Fresh off its strong March IPO, digital coupon provider Coupons.com is revealing its next product for consumers: card-linked offers. Now, shoppers will be able to add coupons directly to their payment cards, whether those are Visa, MasterCard or American Express cards, and then automatically receive their savings at checkout. At launch, the service will focus on offering coupons for speciality retailers and restaurants, including brands like Gap, Old Navy, The Body Shop, Tilly’s, Travelocity and others.
Card-linked offers, for those unfamiliar with the term, are discounts that you receive after first registering your payment card with a given service. You add the offers to your card – in Coupons.com’s case, via its website or mobile apps for iOS and Android – and then, after completing the purchase at point-of-sale, the savings are directly credited to your bank or credit card.
A number of competitors also work in this space including Cartera Commerce, Cardlytics, Womply, edo Interactive, and others.
Coupons.com’s new service, called CardLink IQ (or CLiQ), has been built using technology the company acquired from its acquisition of Yub late last year for $30 million.
Merchants who sign up to participate don’t need to switch their point-of-sale systems or train staff on new procedures for coupon acceptance, because there’s no change with the checkout process – consumers still just swipe their card as usual. But on the merchants’ side, they’re then able to track their digital marketing spend to purchases in real-time, using the provided reporting tools.
Shoppers can get started with Coupons.com card-linked offers by signing up from the new “Card Linked Offers” tab on the Coupons.com website, or via the Coupons.com mobile app. After linking their card or cards – a one time process – you’re able to browse the various discounts and click to add them to your card. When you make a purchase at one of the supported retailers or restaurants, you’ll receive either a text message or email notification confirming the acceptance of the coupon.
The cash discounts are credited directly to your card, and settled within a few days. If the offer is for a gift card reward, those redemption codes are sent within a few minutes.
At launch, a good handful of businesses have signed up for the service, including Gap and Old Navy, who are both offering 6% cash back when spending over $50 at a store; Denny’s, which is giving $5.00 off purchases of $10.00 or more; The Body Shop, which is offering $5 and free shipping when spending $50 online; and Travelocity, which is offering $20 off purchases of $200.
Browsing the site, a number of other retailers are spotted, too, including Vitamin World, Banana Republic, Piperlime, Athlea, DressBarn, Perfumania, and more.
While Coupons.com’s system is one focused on consumer convenience, it may appeal to those same sorts of shoppers who once were scouting for local deals at brick-and-mortars using services like Groupon and Living Social, for example. The move comes at a time when the daily deal market has been in decline, with some companies seeing falling revenues, poor forecasts, layoffs, pivots and other signs of trouble. (Groupon has had some success following expansion into new categories).
Merchants also never really liked the daily deals, because they would get foot traffic, but not quality spending or loyalty, and had little means of tracking conversions.
But for Coupons.com to be successful here, it will need to grow its selection of available offers and merchants significantly after this launch, otherwise consumers won’t think to turn to it as a resource for finding a deal, the way they might remember to scour RetailMeNot for a promo code when online shopping.
In the future, Coupons.com may expand the service to CPG (consumer packaged goods) by enabling CLiQ at the SKU level, the company tells us. This would allow CPGs and other manufacturers to require purchase of their specific products for coupon redemption at retail, but Coupons.com says they have nothing to announce on this front at present.
The new program is available here.