Victoria's Secret, Aeropostale, Ann Taylor offer mobile coupons via iPhone app
Big brands such as Ann Taylor, Aeropostale and Victoria's Secret offer consumers mobile coupons via an iPhone application called "Freeshipping.org."
Ann Taylor is offering free shipping on orders of $150 or more and users can click "use coupon" to be rerouted to the Ann Taylor site where they can use the offer on any purchases they make, right from their handset. Aeropostale is offering customers a $7.95 flat-rate shipping price and consumers can click through to the retailer's mobile site, where they can buy products and apply the coupon offer.
"The app helps brands make their coupons available to more people in more places," said Luke Knowles, CEO of Freeshipping.org, Fort Collins, CO. "Frugal shoppers have iPhones and it gives them another way to access coupons to find out more about the deals these merchants have."
Victoria's Secret is offering customers a free shipping coupon on orders over $100. Users are routed to the brand's official site and at checkout, the user will need to enter the coupon code from the application.
Mr. Knowles said the Freeshipping.org iPhone application is essentially the company's Web site in application form. Freeshipping.org is an online resource to link shoppers to free shipping and other coupon codes offered by more than 1,000 online retailers.
"Statistics are showing people are starting to shop through the mobile phone and it only makes sense people will use apps to help save them money," Mr. Knowles said.
Users can browse Freeshipping.org's list of 1,596 brands. Then, once a brand is selected the coupons are displayed for the user to select and get more information on.
"The copy and paste feature that is part of 3.0 should make mobile coupon apps more user-friendly," Mr. Knowles said. "Users will be able to copy the code and then paste it in at checkout."
Freeshipping.org's iPhone application has been downloaded approximately 5,000 times in three months.
Before launching the application for Freeshipping.org, the company launched Coupon Sherpa, an iPhone application that allows users to access in-store coupons from their phones.
When shopping, 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 (see story).
"People will still shop online but they are a lot more excited about taking phones in-store to show a bar code and have it be scanned and get a discount,' Mr. Knowles said. "It will save people a lot more money than online coupon apps."
Mr. Knowles said the current economy makes all types of coupons attractive to consumers.
"Coupons in general -- even online coupons -- they're more popular because of the recession," he said. "It's all about convenience."