Dominos (www.dominos.com), in the USA anyway, have taken a real leap forward in my opinion with their new mobile coupon offering.
For some time now, Dominos have encouraged customers to 'opt-in' to their mobile medium i.e. give details of nearest store, mobile number and permission to be contacted via text. They have partnered with www.air2web.com/ who look after the mobile coupon marketing for them. Opt in customers then receive 'mobile coupons' which they can use when they are buying online or online via dominos mobile site. As dominos know the geographic location of customers (because of the store location) they can offer local specific offers through their coupons.
Last year Dominos signed up one million people to opt in to receive mobile coupons, three times as many signups as the previous year showing their customers acceptance to that type of mobile couponing.
Franchise operators will be encouraged to use the new mobile couponing, but it's up to the local businesses to decide on the specific offers as tastes and products will vary geographically. Their wap site - mobile.dominos.com looks as if it's only set up to accepts orders from the States and I wonder if they will be adding this to their arsenal here locally. It's really a step in the right direction for mobiles, mobile coupons and mobile marketing.
So many people have tried to crack the mobile coupons with different levels of success. There are plenty of applications available for mobile coupons, but some of them limited and quiet unexciting. Many of them simply send codes to opt in customers for particular products. The recipient then goes to a participating outlet and, when making the purchase at the till, shows the code on the phone to the assistant to get the relevant discount.
Whilst I think it's getting there, it's far from perfect as the assistant has "erase" the coupon on the phone for control purposes. US company Cellfire have been pushing this particular system for some time and with some success it has to be said. Some investors feel that that have the right business model as they recently raised a cool $12m in funding.
But I think that to really see take up on couponing the last mile would have to be changed. Handing your phone to a sales assistant is really the same as handing in a printed coupon.
Devices should to be available at the till where the mobile phone can be scanned, the discount noted and automatically erased from the phone – all without the phone leaving the customers hand.
This system is available for mobile ticketing and is being adopted by a huge number of event venues and transport businesses. Event attendees or passengers leave their mobile numbers when booking a ticket and a 2D barcode is then sent to them as a MMS. They simply 'scan' that MMS picture in custom build 'barcode readers' for the ticket to be activated. SAS Scandinavian Airlines currently have 10% of their passengers using the 2D barcodes tickets and their target is that by 2011 that 80% will be processed using that system.
Mobiqa (a site well worth looking at if you have an interest in that area) are the company with momentum in mobile ticketing/coupons and have encouraged a many companies and events to move to mobile ticketing.
And just to get the brain in gear, here's where it gets really exciting.
Nokia have a little know phone the 6131. Built in to this phone is near field communication (NFC) technology. We have all used that, trust me! Any swipe card to get access to a building or cashless payment for the Luas for example uses NFC.
Companies could potentially send you discounts, coupons, offers and tickets directly to your phone that would be stored in the NCF system. To access the offers or tickets, you would simply brush your phone off an in store pad and the POS system would do the best. It's would automatically delete the offer once processed and the technology is (should be) very well encrypted.
NFC embedded onto mobiles would be a nirvana for mobile marketing and cashless payments. However, considering that we can't get integrated ticketing across the Dublin fragmented transport system – maybe it's up to private enterprise to get this kicked off.