Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Impending Death for Paper Coupons?

30.09.2010
With digital coupons more readily available, UA faculty member Anita Bhappu set out to understand how consumers are using them and what they think about the technology behind the promotions and service provided.

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.”

CONTACTS:

Anita Bhappu, UA John & Doris North School of Family and Consumer Sciences (520-621-5948, abhappu@email.arizona.edu)

La Monica Everett-Haynes, University Communications (520-626-4405, leverett@email.arizona.edu)

La Monica Everett-Haynes | University of Arizona
Further information:
http://www.arizona.edu

Further reports about: Consumer Research Coupons Impending Science TV smart phone

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>