Shopitize begins UK mobile couponing trial

Shopitize begins UK mobile couponing trial

Shopitize has begun piloting a mobile couponing app that lets British shoppers get cashback on their Jaffa Cakes and Coco Pops.

The firm has signed up Kellogg's and United Biscuits for a thousand-strong pilot of its couponing service this month, enabling participants to receive up to 50% off on items including McVities Jaffa Cakes, Special K and Pringles.

Users who download the Shopitize iPhone or Android app and buy featured products take photos of their paper shopping receipts, which are then automatically processed and validated, with cashback returned either by PayPal or old-fashioned cheque.

United Biscuits says that the big advantage of the system is the fact that the app gets round the challenges associated with redeeming paper coupons in store.

Sam Blunt, brand experience and digital controller, Kellogg's UK, adds: "Mobile technology is becoming more and more integrated into our everyday lives, and Shopitize is the first mobile couponing system we have seen that operates right across the retail trade."

Comments: (4)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 15 November, 2012, 16:191 like 1 like

This is an interesting twist to the age-old FMCG coupon. Shopitize not only seems to overcome the logistical headaches associated with paper coupon redemptions, but also allows manufacturers to run a promotion across all retailers. This system looks like it will provide greater flexibility when targeting consumers and will give manufacturers the ability to prevent or at least hinder multiple redemptions of a coupon by a single customer. The inclusion of PayPal as a means of collecting the reward is innovative and means that customers can effortlessly and directly redeem their reward, without requiring any additional effort on the part of the retailer.

Amidst the benefits, there are of course drawbacks, the most notable being that the customer’s loyalty is likely to be drawn more towards the Shopitize app, rather than to the manufacturer who is funding the promotion. Once the manufacturer stops running their promotion, a competitor can quickly jump in and run a competing promotion directly to the same customers. As with some daily deals sites, the real winner in the long-term is more likely to be Shopitize rather than the manufacturer who is ultimately funding Shopitize as well as the promotion.

One thing that I believe is missing from Shopitize is the ability to incentivize customers to perform desirable social actions in addition to simply purchasing the product. This could be as simple as giving the customer an increased reward if they share the product information with their friends on Facebook / Twitter, or likewise if they follow the brand on Facebook / Twitter.

There is a lot of focus on developing new applications for the loyalty market today and I will follow this new Shopitize initiative with interest.

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 18 November, 2012, 16:02Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I can't agree more with @OscarS: "Socializing" such actions can make these coupons go viral. We've seen this with one of our campaigns where we promised a free giveaway to all visitors who tweeted the webpage that featured the advertised product from their Twitter account. In devising this mechanism, our intention was to make it as frictionless as possible for visitors to request the giveaway by avoiding forms and yet have some way of staying in touch with people to whom we gave away the free content. One unintended consequence was we got free visibility for the product on the Twitter timelines of thousands of followers of our website visitors. These followers in turn visited our webpage, thus setting off a chain reaction. But, care has to be exercised to design the social action in such a way that the resultant virality is favorable to the brand / product.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 21 November, 2012, 13:41Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Hi Oscar and Ketharaman,

Thank you both very much for your comments and opinions. It is these inputs that help us focus on important aspects: convenience and flexibility for consumers and manufacturers!

With regards to who benefits most, we really hope it is all parties involved. We see Shopitize as a tool brands can use to reach out to consumers through their mobile devices. Each campaign is different and has different priorities, both short term and long term. Shopitize platform has capacity to run campaigns which promote and encourage long time loyalty to brands and manufacturers. And we are working with our partner brands to make sure we deliver this.

As for social integration, I'm glad you've asked! Incentivising customers to share across various networks as well as for their social interaction with brands is our immediate priority for the next update which will be released very soon. It is very much along the lines you have described, so I am sure you will find it useful.

I really appreciate you taking time to look into our app, and please don't hesitate to share your thoughts and suggestions with us so we can improve and make Shopitize solution better!

Alexey, Managing Director at Shopitize

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 21 November, 2012, 14:07Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

@AlexeyA: I just noticed - the second screenshot has a Facebook button and the third one has the share button. Just wondering if the next update with social sharing functionality is already out!