Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Distributing coupons: twtQpon

While I don't seem to usually have the time to post here regularly, I just need to get back to yesterday's contribution, as I became aware of twtQpon this morning, which allows you to distribute coupons via Twitter. In order to do this, you just need a picture for your coupon, a coupon code, its expiration date, a redirect URL and some information you add (title and what your coupon is for in 140 characters). The URL should point to the site where your offer is made available (prominent example is DellOutlet). Not really suited for mobile use, as only the information about the coupons come to you, but not the coupons themselves, which most likely are not on mobile websites. If you want to regularly get informed about coupons of a specific retailer, then you might try that out, but usually I would rather think people are interested about coupons relative to a given area (e. g. close to where you live or work) and related to one's current needs or context. As an example, coupons on computers are only interesting as long as you need one, and coupons on goods from a department store would probably be considered as spam.

I somehow seem to like the main idea behind coupon distribution via Twitter, but it needs to be improved. First, by associating location data to each coupon (if related to a retailer in town), second by adding keywords describing the article(s) a coupon is related to, third by offering customers a shopping (or wish) list for the things they need or want, with an option to add an expiration date after which the item on the shopping list can be considered to be obsolete. Then, it would be possible to match customer needs and available offers (identified via coupons).

Somehow I seem not to be so sure whether Twitter is the right channel for coupons, as these may be missed if you have many followers, plus only a minority of people interested in coupons are actually using microblogging services (at least at the moment).

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