There are a lot of mobile applications out there that not only give the consumer an alternative way to pay like your cell phone, but also a rewards program for paying with their services. LevelUp and Google Wallet do this, giving you special offers on stores near you if you use their application, but that means using your cell phone as your wallet, which some consumers might not be able to do. A relatively new contender in the local coupon market is edo Interactive, which uses the credit and debit card most consumers already have in their wallet.
Their selling point is ease of use. Unlike Groupon, paper coupons, LevelUp, or Google Wallet, theres no presenting anything extra to the cashier. Customers use their debit card, the merchants existing credit card terminal recognizes if it’s enrolled in edo’s system, and the savings are automatically deposited into the customer’s checking/ savings account. Customers enroll by downloading edo’s application, and the application lists the stores that participate. And better yet, some banks pre-enroll their customers already. This does away with the need to clip coupons, check in with programs like FourSquare, or present a QR code like LevelUp. Although mobile payments are on the rise, they’re nowhere near the use of regular debit and credit cards so edo’s program shows a lot of potential.
This gives the ability for merchants offer special prices without having to purchase any sort of special equipment. And unlike Groupon, or local coupon adds, the merchant can track consumers and offer special promotions based on their spending history. So it does away with some of the worry of programs like Groupon which might attract customers, but not bring them back again. And it seems to be working, according to a recent study on a national sub shop using edo Interactive, 30% of consumers made 1-2 more visits and 40% made 3+ more visits.
What does it all cost for the merchant? It’s surprisingly not that expensive. For one, it’s free to join, theres no signing a contract or monthly service fees. A merchant only pays when an offer is claimed. The example they use on their website is if a merchant offers $10 off a $40 purchase, edo will take $4 of that, making the fixed cost per redemption $14. The real question is, just other coupon programs, is it worth it? That depends on repeat customers. The point of coupons is to entice the customer to come back and make more purchases. Having the ability to track sales is a great tool to have, but effectively marketing coupons based on that history isn’t easy. In terms of ease of use, edo is great, but it still depends on how a business utilizes it.
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