On a recent trip to the local mall, I wondered if the clerks knew about coupons from your mobile phone and how widespread adoption is right now in physical stores. I stopped at a couple of popular stores for some insight. Not very scientific, but anecdotal can be useful. Surprisingly, I found helpful clerks willing to try, but unsure about their system's ability to scan coupons from mobile. At both Dunkin Donuts and Macy's department store, clerks couldn't answer if they were able to swipe from a mobile phone either via coupon scanning or via app. Dunkin donuts clerk didn't know the DD app existed. Happily, both were quite willing to try, and Macy's facebook pages reveal customers were successful with mobile coupons while DD's twitter feed showed some successful posts in urban locations. Here's some highlights.
First stop, Macy's in the home stores section. Clerk actually gave me the wrong answer. She was unsure about mobile coupon support, yet the scanner and icons indicated support for mobile coupons, scanning the same as a printable coupon. Unfortunately, I didn't have a mobile coupon available to 'test'. Later I checked Macy's Facebook page which proved many customers were able to use mobile coupons at stores at various locations nationwide. So, the mobile coupons should work, but clerks might not know about it. Good news is the clerks was happy to scan from my mobile if I had one to offer, so I would have been able to use a mobile coupon.
Second stop, Dunkin donuts. Once again, I checked with the clerk, who wasn't sure but again the store does support mobile commerce. However, again the clerk told me even if they weren't sure, she would try.
Bottom line: Bring coupon codes on your mobile phone to the store, and work with the clerk since you might be their first mobile coupon user. Look to the terminal to see icons for what is supported at the terminal.