Target offers cell phone coupons

by Russ Hill on March 14, 2010

It was just a matter of time.

Target announced this last week that is now offering coupons on mobile phones.  That’s right, the person in front of you in line might hand their iPhone to the cashier who will then scan barcodes right off the cell phone to knock some cost off her bill.

This is so smart.

Target says there are a few ways someone can get access to the coupons.  They can use their computer to access the Target website and then locate the mobile signup page. They can go to m.target.com on their smartphone internet browser.  Or, they can text COUPONS to 827438.

This is a huge breakthru in and of itself.

But the bigger breakthru is going to come next.

The New York Times reports that “location-based” coupons are on their way.  The paper says recent research shows that customers want this feature.  Here’s how it would work.

You sign up for the program and then when you walk into your local grocery store your phone pops up with three or four text messages that when you click on them take you to a page on your mobile browser that offer coupons right there on your screen.  After seeing the texts, you make a detour to aisle 6 and pick up some Wheat Thins.  At the check out stand you hand over your phone and the coupon is scanned.

Mobile coupons will be one of those things that a few years from now we’ll be surprised we lived without.

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