By Derrek J. Hull, Blogger-in-Chief
The world’s largest online coupon site, as well as a 2012 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show exhibiting company RetailMeNot is planning a roll out its paperless on-the-go credit card-linked coupons this summer with retailers nation-wide. And because there's no embarrassment during redemption, it’s also working to get big restaurant chains to join in the fun.
Here's how it works. A consumer visits the RetailMeNot site, enters their credit card number and selects discounts to load onto a card. Then when it comes to paying with that card online or at a brick-and-mortar store, the discount is automatically deducted from the total. Yep, it's really that quick and easy.
RetailMeNot’s successful test at SXSW let people sign up for $2 off one of many Austin food trucks. The result? More than 6,000 people visited the ”What The Truck?” promotion site, and over 500 people signed up. Fifty percent of people who registered redeemed the discount by paying with their credit card, which then magically appeared on their receipt. That’s an impressive conversion rate for an unfamiliar discount service although not entirely surprising given that consumers exhibit different shopping behaviors on a handheld device versus a PC or laptop.
Here are some facts about the mobile market:
- According to a January 2012 report in eMarketer, mobile commerce sales increased by 91% in 2011 reaching almost $7 billion. That number is forecasted to grow to $31 billion by 2015.
- According to an April 2011 report by comScore, if you factor in all of the devices that use iOS including iPhones, iPads and iPod touches, Apple reached 37.9 million people. Android, according to the data, reached 23.8 million on phones and tablets.
The mobile app allows for loading coupons to your card while on the go (or right before you purchase), and shoppers can even set up alerts about new discounts of their favorite stores.
RetailMeNot’s CardSpring API system is secure because the user doesn't enter an expiration date, security code, or billing address. And unlike offline discount provider Plink, a consumer won't go through the hassle or worry of providing an online banking username and password. That’s because RetailMeNot’s partnership with First Data lets it check credit card history for purchases.
And future payments via Square, Venmo, Google Wallet, or another NFC system, could still be processed through that same credit card number, allowing RetailMeNot’s card-linked discounts to still be applied. The CardSpring API could also be used to load loyalty programs and rewards right onto a credit card.
In addition to its extensive online coupon inventory, RetailMeNot intends to expand the platform to feature curated and exclusive in-store and mobile optimized deals from retailers wanting to reach the increasingly large population of mobile consumers.
Be sure to check out RetailMeNot at NRA Show 2012, set to take place at its new dates May 5-8 at Chicago's McCormick Place. If you haven't already registered to attend the Show, go to www.restaurant.org/show and register. In addition to Twitter @NRAShow and Facebook, you can also join IWSB and the NRA Show on Linkedin and YouTube.
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