We all like to save a buck or two here and there. And most of us have heard those incredible stories about hardcore coupon clippers…you know, the mom who has never paid for diapers, or the guy who regularly gets his groceries for 50% off or better. Certainly sounds good, but the work and time involved to scour circulars, cut the coupons that you’ll actually use out, and organize them for various stores sounds like way too much for today’s busy lifestyle.
The savviest savers have gone digital. There’s a bunch of mobile coupon apps that have hit the market, and each one has particular features for individual shoppers who like it their way. Make no mistake, digital coupons are big business; this report estimates over $91 billion in digital coupon redemptions by the year 2022. Let’s take a look at what’s out there, and maybe figure out which features you might want to put into your next mobile retail app to capitalize on all the success of these apps.
Ibotta: This is one of the biggest mobile coupon apps, with the company claiming to have given $500 million back to its users. Ibotta really checks all the boxes for the first-time user. Once you download the easy to navigate app, you simply enter your location and/or the stores you like to shop at, and the app presents you with an extensive list of products that you can browse and select. Once you’ve got a list of your own, you go to the store, buy the products, and simply upload a photo of the receipt to get rebates placed into your account. If you have a loyalty account, you can even link that up, and that will allow you to skip the upload of the receipt. Once you’ve hit $20 in your account, you can get your money via Venmo, PayPal, or in the form of gift cards. There’s even an online retailer coupon option on sites like Amazon. A very easy and intuitive mobile couponing app.
Key Features: Simple use, huge variety of stores, quick payback
ShopKick: Maybe you’re a bit of a distracted or impulsive shopper? Then ShopKick is your kind of coupon app. This app uses the geolocation feature like no other, recognizing your location and giving you points for simply entering a store! This app’s users have described it as a game or scavenger hunt, as you can collect “kicks” (or points) for answering surveys, watching videos, scanning selected barcodes, and, of course, buying selected items within the app. Points total up to gift cards at a wide variety of your favorite stores. The app has to be running the entire time you’re shopping or participating, so watch your battery levels. Other than that, enjoy the game!
Key Features: No purchases necessary, gamification
Grocery IQ: Or perhaps you’re the complete opposite of impulsive…you are organized and don’t want to be distracted or bothered by brands or products that you aren’t interested in. So, you should check out the personalized approach of an app like Grocery IQ. You make your own list like you normally would, enter it into the app along with your location, and the app will identify any deals at any local stores. You can also sync up lists with your spouse or roommate to prevent redundant buying, and you can also include your loyalty programs.
Key Features: Make your own lists, Take advantage of local deals
Checkout 51: For those who don’t even want to bother to search through lists of available deals, there’s even an app for you. This coupon app lets you reliably upload an existing receipt and get cash back for items you didn’t even know were on sale. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of getting codes scanned or printing out coupons, just see what you can get. The app will start alerting you of deals on your favorites, once it knows what you like.
Key Features: No browsing, Surprise cash back
Groupon: Don’t forget about the old favorite of experience-based coupon apps. Yes, Groupon has deals on retail items, of which some are quite impressive. Where they separated themselves was bringing deals to a user base that increasingly values experiences more than stuff. From restaurants and spas to skydiving and pottery painting, Groupon has skillfully morphed from a discount stop to an everyday resource for things to do in your local area on the cheap. Integrating local businesses who normally wouldn’t have this sort of exposure can flourish, and while these purchased deals can expire, they’ll always honor the money spent against any costs incurred.
Key Features: Experience-based deals, Locally based commerce
RetailMeNot: Ever get to a checkout on an online retail site and see that space for a promo or discount code? If you have this app installed, you’ll not miss out on any available deals. There aren’t always codes available, but these sweet little deals are great when you find them, and this app aggregates and organizes them for all your favorite online shops. Standard sales and deals are available also, so keep an eye out for those. Hey, who couldn’t use some free shipping here and there?
Key Features: Sweet deals for the online shopper
So, this is a great starting list of what’s hot in the world of mobile coupon apps today. Brands are paying top dollar to apps that refer or direct business or sales their way, and there seem to be limitless creative ways to engage and convert users to buyers. From local business promotion to international brand exposure, mobile coupon app development is big business. Talk to a business analyst about the ins and outs of this sort of app development today, and get in on the fun!
Do you have a coupon or retail app idea that you would like to get developed? Check out some of our work and don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation!