Is that a voucher in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?

Way back in the mists of time, the number of vouchers redeemed by consumers was often seen as an indication of how effective a print ad had been. Since then vouchers have been put inside books, on dockets, in letterboxes and on the internet, each with varying degrees of success. But Auckland company POCKETvouchers claims to be improving the success rate—and efficiency—by sending discount deals to consumers’ mobile phones.

Briscoes is one of the companies using its services to move traditional paper discount coupons into the digital era. And since debuting the mobile text/SMS based voucher system in April this year to drive customers to sign up to their database, Briscoes has increased monthly registrations six fold and achieved a redemption rate of 23 percent, which POCKETvouchers managing director Todd Wackrow says compares very favourably to the industry standard of one to two percent for paper vouchers.

“Mobile vouchers don’t instantly turn a bad offer to a good one. It is still all about the customer value,” Wackrow says. “If we sent out $0.50 off deals as a POCKETvoucher it still wouldn’t work any better than a piece of paper, but there are now several advantages available to retailers to make great offers through the mobile channel.”

Briscoes began using POCKETvouchers after seeing how successful they were for Rebel Sport, another Briscoes Group retail chain, which has been using it in its marketing for over a year. Rebel Sport’s entry into mobile vouchers rewarded consumers who signed up to their customer database with $10 off any $40 purchase. The campaign delivered similar results to the Briscoes activity, with a redemption rate of 25 percent. And it is still driving solid registrations 14 months after launch.

“Because the consumer receives their POCKETvoucher within seconds of signing up online and we can eliminate the paper trail, the cost and administration for delivery and processing at the retail store is drastically reduced, making it more economically viable to offer better discounts.”

Liquorland is another client of POCKETvouchers and it has experienced some exceptional results through adding a mobile voucher element into their marketing activity, with a recent campaign growing the consumer database by 20,000 people in less than three weeks.

“Using POCKETvouchers has proved a cost effective and efficient mechanic for growing our database whilst also driving foot-traffic and sales into our stores,” says Liquorland chief executive Dave Hargreaves.

Launched in 2007, POCKETvouchers initially focused on liquor industry but has started to broaden its applications into retail.  It uses coded SMS ‘vouchers’ that can be validated in real time at a retail store through the EFTPOS network. And full reports of redemptions by day and store can be produced to track discount spend and overall campaign performance.

POCKETvouchers are now focused on deploying new technology that integrates directly with Point of Sale Software and allows retail clients, to track incremental spend and link redemptions back to individual database members. Integration leading retail Point of Sale vendor Triquestra Infinity has been completed already and is being rolled out with Liquorland in September.

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