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Retail & CPG

Universal Digital Coupons 101: Your Guide to the Coupons of the Future

AI (8112) coupons are redefining how CPG brands drive revenue by increasing customer acquisition, lifetime value, and more. Here’s what you need to know.


Just like everything else nowadays, there are very few, if any, physical and manual business processes that are safe from digitization. It’s no secret that traditional print coupons (aka AI (8110) coupons) have helped boost sales and acquire new customers within the CPG space, making it the go-to couponing approach up until this point. But coupons have now moved far beyond grocery flyer cut-outs and in-store handouts, and gone are the days where brands can solely rely on print coupons to effectively reach and reel in their customers. Luckily for your CPG brand, new AI (8112) digital coupons are easier than ever to create, distribute, verify, and track.


What is a Universal Digital Coupon?

In 2020, The Coupon Bureau (TCB) introduced the new AI (8112) Universal Digital Coupon Standard to shift the industry away from issues with product validation and increasing levels of fraud, toward single-use, digital coupons that can be redeemed from a smartphone device in real-time. AI (8112) digital coupons are a type of manufacturer coupon that customers can use to purchase products from any participating retailer, rather than from a specific store. The new digital aspect allows customers to download a brand’s coupons directly onto their smartphones, save them into their mobile wallets or coupon app, and then redeem them at any participating retail store once they’re ready to be used. 

In comparison to legacy print-at-home coupons, Universal Digital Coupons leverage cloud computing to efficiently connect all stakeholders involved in the coupon redemption process, including manufacturers and brands, agents, distributors, retailers, and clearinghouses.


How Can Digital Coupons Benefit Both Your Brand and Customers?

AI (8112) Universal Digital Coupons are quickly becoming a revolutionary way for CPG brands and customers to interact while offering a more effective way for businesses to save money on marketing and customer acquisition. These coupons provide several benefits for both brands and customers, making them a valuable addition to the world of coupons and discounts.

Universal Digital Coupons Will Put Your Brand Ahead

With inflation rates higher than ever, customers are looking to cut down on their spending, which often leads them to purchase cheaper alternatives. This doesn’t have to be the case with the new Universal Digital Coupons; your customers can keep purchasing the items they want most while your brand keeps the same customers coming back to you.

Here are just a few of the many ways Universal Digital Coupons can drive the bottom line for your CPG brand:

1. Increase sales

82% of customers redeem digital coupons within one week of being clipped, and 30% of customers redeem them within the same day. By offering shoppers an easier and more convenient way to apply discounts at checkout, without having to dig for paper coupons, customers will be more likely to increase their basket size and frequency of purchases, bringing in more sales revenue for your brand.

2. Acquire new customers

One of the best things about coupon marketing is the ability of CPG brands to reach new segments of customers. With Universal Digital Coupons, this reach is multiplied, especially when you consider that 89% of customers try new products (and therefore new brands) because they have a coupon. Since these coupons are digital by nature, they can also be easily shared through social networking sites and paid media, such as online and offline ads expanding the reach of promotion and marketing campaigns to a wider audience.

3. Track and validate your coupons from start to finish

The shift from slow and labor-intensive print coupons to cloud-based, digital coupons makes the process of building, loading, distributing, and tracking coupons more optimized than ever. With the combined capabilities of all the members of the coupon ecosystem, your brand can easily track and verify that coupons are being used correctly while also improving your attribution of customer redemptions. Having the process be entirely trackable is a key factor in preventing coupon fraud, which is why digital coupons are unique, serialized, and redeemed in real-time through the cloud. 

4. Be your customers’ favorite brand

When 85% of customers are willing to shop and/or switch between stores based on the best deals and promotions available, that leaves little room for brand loyalty. Digital coupons enable businesses to better track and retain valuable customer data (ie. products they purchase, the frequency they redeem coupons, and where coupons are being redeemed), helping them easily customize and target relevant offers, promotions, and rewards for specific groups of consumers. 

5. Reduce your costs & carbon footprint

Universal Digital Coupons provide CPG brands with a cost-effective way to save money on marketing, advertising, and sustainability efforts by moving couponing strategies completely online. As an efficient new way to extend brand reach and customer engagement, digital coupons remove the need for businesses and customers to continuously print coupons tenfold. 

6. Own your audience

There are currently many digital coupon alternatives in the marketplace that possess some of the same features listed above, but a majority come with a walled-off consumer garden that is only available for use through the vendor who owns those customers. With AI (8112) coupons, CPG brands can take back control over their audiences with a coupon tool designed to reach any segment.


When Customers Save Time, They Spend More

One of the most important benefits that Universal Digital Coupons unlock for your customers is convenience. Rather than having to print, cut, and carry around a physical coupon, customers can now simply access and redeem coupons through their Apple and Android mobile wallets once they are ready to checkout. Digital coupons allow your customers to use discounts and promotions without the hassle of digging for physical coupons, which means they are more likely to remember what promotions they have saved and ultimately buy more from your brand.

With the latest introduction of bundling, customers can also combine multiple digital coupons into a single barcode, significantly reducing the amount of time customers spend searching for and redeeming coupons at the register. 


What’s Next in the Shift to Digital Coupons?

The new Universal Digital Coupons have great potential to transform the coupon industry, and many retailers and CPGs alike are leading the change. Most recently, Qples by Fobi participated in one of the first pilots with Blue Bunny ice cream at Lagree’s Food Stores. As a convenient and effective way for businesses to save money while enhancing the ways they can engage and interact with their customers, Universal Digital Coupons are quickly becoming the most attractive couponing strategy, and their success will only continue to accelerate. 

Now that you’re more familiar with AI (8112) Universal Digital Coupons, what are you waiting for? It’s time for your CPG brand to start preparing for the coupons of the future. 

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