Combining merchant deals and local advertising, the smartphone app Yowza!! connects with customers who are already in the mood to shop. Coupons are popular and effective, and the free app makes them more convenient to use.

Local retails attract new customers with mobile coupon apps

Location deals have gained popularity by capitalizing on two strengths of smartphones - their ubiquity and their GPS signal. Since check-in services have begun adding deals to their features, they have successfully made a presence within the coupon market. Coupons have received a digital update from startups that deliver directly to the handset based on nearby merchants, like Yowza!! In addition to being more convenient and encouraging first-time customers, Yowza!! decreases paper usage and resource waste. Paper-based coupons also lack the merchant-side analytics that digital marketing strategies can deliver, creating campaigns that are more efficient while also being more effective.

Merchants can deploy multiple coupons to retail-minded customers

Coupons are a potentially popular marketing tool, particularly during an economically unfavorable period. By adapting them to new technologies that are already present in customers’ everyday life, merchants have a reliable advertising channel that is already in the public’s pockets. Shoppers download the app for free, and vendors publicize a coupon or other deal for $99 per month per storefront. The app user opens Yowza!! and sees a list of nearby stores with deals. National brands such as GameStop, REI and the GAP outlet currently offer coupons on Yowza!! The service is customizable by expiration date and number cap, and can run up to 3 coupons at one time.

Adapting an effective ad format for an increasingly connected customer base

Location-based coupons are user-friendly and convenient, and while they are a new form of coupon, this type of service is accessing a tried-and-true advertising format. Circulars are used by nearly all grocery retailers, according to Media Daily News. 90 percent of these stores “use weekly circulars as their main promotional platform,” and 50 percent of them say these promotions are effective. In 2011, coupon usage increased by 12 percent, and digital coupons made up only 1 percent of all coupons. But the growth in smartphone usage and location apps shows the trends are on the side of startups like Yowza!! for their room to grow in a $4.6 billion coupon economy.

By Ivory King