Bar-coded coupons appeal to young adults, survey finds

interested in mobile couponing, with 66 percent at least somewhat likely to try the technology, suggesting mobile couponing is an emerging technology for the retail space, especially in young adults. The online survey, conducted December 15–17, 2009, polled 2,257 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older.

Advancements in bar code scanning technology, such as the emergence of area-imaging scanners that can read bar codes off of mobile phone displays, are now making it possible for consumers to receive and redeem coupons on their mobile phones via email or SMS text message. Retailers scan the coupon directly from the digital display of the consumer’s mobile device at the point-of-sale, which eliminates the need to carry paper print outs and ultimately increases customer satisfaction. These advancements provide retailers with new opportunities to engage with their customer base in real-time, while saving costs and waste associated with paper coupons.

“With consumer interest growing rapidly and mobile couponing becoming easy to implement, retailers will be wise to invest in mobile couponing early on,” said Dan Slavin, co-founder of CodeBroker, a leading provider of mobile digital loyalty solutions. “We are already seeing extremely positive results from our retail customers who have implemented mobile couponing and look forward to working with Honeywell to help additional retailers leverage these cutting-edge technologies to differentiate themselves from the competition.”

Already, almost one-third (31 percent) of adults who own a mobile phone would be willing to share their phone number with retailers in order to receive mobile coupons, suggesting there is a real interest in the technology. Further, young adults (ages 18-34) are the most willing, with 50 percent stating they would share their number.

“We’re pleased to announce these survey findings, as they are in line with Honeywell’s commitment to support the growth and adoption of innovative technologies in the retail industry,” said John Waldron, vice president of worldwide marketing, Honeywell Scanning & Mobility. “We understand mobile couponing is in the early stages of adoption in the marketplace; however, the initial interest from consumers, especially young adults, is promising. Retailers can utilize our area-imaging scanners, which are optimized for mobile couponing, as part of a comprehensive mobile marketing strategy to take advantage of this emerging trend.”

Additional findings of the survey include:

  • Mobile phones offer new way to reach consumers. Ninety percent of adults own a mobile phone, providing retailers with an additional outlet to connect with consumers.
  • Couponing still strong. Eighty-six percent of adults have redeemed traditional paper coupons from a newspaper or magazine and sixty-five percent have redeemed electronic coupons from the Internet or through email, indicating that couponing is still used by many consumers as a way to save money.
  • Consumers in all income brackets use coupons. Ninety percent of all adults (with incomes ranging from less than $35K to $75K+) have redeemed some type of coupon. Interestingly, the highest number of coupon users earn $50K and above, a key finding for retailers targeting consumers in higher income brackets.

Web sites important for mobile couponing. Fifty-seven percent of mobile phone owners willing to share their number with retailers to receive coupons would prefer to regularly log onto a mobile coupon web site in order to choose which coupons are sent to their mobile phone, a key takeaway for retailers looking to implement mobile couponing strategies.

Honeywell International ( is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell’s shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit