Mobile couponing catches on with U.S. consumers

After a slow start, mobile couponing is gaining traction among U.S. consumers.

eMarketer forecasts that mobile coupon users will increase from just over half of adult digital coupon users in 2013 to 83 percent of U.S. adult digital coupon users in 2016.

The increasing use of mobile coupons is being driven by greater smartphone and tablet adoption, and the growing number of digital channels offering coupons accessed on mobile devices, such as mobile apps, daily deals and group buying sites, email and social networks, explains eMarketer.

Of mobile coupon users, tablet users will be more likely to redeem a coupon than smartphone users this year--80.2 percent versus 75.4 percent--according to eMarketer. Tablets are used more frequently than smartphones for in-home digital purchases, which increases tablet users coupon use. Most smartphone mobile coupon users redeem their coupons in brick-and-mortar stores, the publication explains.

A recent study by AlixPartners finds a similar enthusiasm for mobile coupons, which is fueling a rise in mobile shopping. in In the firm's most recent survey, nearly three-quarters of smartphone and tablet owners reported that they use mobile shopping features, up from 65 percent at the end of 2012.

"Digital and mobile coupons have become an important shopping tool for consumers and appear to have a significant impact on what consumers choose to buy and at what price, across all age groups," AlixPartners observes.

The study finds that 61 percent of smartphone/tablet owners report regularly receiving mobile or digital coupons; 26 percent bought an item they did not plan to buy because they received a coupon; and 23 percent bought an item they were interested in from a physical retailer who offered a lower price.

"When consumers are aware and informed, adoption of digital couponing appears to be very strong. The value to consumers is real and measureable in their resulting retail purchase decisions," says Bob Hedges, managing director at AlixPartners.

For more:
- read the eMarketer article
- check out the AlixPartners release

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