Target announced their foray into mobile couponing this week, leading with the hook that they’re the first national retailer to offer such scanable coupons. This may be true (aside from JC Penny offering a trial program in Houston), but they’re joining an increasingly number of retailers who believe that mobile couponing is the key to attracting tech savvy budgeters. Unlike many mobile couponing systems, Targets discounts won’t be derived from a fancy iphone app. Instead, they’ remain text based and available through Target’s mobile website. Coupons can then be redeemed by scanning the barcode at the register. With 37% of Americans accessing internet through their phone, Target’s decision to jump on the mobile bandwagon doesn’t validate mobile couponing as a successful business tactic — tons of grocery stores have already proved this. Rather, Target’s couponing launch officially makes the strategy mainstream. It will likely only be a matter of time before all brick and mortar stores join in, especially as current estimates expect mobile ad sales to reach $1 billion this year and up to $3.3 billion in 2013. Increased mobile couponing will also pave the way for new marketing partnerships – many of which are already occurring on geo-locator social networking platforms like FourSquare. Additionally, after seeing which coupons are redeemed, brands will be able gain a more sophisticated understanding of what drives customers to purchase and, perhaps, craft customer-specific loyalty programs to be redeemed in-store. Finally, a new mobile coupon might be just the ticket to remind customers about another item or two that deserves to be in their basket and drive impulse purchases.