In this economy, coupons are coming back in a big way- popular websites like LivingSocial and Groupon offer one-day-only savings on things like spa packages, restaurants and tourist adventures, and iPhone app Yowza!! offers mobile coupons based on your location for stores like The Finish Line, Pier 1 Imports, and The Container Store. But it’s a hassle to get coupons in your email, then print them, then remember them when you go out, then remember them at the point of purchase. Groupon now offers an iPhone app, but you still have to buy the coupon to use it, thereby adding steps between downloading the coupon and making a purchase. Yowza!! coupons can only be used once or twice, unless it’s a department or store-wide discount, which would be available to everyone without a coupon, so what was the point?
Hobby Lobby, on the other hand, offers coupons directly from their mobile site. Since it only takes a four-digit code to get the discount, it’s unnecessary to print out the coupon before going to the store so purchasing decisions can be made on the fly. Plus, the coupon can be used several times, meaning people can go back to the store over and over again, increasing the likelihood of repeat purchases and improving customer retention. People can effortlessly bookmark the site into their mobile browser and keep checking back to see what new coupon is offered.
The website also offers their weekly sales flyer and geolocation, thereby streamlining the process from identifying the need to purchasing the product. There are very few steps between accessing the coupon, finding a way to use the coupon, and then making the purchase. It’s a well-designed system that ensures ease of use for the consumer and, thankfully, for the cashiers. There’s nothing to scan, no app to download. Hobby Lobby’s mobile coupons are easy to use, and offer significant savings with just a scroll of a thumb. Other retail outlets, especially coupon-friendly establishments such as grocery stores, would do well to mimic their system.
Well played, Hobby Lobby. Well played.