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THE FUTURE OF COUPONS IS PHYGITAL

The name HighCo DATA is almost always automatically associated with the famous discount coupons. And rightly so, although the subject is a bit more complex than we all think. Over the years our expertise has grown and our services have expanded considerably. And this is precisely why HighCo DATA is able to offer even more effective customised solutions. Coupons, e-coupons, or even m-coupons, to say nothing of all the data collection inherent in this; this is what HighCo DATA specialises in, guiding us through this complex world.

 

“Let’s get phygital* is our maxim”, Fabrice Goffinet, Chief Commercial Officer at HighCo DATA Benelux told us. “Why? Because this is the direction consumers are heading in. By focusing on both traditional and digital domains, we can ensure optimal reach of consumers. In fact, this has already been our leitmotif for a very long time. Thanks to our experience we are able to provide solutions to the complex problems facing manufacturers today. And the expanded range of services is our strategy for standing out from the crowd.”

The best of both worlds

“An important point to note is the growing importance of online communications, which is a clear trend in our business”, explained Fabrice Goffinett. “You just have to look at the comparison in turnover between the on- and offline business of the HighCo Group Europe. Online business in 2010 accounted for just 15% and today it has grown to 40%, and we are looking at a forecast of 50% for next year. This is not just coincidence of course, but the consequence of changing consumer behaviour. Perhaps the most important point we can make about this is that in spite of this change, off- and online business remains inextricably linked. Although the number of people who search for products and purchase offline has shrunk by 5% according to the latest data, the other categories are growing. By this we mean consumers who search and purchase online or they search offline and purchase online or the other way round. All three categories are on an upward curve in fact.”

“The fact that we make increasing use of the possibilities offered by advanced digitisation does not mean that we are ready to abandon traditional coupons”, Digital Manager Pieter De Proost emphasised. “There is no doubt that there are changes taking place in the world of coupons with a shift to e-coupons and m-coupons. The latter are used via smartphones with no printing involved. All three remain in place, but if you asked me to name one single trend, I would emphasise the unstoppable advance of e-coupons.”

Growth factors for e-coupons 

“E-coupons must be seen as an interim stage, or a transition phase to m-coupons. And companies that have already made this step will probably enjoy better results when they are able to use their m-coupons.”, added Pieter De Proost. “It may seem paradoxical, given what we have just stated, but it does still present a considerable potential for growth. You could call e-coupons a kind of hybrid. Although they are issued electronically, they are used in a traditional format.”

“The major advantage of e-coupons is that they are an intelligent instrument and are extremely measurable”, Fabrice Goffinet interjected. “Companies that use CRM applications can obtain a treasure-trove of data. 25% of visitors to Websites with e-coupons will print them out. We also note that 48% of those who print their coupons actually give their opt-in. And of all the e-coupons that come off a printer, around a third will generally be used. The above-mentioned figures are averages and differ from one campaign to another. But in each individual instance, they provide invaluable information. We handle the collection and processing thereof, after which we can provide our clients with very useful information.

Optimising value

“Which value should I have printed on the coupon? This question comes up regularly”, says Fabrice Goffinet. “50 cents? 1 euro? More? There is a global trend towards a higher average value. It is also true that the value is higher when used in direct mailings than with in-store offers. The rule is that the further you are from the purchasing decision the higher the value has to be. If we look at the specific case of e-coupons, we notice that additional procedures are required: they have to be registered and printed. The cost per purchased product with e-coupons is higher than in an on-pack campaign, but three times cheaper than promotional campaigns via direct mailing.”

“In order to optimise costs, methods have been designed that considerably reduce these total costs and this is where our expertise plays a crucial role”, clarified Pieter De Proost. “One option is to group campaigns around a specific theme. The festive season for instance. Or gifts for under the Christmas tree. You can also combine different products around the theme of an aperitif. By combining different discounts from a single campaign, consumers get the best deal. But it’s possible to keep a reduction for each product remaining within reasonable limits. The added value that we bring is that we work on total concepts of this kind. We bring different manufacturers together and come up with communal campaigns. An important aspect of this approach is that HighCo DATA takes all the risks. We guarantee participants a minimum number of redeemed e-coupons. And it goes without saying that we guarantee exclusivity to everyone per category.”

Phygital team

“HighCo DATA has a dedicated Phygital team”, Fabrice Goffinet told us. “These people do not just adapt to the changing market. They are there above all because the physical aspect is inseparable from the digital aspect. Together they work on the same project: data scientists, media specialists, digital marketing specialists, account managers, etc. And the greatest advantage for our clients is that they only have one contact person.”

* Contraction of the terms physical and digital.

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