Qples Blog

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“Why the heck can’t I scan coupons from my phone!?’ Consumers and brand managers new to the grocery world have asked us this question so many times!  It’s true, it doesn’t make sense that you can scan your boarding pass, scan your coffee rewards card and even pay for things with your phone- but I can’t scan your coupons at the grocery store?  Let’s talk about why.

In the famous words of a delivery company – “It’s all about logistics”. Currently, paper coupons are the way that a retailer can prove to brands how much money that has been “given back” to consumers through coupons. They are like little IOUs that the retailer can use to recoup those discounted dollars. The hurdle with grocery coupons is that if you were to scan your coupon from your phone at the store, the store would have no way to account for that money you saved! Sally the cashier could not balance her drawer at the end of the night without those little IOUs. I know what you are thinking, couldn’t the cash register keep up with those digital discounts? No, not just yet (it’s complicated).

Coupon providers and retailers found a “digital stop gap” with loyalty or Load-2-Card coupons and receipt scan apps. While both options do provide a digital experience, they both have limitations whether it is savings limited to a certain store as with loyalty cards or indirect savings (savings that come after your transaction) as with receipt scan apps, neither offer instant savings at any store.

Instant digital savings at any store has been dubbed “The pink unicorn” here at Qples… and you are just about as likely to find one of those as you are to scan your mobile phone for savings.  But alas, there is finally hope! The industry has heard your cry and the Wizards of Coupon Oz are researching how this digital magic can happen.  The good news is, the work is underway to move us there.  The bad news is, these major business changes never happen fast.

So until that magical Pink Unicorn day, keep using those Loyalty cards for mobile savings opportunities for your favorite store, and keep scouring the internet for those awesome printable coupons you can use anywhere!  On that amazing day, we will be shouting it from the rooftops- we promise you won’t miss it!