My prediction is that the habits of consumers is going to change in the future. Technology is constantly changing making our habits more internet based. We use the internet as a tool to make purchases. Even if we are going to the store, we still look online most of the time first. We are writing and reading reviews and even looking up coupons. I think that PR is going to have to adjust to have a main online presence for the retail industry especially. We are in that transition stage right now where very few companies are scanning coupons off our phones but many companies still want you to print out their coupons and bring it in. More and more companies are in between where you can show them a coupon code on your phone to the cashier and they will type it in. We really don’t like to print out coupons anymore. We expect the cashier to take the coupons right off of our smartphones. In the future, I predict that all stores will end up having the bar code scanners that scan the coupon automatically off your phone. This will help PR professionals to utilize their promotional strategies online by uploading online coupons and this will also help them to maintain relationships with their customers. Customers will go back to a store if they are offered coupons that they can use easily and efficiently.
What may also happen in the future is when we walk into a store, we are automatically sent a coupon to our smartphone. There will be a thing called geo-fencing. Geo-fencing sends alerts to a phone by using it’s location when it crosses a certain perimter. The online company, RetailMeNot is waiting approval from the Apple to use this in their new iphone app. Here is an article that describes it in further detail (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/07/walk-in-a-mall-receive-a-mobile-coupon/). This will be already embedded in our phones to help companies know that the customer is entering the store and the coupon will help to drive sales. We are already seeing that when our technology gets advanced, our lives are constantly out in the open. I think that a Geo-fencing will just become the norm in the future society. PR professionals will have to adjust to this new technology and changing consumer habits with using it. They need to implement their promotional strategies to align and integrate themselves into targeting their consumers.