Two years after its owner stopped offering printable and digital coupons online, the website Save.com offers articles, lifestyle tips, recipes – but not complete savings.
That, however, is about to change.
Vericast, which inserts Save Coupon and publishes the corresponding Save.com website, has unveiled plans to offer a new form of digital coupon that can be downloaded to your mobile device and scanned directly from your screen.
“Vericast’s Universal Coupon solution creates a new digital layout designed to give consumers more freedom of choice to use coupons on their mobile devices to any participating retailer,” the company announced this morning. Customers who click on a Vericast-driven display ad or visit Save.com will be able to access the coupon without having to print anything or load a store loyalty account. Instead, “consumers will have some traditional options for downloading and storing these coupons, such as email, e-wallet, or an app,” Michelle Angel, Vericast’s chief product officer, told Coupons in the News.
In the coming months, Vericast will launch an experimental universal coupon campaign, ahead of an expected wide rollout when more retailers are set to receive them. “Although retailer acceptance is limited, we believe this format will gain acceptance and attraction as we move through the year and into 2023,” Engel said.
The new coupons are the result of Vericast’s work with The Coupon Bureau, an industry-backed group that is developing new mobile coupon layouts. The first of these, called TCB Universal Digital Coupons, went live in late 2020, as the first participating retailers scanned coupons from the first participating manufacturers available in the new format. Buyers are able to download and display a single-use mobile coupon bar code on their phone, which is designed to be able to scan at any checkout and cannot be shared or reused.
The idea is to make existing digital coupons more portable and to improve where they can be used. Current load-to-card coupons must be retailer-specific and must be loaded into your account with that particular store, where home-printed coupons must be presented in paper form to be accepted anywhere. Universal digital coupons do not have to be printed, or attached to a specific store, but they also include security features that prevent them from being copied or manipulated and are verified as they are scanned.
Vericast’s plans follow similar recent announcements from other coupon providers, including Qples, Catalina and RevTrax, all of which are working with the Coupon Bureau to make mobile coupons available. Vericast says the only solution to using the company’s proprietary technology is to analyze consumer behavior and intentions and allow the right customer to set the right target for the right coupon.
“We have worked with the industry to create these new standards to address some of the biggest coupon challenges that manufacturers and retailers alike face. The solution seeks to alleviate fraud, improve accuracy as well as delight buyers, “said Brandi Johnson, CEO of Coupon Bureau. “Wide acceptance is coming, and will help lay the foundation for Vericast’s innovation and support in quality development.”
Even as prices rise and economic concerns rise, coupon distribution and redemption continue to decline. Older coupon delivery methods, such as newsletters and print-at-home coupons, are falling out of favor, while new methods like load-to-card coupons are not growing fast enough to fill the void.
And, let’s face it, load-to-card coupons aren’t entirely new and revolutionary anymore – click on coupon images to load into a retailer-specific loyalty account, then scan or type a plastic card to redeem them at the store. Your phone number on a keypad is not the most high-tech solution these days. Universal coupons can better represent the future of coupons. And now another company is betting on it.
Image Source: Unsplash Vericast / Frankie Chamaki