The way we buy products and services has changed drastically in recent years after technological advancements and the advent of the information age have shifted the way consumers and businesses interact. 

Traditional shopping started to slowly drift away a few years ago after shoppers took to their computers in lieu of traveling to a store. As a result, e-commerce vendors become increasingly popular. They implemented strategies to connect with customers online to increase their sales and marketing efforts. While this practice is still going strong, a new element has been added to the digital shopping experience.

The mobile phone has changed the way users do virtually every daily activity, shopping included. M-commerce is increasing rapidly in popularity, and now companies are launching initiatives to connect with mobile users. Text message marketing is one example, as it can be used to reach consumers on the device they will likely use more than any other over the course of a day, but there are other methods m-commerce vendors can implement to reach out to their would-be customers. 

For example, mobile coupons have grown in their effectiveness in recent years as they are now a major component of mobile marketing strategies. While this blog has spent a substantial amount of time discussing this practice already, new research shows just how effective SMS couponing can be.

According to a Business Insider report, 29.5 million mobile coupons were sent last year, up from 7.4 million in 2010. The study projects that this number could reach 47.1 million in 2014. What's truly impressive about this number is that the total number of both digital and physical coupons in circulation in 2012—roughly 305 billion—remained unchanged from the year prior. What this indicates is that vendors aren't simply launching mobile coupons to complement their physical coupon strategies, but rather replacing their traditional offerings with mobile.

Mobile coupon redemption is diverse in the retail sector, as a number of different industries have seen a major increase in usage. The BI study indicates that 41 percent of mobile coupon users have benefited from them at the grocery store, and 41 percent also said they use them at department stores. Clothing stores are nearly just as popular with 39 percent being used in that industry, followed by 29 percent at electronic stores and 26 percent at mass merchandisers. Ultimately, this means that mobile coupons are an effective tool in a number of different areas, and is a promising sign for new retailer types that want to implement this strategy.

The growth of m-commerce has helped with this process because users are now able to buy directly from their phones and can easily use their coupons that already exist on their devices. Ironically, mobile coupons are also giving brick-and-mortar retailers new life because users can come back to the store and scan their devices to pay at the register without touching cash or a physical credit card. 

"Brands and retailers are increasingly using digital coupons as a means to drive digital revenue, increase offline sales and foot traffic to physical stores, gather data, and build direct relationships with customers and potential customers,"the report says.

As long as projections remain true, businesses should implement a mobile coupon strategy to keep up with their competitors. Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools needed to launch a mobile coupon campaign.