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Coupon Sherpa lets shoppers access in-store coupons via iPhone

Coupon Sherpa has created an iPhone application that gives users access to the coupons of more than 100 retailers nationwide.

The service will eliminate the hassle of clipping paper coupons or printing them out from the Internet. It is also better for the environment.

"Since the main part of our business has been running the Web site, we live and breathe coupons 24-7," said Luke Knowles, co-creator of Coupon Sherpa, Fort Collins, CO.

"A few months back a friend of mine mentioned that he longed for the day when in-store coupons would be available on the iPhone," he said. "I thought that was a good idea and set out to make it a reality. So our strategy or goal is to make mobile phones the primary method of distributing coupons."

Approved by Apple, Coupon Sherpa is available at the iPhone App Store.

Finish Line, Zales Jewelers, Coldwater Creek, Gordon's Jewelers, CompUSA, Jackson-Hewitt and Tiger Direct are some of the retailers for which shoppers can find coupons on the application.

Shoppers can find coupons for men's and women's clothing, electronics, restaurants, pet supplies, sporting goods and local services.

"There are so many benefits to having coupons on mobile devices for both the shopper and the retailer, as well as the environment," Mr. Knowles said. "Shoppers don't have to worry about forgetting their paper coupons at home and retailers can reach shoppers with their offers while they are in their stores.

"And can you imagine what a difference mobile coupons could have on the environment," he said. "No more paper coupons."

Coupon Sherpa is user-friendly, Mr. Knowles said.

When shopping at bricks-and-mortar stores, consumers show the cashier the appropriate coupon from the application on their iPhone or iPod touch.

The cashier then types in the bar code or scans the coupon if that store has an optical scanner.

"Coupon Sherpa currently targets anybody that owns an iPhone or iPod touch," Mr. Knowles said. "We plan on creating similar apps for other mobile platforms in the future. We also have plans to put coupons to stores in other countries on the app as well."

With the current economic crisis, consumer demand for discounts has gone up and retailers that provide those discounts can increase their bottom line.

Coupon Sherpa is banking on usage from the millions of consumers owing iPhones and iPod touches.

"The iPhone was an obvious platform to launch Coupon Sherpa on," Mr. Knowles said.

"With 20 million iPhones in use and even more iPod touches, it allowed us to reach a very large group of mobile phone users with our app," he said. "It is also the largest app store for mobile devices."