New Service Allows Users To Select Coupons To Be Mailed To Cell Phones
August 15, 2007
There’s a new crop of services emerging that allow you to use your cell phone as a coupon.
There are two flavors: one like CellFire where you flip through and download coupons by browsing on your phone; the other, like 8coupons.com, a website where you browse coupons online just like you would in a newspaper, and decide which ones to “clip.”
“You can print them out if you wish to or you can click on that little phone icon and send it directly to your cell phone,” says Landy Ung of 8Coupons.com. “We have five categories, everything from restaurants to entertainment, spa, services. Right now our main focus is on local merchants, your mom and pop restaurants, dry cleaners, Joe’s Pizza. Once you send that coupon you want to that cell phone, you take it to the restaurant or store and show it to the cashier or server and show the coupon on your cell phone. That’s it.”
Both types of services were smart enough to realize they had to come up with something other than sending coupons as text messages, something most folks don’t really care for.
Just about every single person we spoke to, said they still view their cell phone as kind of sacred – they still don’t really get spam on their phones and they still don’t get calls from telemarketers on them, so they don’t want arbitrary text messages sent to their phones.
But if they could clips coupons and then send them to their phones, they would consider using the service.
“It costs money with text messages. Any time someone sends you a message it’s ten cents,” says one New Yorker, who was more positive about the idea of getting the coupon on a website and sending it to himself. “That would be an idea, yeah, that would get around cutting them up and carrying them around with you all the time.”
“I feel it’s a lot better, just to be able choose what you want to get on your cell phone rather than being bombarded by unwanted texts,” added another.
Services like CellFire work nationwide and have more coupons from big chains like Domino’s Pizza or Subway.
8Coupons.com is available in just five Big Apple neighborhoods right now, with plans to expand citywide by the end of the year, then to other metropolitan areas after that.
– Adam Balkin