Your essential guide to protecting coupon budgets in iOS 15

Marketing
-
Sep 20, 2021
Henry Bewicke
Henry Bewicke
Content Writer
6
Min to read

With iOS 15 scheduled to launch on September 20 around the world, marketers are bracing for new challenges in terms of mobile attribution and email marketing. But an under-discussed area of change in iOS 15 is Apple’s decision to allow browser extensions on Safari Mobile — in particular extensions that scrape the web (and users’ sessions) for coupons.

In this article, we’ll give a run-down of why this is something that marketers need to watch — and give some actionable tips on how to ensure this doesn’t hit your bottom line. 

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Understanding extensions on Safari Mobile 

We’re used to browser extensions on desktop clients, with tools to save articles for later, spellcheckers, and adblockers part of the online furniture for decades now. However, until now these functions were usually constrained to standalone apps — or nonexistent — on mobile. This is set to change with the launch of Apple’s new iOS 15 operating system on iPhones and iPads. 

Giving users the ability to add browser extension features to their mobile devices will open up a raft of possibilities, with a richer user experience and enhanced functionality made possible within the Safari browser. But the choice of partners Apple has chosen to roadtest the change is extremely instructive of the priorities they have for this budding mobile extension ecosystem.

Coupons on Safari Mobile in iOS 15

Apple has been working closely with companies that offer automated coupon scrobbling services, monitoring users that have the extension installed, saving the coupon in their system, and then allowing any other user who visits the same site to try to use the coupon also. This means that any generic coupon is potentially open to wide-scale ‘leakage’.

Leakage is where a coupon is shared widely, on coupon sharing sites or social media sites, preventing the coupon’s target audience from using it, as the budget gets exhausted rapidly. In the worst-case scenario, where no upper-limit is set, these leaky campaigns can end up costing companies many multiples of what they had projected, severely harming their bottom line. 

With mobile devices now the driving force behind online commerce (in 2021, 72.9 percent of all retail e-commerce is expected to be generated via m-commerce), the introduction of these coupon automating systems on mobile could pose big challenges for retailers that are not careful about coupon security. 

Coupon strategies for iOS 15

The important thing to consider when creating coupons on iOS 15, if you’re concerned about leakage, is to ensure that there is some secondary characteristic that will ensure the number of redemptions is limited in some way. 

The most simple way to solve for this problem in Talon.One is to simply set a budget.

Budgets can either be set to restrict the number of times it can be redeemed or max out at a certain currency figure. This makes the campaign’s total budget 100% knowable, and there’s no chance it can go over.

If you’re looking for a more individualized way to spread your budget, using a customer profile level rule can ensure that each coupon is only redeemed once per user. 

In the above example, we’ve created a generic coupon, but limited it so it can only be redeemed once per user. If you also limit the campaign budget, you’re protecting yourself from budget overruns, while ensuring that individual users can’t take advantage of the discounts multiple times. 

How to treat affiliates and coupons in iOS 15

One of the big changes is going to be for paid affiliates and influencers. Companies are increasingly using streamers and accounts with large social media followings to circulate coupon codes (it can’t have been that long since the last time you saw a YouTuber say some variation of ‘Make sure to enter my code EXAMPLE at checkout for 15% off your next purchase’). But with the ability of anyone, even those who aren’t viewing the content, to enter the code when it's merely scrobbled from the website, how do you get measurable results from such campaigns? And how do you ensure they are performing?

Our blog on four security tactics to secure your coupons gives great advice on making sure you’re not spending your budget on underperforming campaigns. If you need even more use cases and detailed explanation how to prevent coupon fraud you can download our dedicated ebook for free.

Let’s imagine you give a €5 coupon to customers who clicked a Facebook link (including UTM parameters), valid when they have a total cart value of €50.

  • The coupon rules in place here include user profile information, UTM parameters, and cart value.
  • The coupon is only valid for customers who fulfil all of these conditions.

You can share the UTM parameters with any of your affiliates or influencers, and make sure the spend is correctly attributed. 

By building your entire affiliate marketing program in Talon.One you can ensure that spend is attributed correctly, as each partner will automatically be given their bonus once their referral converts.


How to protect your growth in iOS 15

With the changes that are coming down the line due to the various security and privacy updates Apple are rolling out, it is a tricky time to be a marketer. But by ensuring you’re focused on building out a tech stack that protects your budget, and taking smart, common-sense decisions to safeguard your bottom line, you can ensure you continue your growth trajectory — no matter what Apple might throw at you. 

For full insights into how to put promotions at the core of your growth strategy, make sure to read our essential ebook, The Promotions Growth Framework.

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See how real businesses built their headless commerce stacks around their own requirements
Use our 3-part headless commerce model to plan your stack
Download Your Talon.One Loyalty Playbook
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Best Practices for loyalty programs
How to gain a competitive advantage
Your definitive guide to loyal customers