April 25, 2013, 2:07 PM

One in five consumers say they’ll respond to offers from nearby stores

A new CouponCabin survey reveals what consumers want from location-based coupons.

Lead Photo

A screenshot of a nearby deal alert from CouponCabin.

When smartphone-toting shoppers going about their quotidian business receive a mobile alert that a special deal is available at a nearby store, one in five will go there, according to a new survey from CouponCabin.com. Moreover, while not every consumer will immediately change her route in response to a deal alert, 70% of shoppers surveyed say it would influence them to make an unplanned purchase, the affiliate marketing company says.

CouponCabin provides online coupon codes and offers for local stores on the web and through iPhone and iPad apps. It conducted the online survey of 2,219 U.S. adults, 1,096 of whom own smartphones, between Feb. 28 and March 4, asking their opinions on geo-targeted deal alerts. CouponCabin just released this type of alert as a feature in its mobile apps.

“Our new mobile app puts even more savings power into our users’ hands,” says Jackie Warrick, president of CouponCabin.com. “Now, during their daily routines, people can be alerted simply and easily when they can save money around them.”

CouponCabin’s deal alerts pop up on the smartphone or tablet screens of consumers who have requested such notifications. They can be set to go off whenever a shopper is near a store that she’s marked as a favorite or for which she has saved a coupon; a consumer also can elect to receive alerts on new deals, Warrick says. “For example, if a user has marked an in-store coupon for Kohl's as a favorite in the app and she walks by a Kohl's store, she’ll receive a notification from the app reminding her to stop in Kohl's and use the coupon,” she says. The app can also remind shoppers to use their loyalty cards at a store if they’ve saved them in the app.

The first time a user launches the app, it asks her to allow GPS tracking, CouponCabin says. She can change the settings for when she receives push notifications anytime under the “notifications” section.

As to why smartphone owners in the survey would like to receive  geo-targeted deal alerts, 47% say it’s because they’d save money without thinking about it, 44% because it’s convenient and time-saving, 40% because it reminds them to use coupons when shopping, and 4% cite other reasons. Overall, 67% of smartphone owners in the survey say they are at least somewhat interested in using such a service.

Both the app and the web site include a section dedicated to local offers for stores and restaurants in a consumer’s area, Warrick says. Any of the 4,000 retailers CouponCabin features that also have stores can trigger a geo-targeted alert, as the company automatically geofences every store in its network she says. There is no charge for merchants to post coupons or to be included in the location-based alerts. CouponCabin generally receives a small commission from retailers when a shopper redeems one of its coupons, it says.

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