Unilever announced that they are beginning a trial run this weekend of mobile couponing for specific products like Breyers Ice Cream, Dove soap, Hellman’s Mayonnaise, and Lipton Tea. (You can read more about it at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124354778510364127.html). The test is being conducted at a ShopRite store in Hillsborough, NJ. From today’s WSJ article – ‘To get the coupons, customers must visit the Web site Samplesaint.com, from which they can transmit the Unilever discount offers to an Internet-enabled cellphone. At checkout, the cashier scans the bar code on the phone’s screen, redeeming the coupon and deleting it from the phone’
Good idea on being able to get the coupon on your phone. In fact in 2009 (this exists in other countries already) your airline boarding pass will also be downloadable to your mobile device and you will have the TSA and gate agent scan the barcode displayed on your phone – good-bye paper.
But why is Unilever limiting coupon download to a non-Unilever website? Looking at how people use the internet I searched Breyers, Dove Soap, Hellman’s Mayonnaise, and Lipton Tea and a couple of the sites had an area for coupons but they were not intuitive to download (check it out for yourself). This is a test promotion so while having the portal to get the coupon on the home page is not possible I believe the test will not be representative since who will remember Samplesaint.com? This simply is not how people use the internet to get what they want and it almost seems like a branding opportunity for Samplesaint.com and not one of the noted Unilever products.
CGSM advises our clients that one or two clicks work best when trying to create an action or response. Downloadable coupons will be the standard very soon – I suspect the Unilever test will be inconclusive mainly due to asking the consumer to work a little harder.
Do you agree?