Receiving or downloading a discount via your telephone is a phenomenon that has begun to catch on. Companies ought to take this idea seriously and take up the challenge of making this a commonplace practice.

Using mobile discount coupons is becoming popular: around one in ten mobile phone users in the United Statessay they will be using them this year, reports an eMarketer study. That goes for “coupons or codes received via SMS, applications and mobile web browsers, and quick response codes for redemption online or offline.” And the number of users should continue to increase in the coming years - to 13.5% in 2012 and 16.5% in 2013, says eMarketer. This trend is even stronger among smartphone users.

One in three smartphone owners in 2013 will use digital coupons

One in five adult smartphone owners will use a digital coupon in 2011. By 2013, this figure will grow to one in three. According to Noah Elkin, Principal Analyst at eMarketer and author of the report: "Even as the sputtering economy attempts its recovery, the popularity of couponing has continued, spurred in part by the burgeoning daily deals space. Mobile coupons will play a central role in broadening the appeal and acceptance of digital coupons among shoppers.” However, the growth of this practice doesn’t only depend on consumers.

Sales professionals need to do more to blaze the trail

Businesses will need to make an effort in this area. Digital coupons have yet to really catch on among many consumer groups. Noah Elkin again: “Consumers have started to use mobile devices more extensively at the top of the shopping funnel - to research products and pricing, for example,” he explains, adding however that “usage has yet to migrate to the bottom of the funnel on a wide scale.”  So retailers must get on board.  "Most consumers have yet to be convinced of the benefits of using their mobile devices as a payment mechanism, for either in-store or online purchases,” concludes Noah Elkin.