Harry Marks: ((Whose blog is now a must read and among my favorites.))

Passbook has the possibility of not only rattling the retail sphere, but email, as well. I don’t need a stack of Walgreens coupons in an email folder I never check, I need them where I can use them: on the other side of my Walgreens loyalty card in Passbook.

He has some very strong points, and I too have unrealistically high hopes for Passbook. I cannot stand loyalty cards, but Passbook makes them tolerable.

What I think Marks is missing though: is that these stores have a reason to not want to remind you about coupons. You see if a store sends you a coupon and you forget to use it, shame on you not the store. The store wins because it tried to be nice, but you lose because you forgot. The anger isn’t directed towards the store, and the store misses out on that sale, but also doesn’t have to discount the goods.

If I am a store, I like that model.

Coupons are made to get you in the store with the idea that you buy more. Passbook would change that, making you use more coupons when you are already in the store. The only thing that would mitigate the bad for stores is if Passbook sent you reminders to get in the store not to use your coupons.

So, color me skeptical on the hopes of coupons in Passbook, especially if the coupons are hidden as a part of a loyalty card and are thus not motivating you to get to the store.

Posted by Ben Brooks