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Discount Coupon Recommendation and Redemption System

Final Report Summary - DICO(RE)2S (Discount Coupon Recommendation and Redemption System)

Executive Summary:
The main objective of Dicore2s was to develop and deploy a coupon-based discount campaign platform that provides customers, retailers and manufacturers with a personalized and efficient environment for simultaneously maximizing customer satisfaction and business profitability.
The main project challenges were in three areas:

Coupon search and recommendation
The main goals of the coupon search and recommendation solution were to use semantic techniques to establish appropriate relations between products and consumers and to determine and rank consumers’ preferences.

Digital coupon distribution
The main goal was the provisioning of coupons at the right time, in the right place and contextualized with the media it is displayed or printed on, and the capability to store and use information on the coupon redemption.
Multimodal coupon redemption
The main goal was the development of a redemption system able to capture and redeem QR-code based coupons. Coupons should be acquired and redeemed using a multi-OS smartphone app that integrates image capture via smartphone camera or via photo library together with QR-code detection and recognition. The redemption system also comprises a Web based PoS app that will enable coupon redemption by the cashier at individual points of sale, regardless of the PoS technology being used.

Project Context and Objectives:
The most relevant specific objectives of the project are as follows:
• to develop and/or adapt state-of-the-art technologies for supporting all the different operational elements of the proposed solution;
• to integrate all the different operational elements into a distributed platform that must comply with the requirements of efficiency, robustness and scalability;
• to define and implement all required data and communication protocols for allowing independent systems to interoperate with the integrated platform;
• to implement and demonstrate, with some pre-defined user cases of interest, a fully operational prototype;
• to define the strategies and policies for managing and exploiting the intellectual property derived from the activities of the project; and
• to define and implement a business exploitation model and its corresponding business plan for scaling operations from local to regional and global markets in a relatively short period of time.

Project Results:
Dicore2s started in July 2011 and ended in June 2013. The results achieved are:
• The final architecture of the whole Dicore2s system
• Final prototypes of the of the search and recommender system and its subcomponents
• The evaluation and testing of the recommender system with regard to the recommendation quality, as well as robustness and scalability as part of the Dico(re)²s platform
• The final opinion mining and reporting module which processes users’ comments, estimates polarity and extracts relevant information related to user satisfaction and dissatisfaction
• Identification and implementation of use cases
• The final prototype of the distribution engine
• The evaluation and testing of the distribution system with regard to security, performance and scalability, and reliability
• The final prototypes of the redemption module components: a) a smartphone app to redeem QR-code based coupons; b) a Web based PoS app to enable coupon redemption by the cashier at each point of sale.
• The implementation and testing of the smartphone app on a multi-OS environment (Android and iOS) and of the Web based PoS app.)
• Demonstration planning and demonstration results
• Final dissemination actions, market analysis and monitoring and exploitation planning

Potential Impact:
The Dicore2s project’s final result is a new consolidated reference e-coupon delivery and redemption service. A video describing how the system works is playable at . Figure 1 shows the high level architecture of the Dicore2s platform and the main external actors that interact with the three different subsystems composing the platform: the recommendation system, the distribution system and the redemption system, which consists of both a consumer app running in a smartphone, and a Point of Sale (PoS) app running in the PoS.
The Dicore2s technologies and results in each partner's portfolio will significantly improve the competitive advantage by offering end users unique solutions. This will simultaneously increase user satisfaction and business profitability. All partners are envisioning a European expansion strategy with the development of innovative business models that will allow a great diversity of actors to share the benefits of campaigns and generate a volume of transactions through the Dicore2s platform.
One of the target markets for Dicore2s results was out of home advertising and public communication. These markets are also referred to as Digital Out Door, Digital Communication, and Digital Signage. The potential impact of virtual community coupon-based discount campaigns can be huge if a critical mass of users and a critical volume of activity are achieved. On the one hand, an organized and strong virtual community should be able to collectively impact manufacturers’ and retailers’ decisions about which products and services should be discounted, as well as when and where those discounts should be applied.
On the other hand, manufacturers and retailers would be provided with valuable information about consumer’s preferences. Thus, they would be able to offer their customers personalized and contextualized discounts and opportunities. Additionally, from the small business perspective, the Dicore2s consortium offer a means for democratizing promotional and fidelity programs due to the efficient use of Internet and mobile technologies and the low costs associated to the service model: CPCR (cost per coupon redeemed).
Dicore2s partners have successfully disseminated and demonstrated the system, or its components, in highly reputed international exhibitions such as Integrated System Europe (ISE 2012 and 2013) and the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2012 and 2013).

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