Friday, October 30, 2009

How To Get Paperless Coupons

Coupons are getting easier to use, and coupled with the post from a few days ago, the excuses for not using them based on inconvenience are growing more narrow.  As I have written about before, coupons that are "loaded" on to your grocery store loyalty cards are starting to catch on, Safeway for one, uses them.  The premise is simple:  before you go to the store, select from a list of brands you are planning on shopping for, select the coupon, and wait (times vary) for them to load on to your card.  At the store, when you check out, they should be automatically deducted from your purchases.  These should also work on-line too, in theory, if you are getting your groceries delivered.

But, now it's even easier to tote coupons with you--digitally--as indicated in this article, which discusses something called mobiQpons.  It works like this, quoting:

"The way it works is you install their iPhone, Android or Blackberry app (no signup required, just load the app) and when location services on the device is turned on you will get notifications of merchants offering coupons or promotions in your area. Merchants have to be signed up for the service in order for their promotions to run through the network but that’s not surprising."

I wouldn't necessarily run out and buy a web-enabled smartphone just for this, but if you have one already, it can help pay for itself.  One day, as I have seen in one sci-fi movie, it will likely be the case that once you walk by a virtual advertising board, it will flash a discount based on your demographic, making a broad assumption of what you might like.  If you are a male in your 20s-30s, you might see ads for beer, for example.