• Coupons are experiencing an exciting and much-needed transformation to meet shifting consumer demands. But with change comes risk for brands and retailers that do not choose coupon solutions partners wisely.

  • To effectively capture the opportunity of coupon innovation and manage the settlement risks and costs, brands and retailers should seek to partner with an experienced, true one-stop-shop offering three must-have features and benefits.

With consumers desperate to save, the coupon industry is experiencing a much needed and radical upgrade. A far cry from the simple days of clippable paper coupons, a household staple, the current environment is brimming with exciting innovation and opportunity for consumers.

Coupon Phenomenon: Convenience and Flexibility Lure More Shoppers

Now more than ever, shoppers have more convenience, options and flexibility to save. And savvy couponers are relentless and creative in their hunt for the easiest ways to save the most.

New-to-the-scene coupon innovation, like universal digital coupons, known also as digital manufacturers’ coupons, provide consumers the ability to increase their saving options, making it vital for retailers and brands to engage settlement solution providers that can handle everything, from soup to nuts.

Predictably, outward consumer demand for new and easy-to-use coupon formats has resulted in new market entrants focused solely on coupon delivery and companies that lack expertise in managing fulfillment.

Pop-up companies add complexity, delay and risk to the settlement process. Complexity because their solution only applies to certain tactics, delay because they have not integrated at scale, and risk because their cash management controls are untested and may not be scalable.

These reactionary business practices, while initially seeming modern and cost-effective, make it easy for brands and retailers to miss both the forest (benefits of blossoming coupon innovation) and the trees (sturdy, dependable settlement logistics).

Understand the Risk of New and Add-On Service Providers

Can companies without the knowledge, experience and processes of coupon settlement and reimbursement seamlessly handle the strain of innovation and complexity of coupon redemption? That remains to be seen. And it’s a risk brands and retailers should not be willing to take. A reliable, streamlined and visible coupon redemption process is a core value — and primary business function — of successful brands and retailers.

Where ‘One-Stop Shop’ Marketing Rhetoric Turns From Jargon to Bargain

To optimize on new ways to reach consumers and to manage the risks and costs associated with the settlement of all types of coupons — paper, digital and universal digital coupons — brands and retailers should seek to partner with an experienced, true one-stop shop offering three must-have features and benefits:

1. Financial Expertise

  • Fast, accurate, simplified payment and reconciliation of valid discounts paid to consumers
  • Efficient, automated and accurate invoicing and settlement of all promotion types, consolidated into a fully transparent, consistent data set
  • Powerful point-of-sale (POS) audit that quickly identifies and helps resolve exceptions

2. Robust Data & Analytics

  • Store-level data targeting consumers and oversight of store controls
  • 24/7 access to redemption analytics through a self-service portal
  • Expert representatives supporting powerful portals and scorecards
  • Granular offer intelligence to uncover opportunities and identify risks

3. Advanced Risk Management

  • POS offer validation data set to aid retailers in stopping counterfeits before they’re accepted
  • Proprietary, enhanced audit that combines with POS data to support loss prevention

Good Intentions, Risky Results

Reactive companies and companies that offer coupon redemption as a piecemeal add-on function tend to fall short of service demands and fail to provide the security and stability for stress-free business practices. While on-demand innovation and add-on service intend to quickly meet expanding consumer demand, they threaten coupon evolution by failing to settle promotions in a secure, efficient and scalable manner.

Coupon innovation is inspiring, important and necessary. And if you follow best practices and choose your end-to-end coupon solutions partner wisely, you will discover its full and intended benefits and avoid the pitfalls.

Want to learn more about the present and future of coupon innovation — and how to be ready? Watch a video with Vericast Vice President of Sales & Account Management Andrew Crowley explaining what you need to do now to leverage coupon innovation to create value, improve competitiveness and increase consumer satisfaction.