Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Location sensitive vouchers & coupons direct to your mobile

Yesterday I tripped over an interesting location based voucher & coupon finding app called VoucherCloud.

There being no time like the present it was swiftly downloaded, a simple 2 stage email & password sign up dealt with and we were off.  I was admittedly slightly amazed at quite how many offers from a broad range of places were jumping out at us, all set out by  location/specified distance from us / specific category to choose from if we wished (although it took us a while to work out that the elephant icon meant attractions!)...

The app shows the range of offers (where there is more than one from a given promoter) and where the nearest locations/branches you can redeem the vouchers at , giving address and contact details / or showing them on a map.


We opted to try redeeming a free coffee (seemingly not even conditional on any other purchase) at the Coffee Republic around the corner from the office. 

We walked in, showed the barrista the voucher on the phone, and voila,  a free coffee.  Too easy!
The app then invited us to input the money we'd saved on the cost of the coffee presumably so we can track out savings / encourage us to value the (free) app. Smart.

I've been seeing location based offers on FourSquare for a while, as per this example, 

but Vouchercloud is more expansive because it's already hooked in to an established online couponing destination, and just bringing this already familiar behaviour / promotional opportunity closer to a point of purchase, which makes a lot of sense for both consumers and marketers alike.

I can totally see why I would use this app over and over again.

Useful = get used repeatedly in the app space = builds loyalty and brand affinity & advocacy.

London living means that I am often meeting friends for coffee, drinks or dinner, but in this mobile age plans often hinge around meeting near a Tube station without a specific plan to meet at a particular pub or restaurant, and so mobile couponing could readily sway plans in favour of one venue over another.

It's easy to see how couponing can work for restaurants and bars, but I see no reason why the same principles couldn't apply for packaged goods brands and beyond. Imagine the opportunity for your brand to call out about a free sample, event or a promotion at one of your retail partners with a branch near by? 

Barclays Bank are already embracing location based services via Layar, with their own Layar that shows not just where the nearest Barclays Branch or ATM is, but also retail partners who accept their cashless RFID / wave and pay card technology, which enables you to pay for low value items just by touching your card against a reader. No signature, no code to punch, no cash to look for.

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