Valassis launches omnichannel coupon redemption solution
Friday March 21, 2014 at 9:43am
Coupon experts Valassis has launched a new omnichannel redemption solution, VERSO, which increases the flexibility of coupons by letting brand owners change the offer in real time, should eliminate mis-redemption and will allow retailers to accept online coupons without costly changes to their EPOS systems. Effectively, VERSO scans a coupon and then goes online to check its validity and what it is worth against Valassis’ live masterfile, in real time. The system can confirm that the relevant conditions of use – for example, the right product has been bought – have been met before accepting a coupon. At the same time, the basic parameters of a coupon can be changed on the masterfile so that it might be worth more during a particular period, or it might change from a money-off coupon to one which can be redeemed for a free product. Conditions of use and what the coupon can be exchanged for at different times are set by the more than 300 manufacturers which have already signed up to use it across thousands of brands. Valassis points out that the ability to vary the value of a coupon offers considerable benefits in terms of flexibility and creativity for promotions. For example, offers can now be created with different product combinations which can only be redeemed during selected times of the day. Furthermore, brand marketers can be provided with insights around consumer behaviour in near real-time, offering the ability to fine tune campaigns on the fly. The real-time operation also enables grocery supermarkets to accept regular coupons faster as well as providing a secure platform for retailers to accept smartphone coupons at point of sale. Miseredemption will be eliminated as VERSO examines all coupons against Valassis’ comprehensive live offer database, rejecting fraudulent or invalid coupons at point of sale. This innovative solution streamlines the acceptance process and reduces back office administration. Charles D’Oyly, managing director at Valassis, says: “Issuers working with retailers using VERSO can be confident of a secure, streamlined process that, at the same time, enables greater flexibility with coupon campaigns.” D’Oyly adds: “Digital offers, such as those on a smartphone, currently cannot be accepted with confidence at point of sale unless a robust omnichannel redemption solution is in place. Smartphone adoption is rapidly rising – according to Ofcom’s latest Communications Market Report, 27% of adults and 47% of teenagers now own one. People are now accustomed to sourcing and redeeming digital offers on the high street, but to date haven’t been able to do this in supermarkets, because the risks of fraud are high to the retailer and the necessary systems haven’t existed.” Valassis, which handles around 85% of all coupon redemptions and reconciliations in the UK, already has all the live UK FMCG offers and associated business rules on its database, D’Oyly points out. Valassis has been using VERSO in other European countries for many years.