Unilever launches mobile coupon trial

Consumer goods conglomerate Unilever has launched a mobile coupon trial program in the US.

The trial, developed by mobile marketing solutions provider Samplesaint, began yesterday in New Jersey and will run for four weeks, offering discounts on Unilever products like Breyers ice cream, Dove soap, Hellmann's mayonnaise and Lipton tea.

Consumers download the digital coupons from the Samplesaint website to their phones, and at checkout, the ShopRite cashier will scan a bar code on the handset screen, redeeming the discount and deleting the offer from the device.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Unilever is the first major marketer to test this kind of mobile coupon service in the US

“This has been a Holy Grail thing that people have been trying to figure out," Unilever director of integrated marketing Marc Shaw said. “I think this is on target for where consumers' heads are at right now.”

 An April consumer study published by Icom, a division of Epsilon Data Management, reports that 87% of survey respondents who had used coupons in the past month redeemed them at grocery stores, compared with 47% at restaurants and 41% at department stores.

For more on the Unilever/Samplesaint deal:
- see a pdf of the WSJ
- see the Wall Street Journal article (sub. req)