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According to the latest eMarketer data, 100.1 million adult Internet users in the U.S. will redeem digital coupons by the end of 2014.  Of this 100.1 million, a little more than half will be through mobile. (For reference, mobile comprised approximately a third of mobile coupon usage in 2012.) In addition, according to Nielsen, in Q3 of 2012, 54% of mobile coupon users obtained their mobile coupons from retailers’ websites and 31% from deal-of-the-day websites such as Groupon and LivingSocial. Out of select types of mobile content smartphone users would like to receive from brands, deals and coupons tops the list at 44% of users, according to Millward Brown.


Seeing that more than half of mobile coupon users got their coupons from retailers’ websites, and since smartphone users want to receive mobile deals and coupons more than any other type of mobile content from brands, mobile couponing will be a major driver of growth in the m-commerce industry over the next few years.  Increasing mobile coupon usage will also help drive growth in the mobile content sector, meaning more innovative mobile couponing and loyalty apps on the market, and possibly higher consumption of these apps.


Mobile couponing can not only help brands acquire users and build loyalty, but also drive foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores and combat showrooming through targeted location-based promotions or in-store only mobile coupons. That said, there may be a day when mobile couponing will help failing small businesses stay afloat. It will be exciting to see how mobile couponing will evolve if and when NFC usage catches on in the U.S.



Based on the charts above, below are some key highlights and takeaways I think are important for mobile marketers & advertisers to consider.


  • Mobile coupon usage to grow 32.7% in 2013.
  • By 2014, a quarter of U.S. adult mobile phone users will be redeeming mobile coupons, compared to 16.3% in 2012.
  • U.S. smartphone/tablet users would like to receive mobile deals and coupons from brands more than any other type of mobile content.


  • Will a brand’s availability of mobile coupons be crucial for customer retention in the future?
  • Will mobile couponing be a major driver of not only m-commerce, but digital commerce as well?
  • Will NFC uptake lead to not only more innovative mobile couponing solutions, but even higher mobile coupon usage?


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