Coupon use is on the rise, and retailers that incorporate coupons into their mobile strategy will likely win over consumers, a new report claims.

According to Forrester’s Count on Contextual Coupons (fee charged), customers redeemed 66 million digital coupons  in 2013 — up 141 percent from 2012. In addition, although more than 42 percent of consumers state that they frequently use coupons, 18 percent said they'd use them even more frequently is they could store coupons their phone.

Mark TackCMSWire asked Mark Tack, VP of marketing for Vibes, a mobile marketing technology company, to explain how marketers can use the report's findings to maximize their customers' digital experiences.

Mobile wallets like Apple’s Passbook (for iPhones) and Google Wallet (for Android phones) are a win-win solution for consumers and brands,” Tack said. “For consumers, they are convenient shopping companions that store coupons and offers on the device consumers use most and send reminders when the coupon is going to expire, or when consumers are near a store.”

Marketers Falling Behind

According to the report, although consumers are ready to go digital with coupons, marketers apparently haven’t caught up.

Most are still using freestanding inserts to deliver their coupons, the report found.

Instead, Forrester analysts recommend using contextual insights to increase coupon relevance and drive results. And to help marketers out on this front, they provided some guidance on how different groups use coupons.

Increasing Coupon Relevance

Because consumers value coupons in different ways, perceptive marketers can increase coupon relevance by  understanding the needs of their target audience.

For example, 55 percent of baby boomers were shown to use coupons on food and beverages. Further, they tend to prefer loyalty programs. For this group, loading digital coupons onto loyalty cards is a no brainer for marketers.

For Generation Y, coupons are most used for travel and entertainment. In fact, Gen Y uses coupons more frequently than any other group for things like hotel and air reservations, event tickets and car rentals.

Looking to fill up some empty hotel rooms or event seats? Send coupons to your Gen Y customers.

Personalize the Offers

The report shows that older consumers prefer healthcare discounts, while wealthier customers use coupons for apparel, and even use search engines to proactively seek out coupons.

However, instead of making consumers search for coupons, why not keep the lines of communication continually open by loading coupons onto a customer’s mobile wallet, suggested Tack.

Offering mobile versions of physical coupons is one of the final recommendations of the Forrester report. Citing the significance of mobile wallets, the report noted that these provide a new way for marketers to drive coupon redemption and store visits.

“For retailers, using Apple’s Passbook and Google Wallet for mobile coupons opens up a new opportunity for ongoing communication between brands and consumers,” he said.

“We’ve found that once a customer downloads a coupon to Passbook or Google Wallet, they almost never delete it. That means retailers and brands can continually update wallet content with new offers that keep their company top-of-mind (and top-of-wallet).”

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  Title image by Andrew Stawarz.