KDD Papers

RUSH! Targeted Time-limited Coupons via Purchase Forecasts

Emaad Manzoor (Carnegie Mellon University);Leman Akoglu (Carnegie Mellon University)


Time-limited promotions that exploit consumers’ sense of urgency to boost sales account for billions of dollars in consumer spending each year. However, it is challenging to discover the right timing and duration of a promotion to increase its chances of being redeemed. In this work, we consider the problem of delivering time-limited discount coupons, where we partner with a large national bank functioning as a commission-based third-party coupon provider. Specifically, we use large-scale anonymized transaction records to model consumer spending and forecast future purchases, based on which we generate data-driven, personalized coupons. Our proposed model RUSH! (1) predicts both the time and category of the next event; (2) captures correlations between purchases in different categories (such as shopping triggering dining purchases); (3) incorporates temporal dynamics of purchase behavior (such as increased spending on weekends); (4) is composed of additive factors that are easily interpretable; and finally (5) scales linearly to millions of transactions. We design a cost-benefit framework that facilitates systematic evaluation in terms of our application, and show that RUSH! provides higher expected value than various baselines that do not jointly model time and category information.