Coupons Catching Up With 'In the Moment' Shopping

PCATS launches digital, mobile promotions standards initiative

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The Petroleum & Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) announced that is planning an open meeting in Chicago on Aug. 19 to discuss the need and scope of digital and mobile promotions standards for the convenience store channel.

"Coupons have never been a big part of our merchandising methods, as the traditional paper-based promotions were best suited for planned shopping experiences typical of other channels", said Gray Taylor, PCATS executive director. "With the advent of smart phones, promotion is finally mirroring our channel's 'in the moment' shopping experience, and is a perfect fit for our format."

He added, "Last year almost $390 billion in coupons were created, and we only benefited from a small percentage despite being channel leaders in beer, packaged beverage, tobacco and other categories. We believe that by accelerating our adoption of digital coupon acceptance, we will add billions in new industry sales dollars flowing to adjacent market competitors, and make a significant impact to our retailers' and supplier-partners' profitability."

PCATS has already started standards initiatives in mobile payments as part of its Retail Financial Transaction Committee work, and it recently initiated mobile promotions work within the Loyalty Workgroup at its annual conference in May.

The meeting is open to digital marketing professionals from all consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies with significant sales in the convenience store channel. Topics include the state of digital promotion, accepting promotions at the point of sale, processing of digital promotion tokens and data security concerns.

PCATS said that it hopes to incorporate the discussion points in its accelerated work to more quickly put standards in place to support CPG companies' digital promotion initiatives.

For more information or reserve your seat, contact Ann Zecca, PCATS office manager, at [email protected], or Gray Taylor at [email protected].

PCATS is a nonprofit organization devoted to the development, maintenance and implementation of standards, education and best practices for the convenience store and petroleum retail segments. Members of PCATS collaborate and focus on key industry challenges and initiatives.