. Mobile versus paper benefits that mobile marketing present marketers Unlike paper format vouchers and coupons, from a direct-to-customer perspective, we would expect good uptake from the the mobile versions are received and rural segment,” he says. A lot of mobile Mobile vouchers and coupons have stored digitally on a mobile phone (or PC). competitions are already run using out-of- “Although they could be delivered in a 1D emerged as a smarter and more home, TV and radio, which are the dominant or 2D barcode format, in South Africa today secure alternative to paper-based they are typically delivered by SMS using forms of advertising in the rural sector as a versions. This is a particularly mass medium. a numeric code,” says Rolfe. The reason useful tool for both retailers and for this is that most retail point of sale The ultimate marketing tool marketers to reach the widespread (POS) systems cannot accept the more sophisticated 1D/2D formats, which require Rolfe takes us through the opportunities customer base in rural areas, the dedicated scanners at POS. for mobile vouchers and coupons in three majority of which own cell phones. sectors, all of which seem to be viable One of the main strengths of a mobile Wholesale Business spoke to Chris platforms: voucher versus a paper voucher is the Rolfe, CEO of Mobilitrix about the greater distribution capabilities, says Rolfe. opportunities and room for growth They can be distributed more widely using Forecourts in mobile vouchers and coupons. online, print, radio, TV, outdoor or direct ■ The key product in our opinion will advertising opportunities. In addition, a be the coupon (i.e. the SKU/line item Mobile vouchers and coupons mobile voucher can be distributed more linked discount of a specific brand). Fuel defined intelligently using customer feedback companies are not allowed to discount A voucher has a specific monetary value, from questionnaires or delivered based fuel, and so far we have seem more which can be used as payment for any on customer actions. “The improved interest in driving promotions around products and service, while a coupon has a distribution is a key driver in ensuring supplier brand (Cadbury’s, Coca Cola, specific monetary value that only applies higher redemption rates for digital vouchers Unilever) that attract travellers to stop to a specific product or SKU. “Typically, compared to traditional paper vouchers,” he at a particular forecourt. a coupon allows a consumer to buy the says. ■ Although forecourts typically attract product at a discounted rate, or receive a higher LSM, we think the scope for added value (e.g. buy one and get one free) Using cell phone marketing differentiating one fuel station from whereas a coupon can only be used for that in the lower end, informal retail another using vouchers/coupons will be specific product and cannot be used for sector a useful tool to attract the higher LSM general spend,” Rolfe explains. Rolfe notes that there is very little direct market segment as well. The convenience and greater distribution marketing in the rural segment at present, are clear from the start – both mobile which means that mobile – and its near Township stores vouchers and coupons are issued, 100% reach in SA households – presents ■ Mobile vouchers and coupons present distributed, redeemed, reconciled and the best direct-to-customer channel for a huge opportunity for this segment. settled digitally whereas the paper-based marketers and retailers. “Disposable income Currently spaza shops, tuck shops, versions rely on a manual process for each is lower in the rural areas that urban areas, taverns and shebeens do not have access of the steps above. and given the low cost and hassle free to paper based voucher alternatives (the wholesalebusiness Issue 1, 2011 29 Tech savvy Coupon Clearing Bureau does not service campaigns offer higher redemption rates engage with any advertising medium using this market – only the FMCG retail as all steps along the way are 100% SMS, WAP, USSD or mobile applications” market). The ability to redeem vouchers measurable. This means that the exact says Rolfe. Mobile voucher campaigns and coupons in the informal sector is campaign return on investment (ROI) can can help achieve a variety of sales and likely to be bigger than the FMCG sector be measured against specific objectives and marketing objectives including: in 3-4 years in our opinion. marketing requirements. ■ Increase sales of a product or product ■ Again the mobile reach in this informal line in a specific retail environment market sector is 100% – so a mobile Enhanced distribution capabilities – and at a lower cost ■ Encourage product trial of a new product voucher/coupon campaign should be A mobile voucher is sent to a consumer’s ■ Encourage consumers to purchase across attractive given the lack of an alternative. mobile phone and should only incur the product lines (up-sell / cross-sell) In addition, we know that brands and suppliers want to push this as an option cost for requesting the voucher. This cost is ■ Respond to competitor offers to move inventory, promote new typically the cost of an SMS, WAP or USSD. ■ Sell overstocked products or slow moving products, or encourage repeat purchase In the event that the customer receives the products and brand loyalty. voucher to their phone because they have ■ Clear seasonal items opted in to specific group; there is no cost ■ Finally there is an element of cache that ■ Reward repeat purchase and loyalty to them in that scenario. the mobile phone presents to this market ■ Increase average basket size value segment and the view is that vouchers Real-time redemption versus ■ Increase foot traffic to a specific store and coupons on the phone will be very manual process attractive to this price-wise consumer. ■ Increase frequency of purchase A mobile voucher is validated in real-time Wholesalers and Cash & Carries at the POS in store. The POS connects The importance of customer ■ So far we have found large interest in via a switch to the issuer of the mobile profiling and targeting voucher to check the exact status of that wholesalers who sell into the tavern, “To increase the 2% redemption rate voucher. For a mobile coupon, the real time spaza and tuck shop retailers. The big that is currently achieved using paper- redemption includes checking to see if that attraction for wholesalers is that they based vouchers and coupons a more product (or SKU) is actually present in the can now get to know their cash (faceless) targeted distribution approach is required,” basket at that time. customer using the survey and mobile comments Rolfe. voucher/coupon products. The bakkie The campaign should rely on more Reduced fraud and buyer for a spaza shop is typically a cash relevant data to intelligently manage increased security buyer, driven by price, needs constant the distribution process. This data can be Paper vouchers can be copied relatively up-selling to buy greater volume and captured and filtered by customer responses easily and are open to abuse by staff and looks for brands at good prices, over (to say a mobile survey), in store data suppliers. A mobile voucher can be fraud service from a particular wholesale/cash (including basket items) or store location free for a number of reasons, namely: and carry store. that the customer visits. ■ Unique codes can be issued that are ■ Wholesalers have also expressed an interest in using the mobile voucher/ specific to a customer’s mobile number Cost effective marketing coupon products to move time ■ Vouchers are validated in real-time and campaign sensitive stock (expiring or old) and can be blocked if necessary at the time Typically a mobile voucher or coupon to communicate directly with buyers/ of redemption at the POS should cost between R0.50 – R2.00 in customers as the need to meet monthly ■ The voucher number is taken out of the South African market place. That cost volume targets from suppliers (Unilever, circulation once it has been redeemed, may be adjusted depending on campaign Tiger Brands etc). and this prevents re-circulation or re-use volumes, customer survey costs, data analytics and other services that provide Advantages of using mobile Type of campaigns that can valuable insights into the mobile consumer’s vouchers and coupons for be implemented using mobile purchasing habits. retailers and marketers vouchers This cost should include the issue, “It is optimal that any mobile voucher distribution and redemption of the mobile Mobile vouchers and coupons or coupon campaign be integrated into voucher or mobile coupon, although offer higher redemption rates different marketing channels and does not reconciliation and settlement may incur Based on more intelligent data and reside as a stand-alone opportunity. The further charges, depending on the nature of improved profiling, mobile voucher beauty of the mobile phone is that it can the campaign. 30 wholesalebusiness Issue 1, 2011
"Mobile vouchers and coupons"