By: Doug Baker, Vice President, Industry Relations, FMI
With the recent economic news around inflation and supply chain issues, coupons and consumer savings have jumped back into the headlines. We decided to reach out to The Coupon Bureau and talk to the CEO, Brandi Johnson, and learn about current trends and the coming changes to the coupon technology landscape.
Doug: We’ve been hearing a lot about coupons of late, can you tell us a bit more about who you are as an organization and what you are trying to accomplish?
Brandi: Coupons are getting a major technology upgrade and we’re very excited to be a part of it.
The Coupon Bureau is a non-profit organization formed to address the need for a manufacturer funded mobile coupon standard. Created and managed by industry associations such as Association of Coupon Professionals, and the Joint Industry Coupon Council and FMI, serve to represent the needs of retailers and manufacturers as they work to adapt to consumer behavior and the ever-changing technology landscape.
The solution that was created and is currently being implemented is called the Universal Coupon. It is essentially an industry wide single source of truth for cloud validated coupons. This new digital, serialized, coupon format can be scanned from a mobile device or even presented in paper form. It is redeemable by any retailer connected to The Coupon Bureau. Many large retailers, as well as regional, and small chains are actively working to connect to The Coupon Bureau’s centralized database to ensure they are ready to accept these offers when released. Many of the larger manufacturers participating are actively planning to drop national AI 8112 consumer promotions starting in July 2022.
Doug: So, with the Universal Coupon, what impact will it have on our retailers and what benefits do you expect?
Brandi: There are a lot of positives for the retailer. Real-time validation and clearing data will lead to improved cash flow, faster speed at checkout, counterfeit elimination, reduced friction with your consumers and cashiers, improved vendor relationships, and reduced chargebacks and adjustments.
Doug: How do you feel shoppers will adapt to this new format?
Brandi: Shoppers prefer and have already adapted to digital and mobile offers provided through retailer loyalty programs, so this is just a natural extension of a format that is widely accepted.
Doug: What is required from the retailer? How do they get connected?
Brandi: To accept these offers, real-time POS validation is required. This is accomplished through an API connection to The Coupon Bureau’s centralized offer database. This is done either directly or with your chosen technology partner. We have numerous providers that are already tied into the retailer POS systems that can enable this functionality with little to no tech lift on the retailer side.
Doug: Well, it certainly sounds like positive changes are coming to the coupon space, and more availability of offers for consumers couldn’t come at a better time. Thank you for sharing your update with FMI.
Brandi: For more information, reach out at https://www.thecouponbureau.org/register.