Customers love coupons. But in the current payments world, the love has changed and evolved over time. Specifically, due to the digital world we live in now.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in the demand for mobile offers,” said Bill Ogle, CEO of Koupon Media. “The number of unique views on our mobile offers have doubled year over year, and to date we have delivered over 500,000,000 mobile offers.”
Koupon is a mobile offer platform and redemption network, powering offers for over 43,000 retailers and the world’s largest CPG brands. Its reach, patented offer delivery and security technology, Koupon helps brands and retailers drive sales by targeting consumers and delivering offers when consumers are ready to buy.
“Our mobile offers drive a 12 percent sales growth amongst our C-store customers as well as a 10 to 15 percent redemption rate for specialty stores and restaurants,” said Ogle. “In 2015 alone, our platform drove over 10 million store trips, leading to $100 million in value for brands and retailers. Even more, one of our customers saw 300 percent ROI from their investment in our technology.”
He added that in addition to seeing a dramatic rise in customer engagement, store trips and sales, retailer clients have seen an increase in customer loyalty.
Koupon was founded in 2011 to help marketers deliver higher value to its customers. At the time there were only three employees, and in the nearly six years since those first days, the company has grown to 30 employees and has a “typical startup office” with music playing, foosball tables and basketball hoops in the conference rooms. But, more notably, Koupon has landed on the Inc. 500 list of America’s Fastest Growing companies list. Ogle said the company has maintained 1,000 percent revenue growth in each of the past three years.
“[Those] achievement[s] provided incredible validation of our mission and leadership in the quickly rising mobile couponing market,” said Ogle.
The concept behind Koupon was to create a more seamless platform for all parties involved. Ogle said that at the time of the company’s founding, its competitors required consumers to download a “clunky or intrusive app in order to redeem coupons.”
Thus, Koupon sought to circumvent the “middle man” and provide a platform for retailers to send coupons to customers through other channels beyond an app. What they’ve found is that by offering multiple and more relevant ways for a consumer to obtain a coupon, they’re more likely to use it and ultimately spend money in-store.
“All of our mobile offers contain barcodes that must be scanned at the time of purchase,” said Ogle. “Currently, we support more than 40 barcode types for mobile offers.”
Koupon helps retailers and brands create a static barcode for each offer but also facilitates the option to upload Code Pools or groups of barcodes that enable an account to distribute barcodes to each customer who views the offer. Ogle said the company will also work with retailers using code algorithms to provide secure barcodes.
And as with any startup, there are obstacles that happen due to the chosen business and for being a startup.
“The biggest hurdle Koupon had to overcome was the redemption process within each retailer,” said Ogle. “Retailers all redeem coupons in different ways, depending on their POS technology, their accounting processes and the volume of coupons they distribute. We realized that in order to be successful, we needed to make our product flexible enough to meet each retailer where they are.”
As a result, Ogle said that one of Koupon’s competitive advantages is meeting retail clients exactly where they are.
But as technology enhances quickly, so do businesses that depend on it in the retail space. Last year Koupon certified with Verifone to enhance coupon security and deliver secure, one-time-use mobile coupons to brands and retailers.
“The integration allows all retailers using the Verifone Commander platform to create, manage and distribute mobile coupons via Koupon Media, with unique barcodes that are immediately deactivated once scanned,” said Ogle.
The company has also worked with Gas Buddy and OnStar to deliver coupons in the connected car, while working with convenience and retail stores like 7-Eleven, QT and Dollar General and CPG brands, including Coke, Pepsi, Oreo and Frito Lay, through the platform.
As Koupon and its clients’ success depend heavily on the growing eCommerce space, Ogle said the omnichannel, in-store and online model concept is ever important. And they come with high opportunity.
“Online shopping is growing faster than expected and most retail segments are responding by shifting to a hybrid model. As eCommerce addresses more of the routine and stock-up shopping trips, physical stores are expected to get smaller and cater to the immediate needs of customers,” said Ogle. “These shifts present an opportunity for small format retailers like C-store, drug and dollar, which already make up a $1 trillion market. And the impact is already apparent — in the last two years, smaller format stores grew faster than any other retail category.”
Ogle said there is indeed an incredible opportunity to address some of the unique needs of this new market and continue building on Koupon’s existing network and offers in this evolving space.