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ShopRite to integrate mobile into Price Plus loyalty programBy
ShopRite loyalists in the next few weeks will be able to update their loyalty cards with the grocery chain’s coupons right from their iPhone or Android-enabled phones.
Coupons.com is currently working to add mobile support for the Save to Card coupon gallery that it powers for ShopRite. Shoppers will be able to browse coupon offers and simply click the coupons they want to load to their Price Plus loyalty card.
“The strategy is to continue to transform the coupon industry, which has for decades been dominated by the FSI [free standing insert] that comes with the Sunday paper,” said Steve Horowitz, chief technology officer of Coupons.com. “And while the FSI still represents the distribution vehicle for the largest number of coupons, digital coupons represent the fastest growing category of coupons.”
Digital coupons include those that are distributed electronically, including coupons printed, saved to a store loyalty card or redeemed on a mobile device.
In 2009, digital coupons represented 10 percent of coupons redeemed, up from 1 percent in 2006. It is a growing industry.
When shoppers’ ShopRite Price Plus Club card is entered or swiped at checkout, coupons are automatically deducted from the total—all without the need for clipping or scanning printed coupons.
Currently, Coupons.com supports the following retailers with mobile access to Save to Card coupon offers: Safeway, VONS, Dominick’s, Genuardi’s, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Pavilions, and Carrs.
ShopRite shoppers will find coupons for products across the store.
The new Save to Card gallery complements ShopRite’s current collection of online printable coupons (also powered by Coupons.com), which it has offered since 2008, and gives shoppers the flexibility to save with coupons in their preferred way.
ShopRite is educating shoppers regarding the new coupons service via weekly flyers, in-store materials and on its Web site.
“Mobile coupons will grow dramatically and are certainly influencing shopping behavior,” Mr. Horowitz said.
“I mentioned that digital coupons are the fastest growing segment of couponing and, in the next five years, we expect digital coupons to find their way, in volume, into the shopping experience,” he said.
This includes Show & Save coupons from retailers that shoppers show on their mobile devices for redemption. It also includes manufacturer coupons.
Shoppers will be able to save these coupons to their loyalty card or, in the coming years, save them to their phones, where technologies such as RFID will recognize the virtual coupons in a pocket or purse—without actual scanning of the phone.
In the more immediate future, mobile will be more tightly integrated into the shopping experience, per Mr. Horowitz.
ShopRite is no newbie to mobile. The company’s YourBucks program gives consumers offers for things they already buy. Instead of hunting for deals, the offers are sent directly to consumers via text message.
“If you think about the purchase process, many times it begins with adding an item to a list or browsing coupon offers that trigger a purchase decision,” Mr. Horowitz said. “With a mobile device—and an application like our Grocery iQ—that’s easy anytime, wherever shoppers are.
“In addition, Grocery iQ, for example, is available in the store as consumers browse, compare and finally make their brand decision,” he said. “For brand marketers, it means they have the opportunity to engage with consumers throughout the entire path to purchase—from need identification to brand section in the store.
“It’s a great opportunity for marketers, and an evolving shopping experience for consumers.”
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