Navigation Links
Impending death for paper coupons?

Representing a relatively new phenomenon in shopping, digital coupons show great promise for revolutionizing couponing.

In studying the marketing and usability of a specific type of electronic coupon digital coupons one University of Arizona research team has found some interesting and important preliminary findings about what consumers thought of digital coupons, how they used them, why they used them and what problems were associated with their use.

"In the literature, there is some information about these coupons, but there is no empirical data," said Anita Bhappu, the UA PetSmart associate professor and division chair of retailing and consumer sciences who headed up the research project.

Focused on grocery retailing, the effort is one of the first empirical investigations of consumer perceptions and use of digital coupons for "consumer packaged goods," which includes food items, beverages and products for cleaning.

In their study, Bhappu and her student researchers in the John & Doris North School fo Family and Consumer Sciences learned that digital coupons are used both for advertising and promoting products, but users often found them difficult to use.

The team held focus groups and administered surveys before and after a one-week trial of digital coupons, which included heavy users of paper coupons who Bhappu refers to as the "coupon divas," as well as non-users.

Not to be confused with electronic coupons available online that have to be printed out before being redeemed, these new digital coupons are downloaded directly to store loyalty cards. Fry's, Safeway and Sam's Club are among retailers currently testing digital coupons.

After loading the coupons to their loyalty cards via an Internet connection, many could not recall what coupons were available.

Also, many reported that the coupons did not redeem at checkout and cashiers did not know how to correct this service failure.

"The promise, or at least the implied promise, behind digital is that it is more convenient than paper and the way in which this convenience is delivered becomes a service," said Bhappu, also a research fellow in the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing, which funded the project.

It was the service aspect that troubled users the most. Therefore, as services stand, the format is not yet "up to par," the team noted.

"While the promotional aspect of the coupon was just as important, the consumers were dissatisfied with the experience related to service," Bhappu said.

Project collaborators included Jennifer Andrews, Charles Lawry and Zeinou Toure all graduate students in retailing and consumer sciences. Also, UA alumna Mireya Gomez conducted a historical study of coupons for her honors thesis prior to graduating.

Gomez, a UA Honors College student who earned her degree in May in retailing and consumer sciences, determined that about 3 billion paper coupons are issued in the U.S. annually but only 1 to 2 percent are redeemed.

"Personally, I am not sure that coupons as we know them will continue in their paper format," Bhappu said. "The word 'coupon' no longer implies something that you have to cut out."

But, she noted, the future of digital couponing appears strongly linked to the future of digital payment and m-commerce, or mobile commerce.

Wireless phone carriers and credit card issuers are working with software companies to offer what Bhappu said is a "digital wallet" for consumers to store their credit card information, along with digital coupons, on their smart phones.

Consumers would be able to pay for purchases simply by tapping their smart phones on a point-of-sale payment device, which would also recognize and redeem their stored digital coupons.

Bhappu and her students are preparing a research paper of their findings, with Andrews having already presented one paper on the team's methods during the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences held earlier this year. The paper earned a "best paper" nomination during the conference.

"What we're learning today becomes very important for the future of digital coupons," Bhappu said.

"The consumer just wants a seamless service and doesn't want to go through something extra, like downloading individual coupons. It has to be more convenient for them," Bhappu also said.

"But we can learn from consumers today as they try what is available how to make tomorrow's technology better," she added. "Firms need to think about this because if they do not do a good job integrating digital coupons into existing systems and training employees on the technology, they will experience service failure."


Contact: La Monica Everett-Haynes
University of Arizona

Related biology news :

1. High death and disability rates due to fractures in Russia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe
2. Study links normal function of protein, not its build up inside cells, to death of neurons
3. Death of the doughnut
4. Researchers nationwide ask for new focus on sudden death heart disorder
5. Researchers at UC Riverside find solution to cell death problem vexing stem cell research
6. Interrupting death messages to treat bone disease
7. Deathstalker scorpion venom could improve gene therapy for brain cancer
8. How blocking the Programmed Death 1 protein may treat or prevent sepsis and severe infection
9. New UGA temperature table may help reduce heat-related deaths of children in closed cars
10. Deaths in the family cause bacteria to flee
11. Increased likelihood of male death from disease
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Impending death for paper coupons?
(Date:10/29/2015)... BOSTON , Oct. 29, 2015  Connected health ... phenomena driving the explosion of technology-enabled health and wellness, ... his new book, The Internet of Healthy ... apps, sensors or smartphones even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice ... model of health care delivery, moving care from the ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... 27, 2015 In the present market scenario, ... for various industry verticals such as banking, healthcare, defense, ... growing demand for secure & simplified access control and ... as hacking of bank accounts, misuse of users, , ... as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are expected to provide ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... October 26, 2015 ... adds Biometrics Market Shares, ... as well as Emerging Biometrics Technologies: ... to its collection of IT and ... . --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015  The Minnesota High ... of the 2015 Tekne Award in the Small and ... at the Minneapolis Convention Center, ... played a significant role in developing new technologies that ... around the world. Clostridium difficile infection ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ADDISON, Texas (PRWEB) , ... ... ... International , a leading relationship marketing company specializing in scientifically backed, age-defying ... magazine’s January 2016 issue, which highlights the exponential success and unrivaled opportunities ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... , ... Matthew “Tex” VerMilyea, PhD, HCLD, has joined Texas Fertility Center as ... lab procedures as well as continue his research efforts into the emerging technologies of ... New Zealand to bring home a High Complexity Clinical Laboratory Director named Tex,” says ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... ... Global Stem Cells Group announced the opening of a new core patient care hub ... northern Chile. The facilities are part of GSCG’s expansion efforts in Latin America. , ... cell medicine to patients from around the world. , The clinics will be headed by ...
Breaking Biology Technology: