René Seifert

Entrepreneur, Global Citizen, Flat World, Internet, Web 2.0, Innovation, Start-Up

Archive for December, 2009

Booming: (Online)-Coupons in the Crisis

Came across this data-rich article on CNN Money which points at an increase of coupon distribution and usage in the United States. Interestingly, the surge is being explained with the economic crisis where savvy consumers are looking for a deal wherever they can get one.

Overall, the volume of aggregated coupon savings amounts to $600 millions more in the first 9 months of 2009 compared to the same period the year before, or in percent, a 30 % up. The merchants from their end seem to have understood luring new customers to their shops by increasing the distribution of such coupons by 41 %. More often than not, the economics of a such a voucher don’t pay off in the first place with zero or even a negative margin. However, if relationship building is done right, the customer lifetime value will allow for profitable amortization.

Not surprising, more and more of the coupon business is moving online, with Redplum being such a major aggregator. The convenience-factor for both the merchant and the customer is as unmatched as in all the other areas the internet has disrupted. In Germany, there are equally services springing up in the coupon space like www.paperball.de/gutscheine. The idea is simply explained: Present an overview of coupons of current vouchers, explain their benefit and guide the customer over to the merchant. Another example for such a service is blogmeier.de with “blog” meaning “blog” also in German language by now, whilst “Meier” being a very popular last name (like “Smith” in English :-)

My impression is that coupons are here to stay and that we will see more of them, especially at the crossroad of mobile, location awareness and your social network.