Despite Covid-19 Environment, Brick-and-Mortar Retailers May Have an Edge

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Photo above by Rusty Watson.

A new survey of more than 1,400 U.S. consumers indicates that more than half are shopping less often and three-quarters are spending less at their favorite stores. That’s not surprising. What is surprising is what the research showed regarding opportunities for retailers to compete against the sheer competitive threat Amazon represents, and that includes the positive impact mobile couponing can have not just for online purchases but to drive in-store traffic as well.

Digital Coupons Effective at Driving Transactions—Online and Off

Amazon has big brand appeal, but 75% of respondents to the CodeBroker report, “Consumer Shopping Habits During The Covid Pandemic,” suggest that mobile/digital coupons can prompt shoppers to buy from online retailers besides Amazon. 

The survey polled 1,407 U.S. consumers, 54% female and 46% male. Over half (59%) fell in the age range of 24 to 55. A plurality of respondents (35%) fell in the $25k to $75k income bracket. 

Respondents also indicated that they’re willing to venture out to shop in real life, with 53% responding yes to the question: “Now that your favorite stores have re-opened, are you planning to shop at their physical locations?” 

Among those who said they were not planning to shop at their favorite stores’ locations, 61% said they would change their mind if they received a high-value mobile/digital coupon for a product in which they were interested. 

Results clearly indicate that high-value mobile coupons would prompt many consumers to visit a physical store despite potential safety concerns.

Would a high-value coupon compel you to enter a physical store?

Would a high-value coupon compel you to enter a physical store? | Source: CodeBroker

Pandemic Fatigue May Offer Opportunity

For several years, retailers have been fiercely protecting their market share against Amazon. That competition has become even more of a challenge since the pandemic started. However, retailers have an opportunity to win back some of this market share by focusing on consumer shopping trend preferences related to the use of coupons and mobile devices.

Another opportunity: pandemic fatigue. As stay-at-home restrictions are easing in many states around the country, and with many retail stores opening their doors, consumers are coming out in droves and craving the kind of interaction only in-store retail can provide. While Amazon offers unquestionable variety and convenience, real-life onsite experiences are gaining ground because consumers find it appealing. 

In addition, special offers can really resonate and provide an added reason to forgo digital for brick-and-mortar experiences. Mobile coupons show how they can influence consumer behavior.

Mobile Offers Fast, Convenient Way to Connect

Consumers are embracing mobile for the entire “coupon” experience: access, storage, and redemption. By a 3:1 margin, consumers indicate that they prefer mobile over paper coupons (77% to 23%). That preference is on the rise. In just one year, the percentage of consumers who prefer mobile over paper coupons has grown from 67 to 77%. 

The power of mobile coupons to drive sales holds true both for existing and new customers—90% of respondents said that a high-discount coupon received from a retailer that they rarely or never shopped at was “likely” or “highly likely” to draw them in.

Based on this research, it’s clear that high-value coupons will get consumers back into stores. This represents an opportunity for retailers to leverage their CRM systems to send personalized coupons and offers to customers based on their shopping histories. It also represents an opportunity for retailers to drive traffic among new customers. 

Digital Allows Retailers to Protect Their Bottom Line

Mobile coupons not only give more consumers what they want, but mobile coupons also present marketers with new and improved possibilities for collecting data, tracking usage, and using that data for ongoing targeting. In addition, single-use coupons allow retailers to ensure that:

  • The customer always receives the same barcode regardless of the number of times, or channels in which, she requests the coupon.
  • Once the coupon is used, it expires simultaneously across all channels.
  • It is impossible for a customer to obtain a second copy of the coupon unless allowed by the retailer.

As retailers grapple with ways to protect and build business during and after the pandemic, considering the role that high-value coupons delivered via mobile can play in their marketing mix holds significant promise—even when competing with a market leader like Amazon.

Dan Slavin is CEO and co-founder of CodeBroker.