When the CEO of McDonald’s Steve Easterbrook announced that the fast food firm saw over 7m downloads of its coupon app just three months after its launch, something became evidently clear, mobile users love a bargain! The exact amount of revenue that these coupons generated for McDonald’s during this period isn’t currently known, yet they have openly stated they ‘were seeing higher registration rates than industry norms’ because of the downloads. If you were to assume that these digital deals were leading to a considerably increased amount of money being transferred over at the store counters (in response to customers in fact ‘saving’ money), you probably wouldn’t come up against much resistance.
These figures from the McDonald’s camp show that with the increasing need for mobile apps for businesses to interact with customers quicker and simpler, comes with the demand for customers to get what they need quicker and simpler (amongst money saving perks) in return too. In 2015 Koupon Media stated that the U.S saw a rise of 42m mobile coupon users from 2013, with this figure continuing to rise as we speak.
What the McDonald’s coupon app does is give a valid reason for its users to return to it frequently, and that’s to get more for less. These coupons are essentially incentives, a thing that motivates or encourages someone to do something as defined by the Oxford Dictionary. The app provides users the latest offers and promotions in return for their custom further down the line. If McDonalds’s download statistics are anything to go by it’s clear that these incentives are having the desired effect amongst their app fan base.
So what’s stopping other businesses adopting a similar coupon/incentive approach?
App users act fast when it comes to coupon offers. According to the same Koupon Media report 65% of users redeem mobile coupons within the first five minutes of seeing it. Whether for a 2-4-1, 25% off or buy five get one free promotion these deals are more likely to be used when marketed to the correct app demographic.
It could be argued that McDonald’s can offer these incentives easier because their users are already accustomed to similar McDonald’s (coupon) promotions outside of the mobile sphere. This may give them a slight advantage yes, but it’s not necessarily the deals that are sought after here, it’s the mobile coupon experience. Koupon Media’s CEO Bill Ogle states that “the fact is mobile coupons are easier to use than paper or print-at-home coupons” and that “it won’t be long before the mobile coupon outpaces paper coupons altogether”. Despite the obvious financial benefits of collecting paper coupons people are growing tired of the hassle attached to using them.
Offering app coupons will have to ensure a return is made by reaching new customers. Given the emergence of discount apps today people are becoming more accustomed to turning to their mobile to find the latest deals. 43% of Americans have used a mobile coupon in their lives while there are expected to be 1.05 billion mobile coupon users globally by 2019, according to Juniper Research. As more people continue to engage with these, it will only be a matter of time when all app users will expect money saving incentives.
Whether you’re an online business or have stores (such as McDonald’s) in various locations app coupons have proven to positively contribute to business sales. Out of the above 43% of U.S citizens that use mobile coupons 26% of these increase their basket size when using one (or feel compelled to spend more in stores). 39% say that a personalised coupon motivates them to spend more whilst 60% would adopt mobile payments if offered coupons.
Not every business will be able to adopt the same coupon to the McDonald’s coupon app. It’s could be argued that implementing mobile coupons for fast food products is easier as the price range is relatively low, meaning that users will naturally be more compelled to take up the offer because the risk is low. Businesses outside of the fast food industry should not be deterred by this though as coupon values vary depending on the price of the original product. For example a 25% off coupon incentive for a pair of branded trainers will be worth more than for a milkshake. Rather than looking at the McDonald’s model itself it’s important to analyse the behavioural trends of the buyers that engage with it.
From a marketing perspective getting app coupons in front of the right people on the right mobile platform is your priority. At Sonin we make bespoke mobile applications that can support coupon functionality. Get in touch with us today to discuss any potential plans that you may have and see how we can help.
You can receive blogs like these, amongst other hints, tips and industry news directly to your email inbox, by signing up to our weekly newsletter The Sonin Broadcast.