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Dynamically Matching Coupons from Targeted Competitors Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013644D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18

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Disclosed is a method and system for dynamically matching coupons from targeted competitors of a merchant or product. The explosive growth of the Internet and the accompanying usage of the Web have provided tremendous opportunities for conducting business on the Web. Companies that can leverage the Web will gain significant market share in the long run as more and more business is transacted on the Internet. In order to grow corporations will have to increase their market share and attract new customers to buy their products. Electronic coupons provide a viable means to attract new consumers to Websites (and through them to traditional stores). That increases the total number of consumers exposed to a particular product. However, to make the marketplace even more efficient it is necessary to promote competition between suppliers of items and let the market determine the winner. In such a scenario it is essential for companies to not only provide customers buying incentives through coupons but also match competitor's discounts/promotions and possibly even undercut them to gain market share. In this disclosure, described is an Internet business method for an entity with a Web presence to electronically match a competitor's (it is irrelevant whether the competitor is online or offline) discounts. It can be a cornerstone in promoting e-commerce while capturing an increasing market share of the said business. Consider the case of a big clicks and mortar departmental store which wants to promote both its e-commerce component and regular business volume. So it might be willing to match the discounts offered by competitors but probably not those offered by small convenience stores. It will be invaluable to the departmental store to get a loyal customer from a competitor to visit its store/website since it can then build its own loyalty from that point onwards. The key infrastructure is a Web-based e-coupon GUI that dispenses electronic coupons. A coupon database is maintained along with and it has two primary components: