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It’s holiday shopping season. People have abandoned their families to shop on Thanksgiving, then stood outside in the wee hours of the morning on Black Friday waiting for doors to open.

They’ve dutifully ignored work (on occasion) to browse online retailers. They’ve sharpened their elbows and mobilized through intense crowds at malls, warehouse stores, and big box retailers.

People will go to great lengths to get a great deal. They’ll do things outside their normal scope of behavior, especially this time of year.

In fact, if you browse through our collection of coupon statistics, you’ll see that valuable merchant content inspires people to try a lot of new things.

Even mobile payments.

I’m a mobile wallet user, sure. I used it once when my gas tank was nothing but fumes and my physical wallet was nowhere to be found. I used it another time when I reached the checkout line with a load of groceries but was without my physical wallet again.

I’m a huge fan of mobile wallets (when I don’t have my physical wallet)!

In all seriousness, this is the experience of many mobile wallet “users.” Many if not most mobile users have made a payment or two with their phones, but at this point, the ongoing adoption isn’t there.

Could it be that mobile wallets take 60% to 400% more effort to use than leather wallets?

Let me explain.

Have you ever signed up for a points program without actually knowing the details? As in, just pass over your name and phone number and you’ll start getting points on every purchase, eventually earning enough for…something.

Of course you’ve done that. Points are awesome. Points are sexy.

But there is a growing issue with many of these programs, and it's leaving members trapped in a glass case of emotion, wrestling with the joy of so many points (yay!) yet not much of value to acquire with them (boo!).

What's happening in points and miles programs, and what can be done to get them back on the right track?

Pop Quiz!

Without consulting Google or your address book, name the following:

 

Your plumber

 

Your dentist.

 

The last membership organization you joined.

 

Your real estate agent.

 

The brand of cereal you ate this morning. Or the name of the farm your eggs came from, if you're the lucky type that gets to have a nicer breakfast.

 

The family vet.

 

The manufacturer of the ink pen next to your hand. Or the manufacturer of the case around your smartphone on which you're reading this.

 

Okay, quiz over. How did you do?

Just a guess, but you probably drew blanks on many of these. It's okay; you're just not engaged with these brands.

Posted by Dave Bona on Mar 3, 2014 2:45:00 AM

We've made the claim that coupons can work for just about any business, as long as the deals are created with specific goals and audiences in mind. Mom-and-pop shops, regional chains, national retailers and yes, high-end brands.

That's right, even high-end brands can - and do - use deals to entice the right crowd to shop at their establishments. In fact, Access has helped many of these brands craft offers, but more on that in a moment.

Here's one thing many people don't realize: rich people love coupons. Households making over $100,000 are twice as likely to use coupons as those earning under $35,000. College graduates are also twice as likely to use coupons as those who did not graduate from high school. In fact, studies show that the less a household earns, the less likely they are to use coupons.

More than any other brands in the universe, high-end brands are very specific (even secretive) about their offers, but they're just like any other business in the world in this: they still need people to walk in the door and make purchases.

Here are three simple lessons Access has learned from high-end brands in our efforts to craft offers that drive the specific results they were looking for:

Access Vice President of Partnership Marketing Dave Bona oversees the development and maintenance of the nation’s largest private discount network, featuring over 300,000 merchants. We asked Dave to chime in with his thoughts on coupons and how the practice is changing for merchants. Be sure to catch parts one, two, and three in the series.