This year, 134.0 million mobile users in the US will use a mobile coupon. That's an 8.0% increase from 2017, according to eMarketer estimates.
Mobile coupon usage will keep climbing as consumers shift their shopping habits from desktop to mobile.
By the end of 2019, we expect there will be 142.4 million US mobile coupon users, making up more than half of the mobile phone population.
This week, we're looking at mobile habits—how consumers shop, how they bank and other ways they transact via mobile devices. First up: mobile coupons.
The uptick in mobile coupon use hasn't gone unnoticed by retailers, and their strategies have adjusted to meet the demand.
“Retailers are adapting their sites, mobile coupons and codes for mobile shopping,” said Oscar Orozco, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer. "They realize that consumers are comparing products and prices online while in the store, so there’s a big incentive to target them on their phones and get them to purchase the product right away instead of ordering it from elsewhere at home."
Store circulars are driving growth as retailers start to digitize and email them to regular shoppers.
Mobile coupons are also getting a boost thanks to the rising popularity of mobile wallets like Apple Wallet and Google Pay, where brand-controlled assets live and allow marketers to send personalized notifications and messaging.
"Location-specific messages delivered via mobile wallets can be triggered by geofencing, which help drive in-store conversions," said eMarketer senior analyst Rahul Chadha in his August report, Mobile Proximity and Peer-to-Peer Payments. "For example, a customer strolling by a restaurant could be sent a coupon for 10% off through the mobile wallet pass as an incentive to visit."
Consumers seem to welcome this type of immediacy. According to a July 2018 study by Boston Retail Partners and Windstream Enterprise, 65% of US shoppers would be more likely to shop at a retailer if they received a proximity-triggered mobile coupon.
Similarly, a February 2018 study conducted by Leger found that 31% of internet users prefer to instantly get loyalty-reward gift cards sent to their mobile device.