Progressive Grocer

AUG 2015

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114 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | August 2015 Digital Coupons Technology CPGs rarely promote digital coupons via loyalty cards because they fnd them less efective than traditional print free-standing inserts and print-at- home coupons," adds the president and co-founder of the New York-based company, which uses personalized ofers to quantify digital marketing's impact on in-store sales. Other experts single out a retailer's smartphone app as being the logical place to clip and redeem digital coupons. Gainsville, Ga.-based Invisipon, a new entry into the fray, promotes a Coupon Savings Account that provides an online "bank account" of coupons for consumers. Despite the competition, statistics from Inmar show that growth of digital paperless load-to-card (L2C) coupons has been accelerating signif- cantly for the past several years, although from a small base. Te wider availability of L2C coupons contributed to a greater than 61 percent increase in redemption volume for these coupons during Q1 2015 versus Q1 2014. Concurrently, overall share of redemption for coupons that shoppers load directly to their retailer loyalty accounts grew from 1.5 per- cent in Q1 2014 to 2.7 percent in Q1 2015. A Question of Loyalty Grocery retailers that have made these coupons a key feature of their frequent shopper loyalty pro- grams are benefting, notes Inmar, citing conve- nience and fexibility as major reasons for this. In June, ShopRite stores, operated in the North- east by members of Keasby, N.J.-based retailer co- operative Wakefern Food Corp., sought to persuade its shoppers to use digital coupons by promoting a Big Brand Bash campaign. For the most savings, the campaign instructed shoppers to go to the ShopRite website or mobile app, and select and load clipless coupons onto their Price Plus Club cards. Discounts were triggered automatically at checkout. Similarly, shoppers at supermarkets operated by Cincinnati-based Kroger can sign up for digital coupons on their computers, tablets or the Kroger app on their smartphones. Ten they can clip cou- pons, and sort and flter them on the Kroger website or app. Once they fnd ofers they want, they click "load to card," which places the coupons on their Kroger Plus loyalty cards. Aaron Glazer, of San Francisco-based Taplyt- ics, says grocers beneft most by sending coupons through their own apps, rather than having custom- ers discover them elsewhere. It boils down to being able to personalize that ofer, which makes it more attractive and, subsequently, drives growth. "Tat said, no single CPG brand or grocery re- tailer has really cornered the mobile space, so there's plenty of room for one to break out from the pack," says Glazer, CEO of the provider of an integrated, mobile A/B testing, push notifcation and analyt- ics platform. "Mobile can help grocers reach their shoppers in a way that's more intimate and relevant than any other channel. When they send a coupon, it's going right into the consumer's hand or pocket, and that's a powerful thing that can't be replicated on a website." Recently, Southeastern Grocers, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based parent company of Bi-Lo, Harveys and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, launched a program with, in Mountain View, Calif., that enables each banner to deliver personalized digital coupons to a smartphone app and website. Once a customer creates an account and registers her reward card, personalized coupons will be de- livered online or via the mobile app. Customers can easily click and save ofers and redeem them using either a physical reward card, phone number lookup, or the app's digital reward card at the register. According to Bert DuMars, VP of digital mar- keting at Southeastern Grocers: "Te coupons on our new app and site are unique in that they are delivered to each customer based on his or her shopping be- haviors and geographic interests and then prioritized, so those that most closely match their preferences appear frst. No other grocer in the Southeast ofers this kind of personalization." Growing Potential Retailers and brands will need to collaborate on the development of a true mobile coupon solution to fully realize the benefts of digital promotions, according to Inmar's Ross. "As smartphone and device penetration continues to accelerate exponentially and consum- ers transfer more and more daily activities from their desktops to their mobile devices, the demand for such a solution is only going to grow," he says. "Consumer behavior has shifted, media preferences are changing, and the industry needs to respond." Taplytics' Glazer sees mobile couponing at- tracting more consumers as they grow comfortable showing their smartphones to cashiers at check- out, and as promotions become more relevant and targeted. One of the newer and most efective ways that brands are delivering coupons into customers' Mobile can help grocers reach their shoppers in a way that's more intimate and relevant than any other channel." —Aaron Glazer, Taplytics

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