Text Coupons Popular Mobile Activity

November 10, 2010

Eight in 10 US mobile phone users currently uses or will use mobile text coupons within 24 months, according to [pdf] a new study from IHL Group and RetailConnections.

Text Coupons Most Popular Retail-related Consumer Mobile Activity

Looking at a variety of retail-related consumer mobile activities, text coupons lead both in terms of current engagement (25%) and planned engagement in the next 12 months (47%). Probably due to the high percentage of consumers who will already be using mobile text coupons within 12 months, planned engagement within 12 to 24 months is only 9%, tied for second-lowest with consumer self-checkout.


The other two retail-related consumer mobile activities currently used by more than 20% of mobile phone subscribers are regular barcode (22%) and 2D barcode (21%). Coupons on mobile screen only have 16% current engagement, but 38% planned engagement within the next 12 months, second only to text coupons in this category.

iPhone/iPod Most Supported Consumer Mobile Platform by Wide Margin

Study data indicates 85% of US retailers support consumer use of the iPhone/iPod platform, and 88% plan to do so in the future. This current support rate dwarfs the 55% support of the next-most-popular consumer mobile platform among retailers, the iPad platform. However, 72% of retailers plan to support consumer iPad use in the future.


While only 50% of retailers currently support consumer use of the Android platform, 79% plan to support it in the future. Windows Mobile has 43% current support and 53% planned support, while Blackberry has slightly lower current support (40%) but slightly higher future support (58%).

4 in 10 Retailers Support Store Associate Blackberry Platform

Retailers display different preferences for supporting mobile platform use by their employees, and at much lower percentages. Part of the reason for this lower level of support may be the higher cost involved in supplying store associates with mobile devices, as opposed to letting consumers use their own devices in the store.


The iPhone/iPod and Windows Mobile platforms are tied for second place with 42% current support. However, 67% of retailers plan future iPhone/iPod support, while only 41% plan future Windows Mobile support, implying a small number of retailers currently supporting employee use of Windows Mobile devices plan to end it.

Android only has 26% current support, but comparatively high 41% planned future support. Windows CE/7 also has 26% current support, but similar to Windows Mobile planned future support for this platform dips to 22%.

Texting Most Popular Mobile Plan Feature

Perhaps explaining the popularity of text coupons, more than nine in 10 mobile phone owners (94%) have text included in their phone plan, according to other study results. This makes texting by far the most popular feature of US consumer mobile phone plans. Other popular features include email (80%) and mobile web (78%).

About the Data: The data for this study were obtained by performing a web-based survey during the August-September 2010 timeframe. A total of 570 responses were used, of which 66 were retailers.


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