Coupon Industry and DLT: E-Commerce Grows With World Cooped Up at Home

Coupons, typically thought of as pieces of paper used at grocery stores to redeem discounts, have gained traction throughout the years. It’s been noted that coupons were first used in the mid-1890s by Coca-Cola. Since then, the coupon industry has expanded into a multibillion-dollar enterprise.

Digital coupons in particular are driving traction for the coupon industry. Statistics show that 126.8 million adults in the United States used online coupons in 2016. That figure is expected to reach 145.3 million users by 2021.

As digital coupons continue to be leveraged, the Coupon Bureau — a nonprofit coupon data exchange platform that works with Target, General Mills and many of the largest manufacturers of consumer product goods, known as CPGs — announced on April 22 that it will use Hedera Hashgraph’s Hedera Consensus Service to provide an immutable log of coupon registration and redemption data. 

Opportunity in crisis

It’s important to point out that the coronavirus pandemic may further increase the use of digital coupons globally. For example, China is incentivizing people to spend money again at retailers by issuing digital coupons through third-party apps like Alipay and WeChat Pay. 

Brandi Johnson, the CEO of the Coupon Bureau, told Cointelegraph that overall coupon demand in the U.S. increased by 30% in the immediate weeks following the outbreak of COVID-19, adding: “We expect this trend to continue as the economic impact is felt throughout the country. This translates to digital as much as it does paper.”

Johnson further noted that certain coupon circulars have completely halted production, resulting in industry movement toward digital initiatives:

“One major retailer went from 5% to 30% of revenues generated via e-commerce. The same retailer is now scrambling to get digital manufacturer coupons into their loyalty app and e-commerce system. They expect to complete it by May, and other retailers will likely follow suit.”

Digital coupons…

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