We were convinced that iPhone users expect a visually compelling experience and that the average old-fashioned coupon, with a couple logos and a barcode, wasn't good enough.
Last week, we started introducing a second generation of significantly better graphics into our passes, and tracked the results.
And the results were great: the more beautiful passes were more than 5 times more likely to be "acted on" by customers.
- Basic (generic) pass: 1.0
- Category-Specific Passes (Toys, Food, etc): 3.4X
- High-Fashion pass: 5.1X
(We collected these statistics with analytics section of our engine; it watches the number of times the customer interacts with the back-page links of the pass, to fill out surveys, look at merchant websites, etc.)
It’s still early, but the numbers are so clear, and in retrospect not surprising. iPhone users are a demographically sophisticated group who have learned to expect a high-end experience. They probably aren’t huge users of coupons right now. Yes, we can lure them into looking at coupons on Passbook (indeed this could be a huge win for retailers, since high-end consumers tend to buy more profitable types of goods). But this will require a high-end kind of coupon.
Also we must realize that With Passbook, people are expecting dramatic, disruptive change. A mere “replay” of the same old coupon experience will leave them bored and frustrated.
Now, will this 500% statistic also apply to merchant sales? We don’t know yet. But it sure is worth finding out.
PS: it’s not just beauty, by the way. We have some truly amazing technology features we’ll be adding to our Passbook coupons, like the automatic geo-localization feature introduced today. Stay tuned.
PPS: For merchants: As a basic part of our “free” level merchant package, merchants can provide their own graphics…as beautiful as they want…to be applied to the thousands of coupons that our system provides. Silver and Gold level merchants get even more opportunities to add brand value and create new ROI from their coupons. And finally, we'll be announcing our Self-Service Barcode Adder next week.