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Mobile Couponing Craze Hits Close to Home

Several local businesses are offering discounts you can access and redeem directly from your mobile device.

People in the St. Louis area are pretty bargain-savvy, according to a study released in February by Coupons.com.

In fact, St. Louis ranked in the top 3 of the country’s Top 25 Most Frugal Cities of 2011. The city was also noted for using its technological prowess to its financial advantage.

“St. Louis, Tampa, Oklahoma City and Cincinnati rounded out the top five cities using mobile apps to access, browse, print and save coupons to store loyalty cards,” Coupons.com said in a press release.

St. Louis County resident Amanda Schweiger said she doesn't use coupons because she can't remember to bring them when she goes out.

"Getting them on my phone would sure make life easier for me," she said, when Patch asked what she thought about the Coupons.com study.

Couponing is the new black, according to Real Moms Guide blogger Kristin Bustamante in her review of a website that bills itself as “the first national, fully digital, grocery eCoupon service.”

SavingStar.com gives iPhone and Android users the ability to find eCoupons from participating stores near them. Bustamante noted in her review that the eCoupons are “automatically uploaded to your pre-registered retail loyalty cards, and redeemed at checkout when the loyalty card is swiped,” but that there are also other options available.

In November 2009, Google announced that it had given businesses listed on Google Places the ability to add a mobile coupon that could be accessed and redeemed from mobile devices.

“When users pull up your business listing on their mobile phone, they'll see a section that lists the available coupons,” Google explained in the announcement. “They can then click to find a specially-formatted page which shows all the coupon details they need for redeeming it.”

St. Louis County business owner Joe Wilson told Patch that his business picked up when he used the moblie coupon option for his company's Google Places listing last summer.

"I got more calls than I'd had all season," Wilson said. "I had to hire extra help to finish all the jobs, and a lot of the customers have become regular clients."

Deal Seeking Mom blogger Beth, who regularly shares eCoupon deals, recently announced that  now has mobile coupons through a free app as well. Some of the current deals include 2-for-1 Huggies Diapers, 15 percent off women’s denim and a $5 photo book or calendar.

Even the  (SLCL) is getting in on the mobile tech movement, as SLCL’s communications manager Jennifer McBride . The new service will allow users to renew items, search the catalog, place requests, download eMedia directly to their smartphones and tablets and more, all from a free mobile app.

And  announced Tuesday that it has partnered with Foursquare to introduce a new mobile coupon program that will deliver instant coupons to customers who check in at any Walgreens store in the country.

The program is the first of its kind, according to a press release, and there’s a limit of one coupon per customer for each deal released.

Walgreens first tried mobile coupons with point-of-sale scanning on Black Friday last year in more than 7,800 stores across the country. The success of the initiative helped the company generate more than 500,000 downloads of the Walgreens mobile apps the following month, the press release said.


 

Angela Atkinson March 07, 2012 at 04:04 PM
From Josh Grossman, Savingstar.com: Thank you for mentioning SavingStar. I just wanted to clarify how the service works. Click the eCoupons you want and we’ll link them to all of your registered store cards. When you use your card at checkout like you normally do, your savings are automatically added to your SavingStar account within 2-30 days depending on when the store sends us the purchase data. (Note: the savings are not given at checkout in the store and they are not printed on your receipt). Once your accumulated savings in your SavingStar account reach $5, you can pick your payout from a deposit into your bank or PayPal account, an Amazon gift card, or a donation to American Forests. -Josh

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