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Meijer’s mPerks digital coupon program puts mobile at the center

By
January 25, 2013

Mobile plays a key role in supercenter and grocery retailer Meijer’s digital coupon program, which recently hit 1 million subscribers.

The mPerks program gives customers a way to use their mobile phone number to manage digital coupons that can be easily redeemed in-store. Additionally, customers can use a mobile-optimized site to browse the latest coupons and save them to be redeemed on their next shopping trip.

“A large and growing base of our customers are mobile phone equipped and are seeking to interact with mPerks anytime/anywhere,” said Michael Ross, vice president of customer marketing and loyalty at Meijer, Grand Rapids, MI.

“We utilize the mobile number for mPerks as an easy identifier that is unique to individuals,” he said. “Mobile will continue to play a large role in mPerks, as these devices become the primary digital device that many customers carry with them every day.”

Personalized rewards
Customers sign up for mPerks by going to mperks.meijer.com on their mobile browser. From there, consumers can preview and select coupons that are stored in their personal mPerks account until they are redeemed or they expire.

To redeem a coupon, shoppers enter their mobile phone number at checkout and coupons are instantly applied.

Meijer is also are developing capabilities for additional digital devices, such as tablets, PCs and other devices being introduced in the market.

The mPerks program will begin offering personalized rewards later this winter, which will give subscribers monetary reward coupons based on their spending throughout the store.

The program is also scheduled to undergo a new Web design to make it easier for customers to navigate and search for coupons to clip.

Driving loyalty
Retailers are expected to be increase their mobile marketing spend over the next few years in part because of their focus on coupons, according to a new report from Juniper Research. The key to a successful mobile coupon program is to look beyond driving incremental sales to offering personalized messages that help retailers establish a closer relationship with shoppers and drive loyalty.

The focus on mobile coupons is being driven by the way that consumers are embracing them. During the recent holiday shopping period, 33 percent of smartphone owners used a mobile coupon, up from 18 percent in 2011.

“We believe mPerks has been successful for two main reasons: We’ve made it easy for customers to enroll and, once they become enrolled, they discover a valuable savings tool,” Mr. Ross said. “Not only does mPerks provide digital coupons for both national and Meijer-branded products, but also provides access to special savings offers, which make our low prices even lower.

“Additionally, Meijer customers have found mPerks to be an easy way to store coupons digitally – rather than remembering to bring their clipped paper coupons,” he said. “The mPerks program will continue to evolve with new features and services debuting throughout 2013.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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