Speaking at the Social Media World Forum in London today (18 March), Kellogg’s European digital director Matthew Pritchard said the FMCG company is “some way down” the road to convincing major supermarkets to introduce the ability for consumers to redeem mobile coupons in-store as standard.

He admitted one of the barriers to the speed of rollout is supermarkets have had a model “that has worked for 20 years”, which began with inserting coupons into magazines and newspapers, through to loyalty programme mailings and coupons at till.

Pritchard said: “This is just another step on that journey. The biggest challenge is each retailer has a different EPOS system so there’s a challenge in the physical hardware cost to make those units work.”

The comments come amid the company’s trial of a cashback mobile couponing service from online platform Shopitize.

Nivea trialled mobile couponing with Tesco in the UK earlier this year and Pritchard predicts there will be more tie-ups between FMCG companies and retailers in the next 18 months, which will “open up the floodgates” for the industry to build relationships with consumers via their mobiles.

He added: “The most exciting opportunity about mobile is taking the transaction to the shelf edge. Twelve to 15 per cent of our UK customers use mobile for price comparisons, ratings and reviews in-store and if we can leverage that it is a massive opportunity.

“The holy grail is if you can target coupons, vouchers and communications to an individual you know, you know where they are and where their nearest supermarkets are. Then you can get really really hyper targeted and use data to get precision driven marketing.”

Pritchard said the FMCG sector has been “late the party” when it comes to leveraging consumer data – especially in comparison with financial services and travel companies.

He added: “We have allowed retailers to own data through their loyalty schemes but as FMCG companies we have to work towards a single view of our customer, shopper and consumer…we have to treat it as a way to engage with individuals and importantly interact and transact with them to shake up the model.”

Kellogg is currently using its “My Special K” initiative as its flagship data tool. The Special K brand has also become the first of its brands to launch a mobile virtual store, following an ecommerce platform trial earlier this year.