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PCC Natural Markets simplifies manufacturer coupons via mobile app

June 25, 2013

PCC Natural Markets is making it easier for customers to keep track of manufacturer coupons and use them in one of its nine locations.

The pilot program with the Chinook Book mobile app includes coupons from leading natural brands such as Mrs. Meyer’s, Choice Organic Tea and Evolution Fresh. The coupons are valid through August 31, 2013 and are redeemable only at PCC Natural Markets stores.

“By far the biggest things is you have it on your mobile device so you are not going to forget it at home – that is one of the main complaints for consumers,” said Nik Blosser, president of Celilo Group Media, Portland, OR.

“Users can also geo-locate the store where they can use the coupon,” he said.

The Chinook Book app was launched by Celilo Group Media in 2010 and currently has over 100,000 users in several regions, including Denver, Boulder, CO, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and Santa Cruz. The app’s focus is on providing mobile coupons for the natural and organic markets.

One-time use
Shoppers in Seattle can access the mobile coupons by downloading the free Chinook Book app onto their Android, iPhone, iPod touch or iPad device. Once users have done this, they can select the Seattle/Puget Sound market and create a free account to have the manufacturer coupons automatically load in.

Users will have a one time-use coupon on their phone that can be redeemed at checkout by opening up the app, tapping the redeem button and showing the screen to the cashier. The screen has a four-digit code that the cashier keys in to apply the discount to that customer’s transaction.

While the process at checkout takes about the same amount of time as redeeming a print coupon, the benefit of a mobile coupon is that customers do not need to remember to bring any coupons with them as they are already loaded onto their mobile phones, a device few consumers leave home without these days.

The full list of manufacturers making mobile coupons available to PCC Natural Markets customers includes Caffe Ladro, Choice Organic Tea, Coconut Bliss, Dave’s Killer Bread. Evolution Fresh, Lundberg Family Farms, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, Theo Chocolate, Woodstock and Zevia.

Easy processing
The app is also designed to make it easier for retailers to process manufacturer coupons, with the traditional print version needing to be sorted counted.

“The digital mobile solution takes this out of their hands,” Mr. Blosser said. “We pay them the redemption cost, which normally takes about six months to get that money.”

The service does not require retailers to install any new hardware at checkout.

On the back-end, the data is synced with Chinook Book’s servers, where the data is aggregated and reports for retailers and manufacturers are produced.

Going forward, Chinook Book is looking to distribute coupons through retailers’ own mobile apps as well as apps from publishers, mapping services and other mobile companies.

It is also looking to enable retailers to deliver coupons based on the redemption pattern of users.

“If you redeem milk coupons, we could serve a coupon for cereal,” Mr.  Blosser said. “It is very similar to a loyalty program – just that it is based on what you’ve redeemed coupons for.”

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

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