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Eliminating Digital Coupon Fraud in Mobile: Announcing VMBC Coupon Cooker

June 29, 2014 - Business, Mobile, VMBC -

A couple months ago, we wrote about the impact that mobile coupons can have on a retailer’s business and some tips for getting started. At the same time, we’ve been working on a solution to two of the biggest challenges in mobile couponing: eliminating fraud and controlling budgets and timing.

We are proud to introduce the VMBC Coupon Cooker.

Retailers love coupons. And retailers hate coupons. In the right hands (that is, the hands of the specific customers that you want to encourage to buy at a specific time), coupons are an easily managed tool with a fantastic ROI. In the wrong hands (that is, anyone out trolling for a deal with no sense of loyalty), coupons are the fastest way to kill your budgets and lower your perceived value.

We have several clients who use short-term opportunistic mobile coupons to drive short-term sales, whether at the end of a sales period to meet a predefined goal, or tied to a short-term promotion. These coupons can deliver huge response and great ROIs. And that’s the problem: we’ve seen our coupons do so well, with such high redemption rates, that the client actually exceeds their budget.

So we set about to address two specific needs:

  • How do I control the expense of a short-term promotional coupon (for example, an end-of-month offer designed to boost short term revenue), so that I know I will not exceed my approved budget?
  • And how do I issue seemingly unique digital coupons that cannot be shared, duplicated or posted on couponing sites like Retail-Me-Not?

The result is our proprietary Coupon Cooker solution. Coupon Cooker does two things:

  • First, it protects your budgets. By ensuring that every coupon you issue has a firm budget attached, and that redemptions will stop as soon as that budget is achieved.
  • Second, it keeps coupons in the right hands. By presenting the appearance (without the overhead) of unique coupons, and making it impossible to transfer, duplicate, or load onto coupon sites without your permission.

The Coupon Cooker Experience
At the heart of the Coupon Cooker solution is an engine that is constantly tracking the status of each coupon in real-time. So at any moment we know exactly how many coupons have been activated and where you are at relative to your goals.

For example, you can choose to have X coupons redeemed, or have coupons redeemed until an aggregate $Y in discounts or sales have been recorded, or you can simply turn the coupon off at a specific date and time.

Coupons are distributed through the client’s app (or our own Coupon Cooker app) where customers download the coupon into their mobile coupon locker. A real-time status bar is embedded in each coupon, letting customers know how much time they have to redeem any specific coupon, based on the campaign parameters the client has selected for this effort.

So when they see Green, they know they have time left to redeem. Yellow starts to create a sense of urgency and Red means this coupon is going to expire at any point. And once you have achieved your goals, all other unredeemed coupons are invalidated and voided, and this message appears on the coupon itself.

In this way, we start training your customers to see these as reliable and honest warnings (and not simply a marketing ploy), which will encourage them to react and redeem more quickly in the future.

Complete Control Over Every Coupon
Your ability to manage coupon parameters does not stop once the coupon is launched. Coupon Cooker is driven through an Admin Tool dashboard that not only details the current status of each active campaign (redemption rates, budget spent to date, and do on), but gives you the ability to react to conditions and change campaign parameters while the campaign is happening.

So if you need to increase or decrease the budget, extend the campaign length or simply kill the campaign instantly, you can do it with the press of a button. The result is complete control over your ability to distribute, redeem and track coupons for short-term promotional campaigns, and one-off instant rewards.

Additionally, the Coupon Cooker SDK allows for fast and simple integration with your existing app, including a bar code scanner that allows paper coupons to be scanned and included in a single customer coupon center, enabling your customers to manage and organize all of their digital and paper coupons on a single page in the app.

We are very proud of our new Coupon Cooker solution, and what it can mean for you:

  • Coupon codes revealed at POS means a reliable and secure way to issue and redeem instant coupons without unique coupon codes
  • Real-time tracking and updating means a budget-conscious way to stage short-term promotional coupon offers
  • Ease of access and redemption means a faster check-out experience with higher customer satisfaction
  • Verified coupon legitimacy means greater confidence and fewer customer service issues

We would love to take you through a detailed demo and show you how Coupon Cooker can work for you. Contact Joe Cox (214-923-7025 or Joseph.Cox@vmbc.com) today.

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