Smartphone coupons just one way stores increasing spontaneous buys – Tribune-Review




Cherries were not on Diane Richards’ grocery list on Monday, and yet they made it into her cart.

“They were $1.69 (per pound) today,â€� Richards said, carrying several plastic bags of groceries with her from a Giant Eagle store on the North Side. “Usually they’re $2.69.â€�

A sale sign posted near the fruit convinced her the deal on cherries was too good to pass up. But she may not have bought them had she not walked through the produce section and seen the sign. That is the challenge facing supermarkets — how to lure shoppers deeper down the aisles and make them buy items that they never intended.

The farther customers walk, the more they spend, according to Jeff Inman, a professor of marketing at the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business. And the increasing prevalence of smartphones — more than half of American adults own one, according to Pew Research — offers grocers a new tool to tempt customers to make unplanned purchases.

“Most people have a smartphone now, and they’re interested in using them in ways to make better choices,â€� Inman said. “It offers the potential for retailers such as Giant Eagle or Target to have their own app that allows shoppers to better navigate that retailer.â€�

A recent study Inman co-authored found that for every additional 140 feet a shopper traveled through a store, unplanned spending increased by $2.54.

Traditionally, retailers have arranged stores to coax shoppers deeper inside by strategically scattering staple items such as milk, eggs or bread. But smartphones offer another way to boost consumer spending, Inman said. Supermarkets could design apps that would send out mobile promotions while the customer is shopping.

For example, suppose a customer does a shopping list using the app. Bread is on the list, but the potato chips three aisles over are not. The store could send a digital coupon to his phone for potato chips, tempting him to walk 50 more feet and past other items he might purchase.

Promoting three additional products through a customer’s mobile device could increase unplanned spending by more than 16 percent, Inman’s study found, and complement the other strategies retailers employ to boost purchases.

Retailers have access to a wealth of customer data — including contact information and shopping habits — through loyalty rewards programs that could be used to develop mobile promotions, Inman said.

Supermarkets use apps to offer digital coupons and shop on the go. Giant Eagle, for example, just started a new pharmacy app in which customers can refill prescriptions, set medication reminders and receive alerts when prescriptions are available for pickup.

However, these apps aren’t yet being used to steer shoppers through the store with real-time, targeted promotions as they wander the aisles.

“I think there’s still more potential than actual,â€� Inman said. “There are things that could be done in the near future.â€�

There are technical challenges to using real-time “predictiveâ€� promotions, said C.J. Patrick, of Gatesman + Dave, a South Side marketing agency that works with Shop ‘n Save supermarket. Cellphone service can be spotty in supermarkets, especially deeper you wander into the store. Also, customers tend not to look at their phones as they shop.

Still, there is potential for this technology, and it’s not all about getting them to overspend.

“It just better serves the loyal shopper,â€� Patrick said. “You’re delivering offers that really mean something to (customers).â€�

Inman believes that promotions can enhance customer-retailer relationships but that consumers need to be aware of the risk, too.

“I think that shoppers need to be cognizant to the extent they use retail apps for managing their budget … not make too many impulse purchases,â€� he said. “Be aware of the danger.â€�

Jerry Greek, 34, of Troy Hill said he rarely makes impulse purchases. He will buy the occasional cookie or donut, but said those decisions aren’t based on in-store promotions or coupons texted to his cell phone.

“Maybe it’s my blood sugar,â€� Greek said while waiting outside a Giant Eagle.

Also, not everyone wants a supermarket to contact her.

Richards was among them, saying that she was “a visual person� who preferred looking for deals in direct mailers.

“I don’t want them calling me,â€� she said.

Chris Fleisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7854 or cfleisher@tribweb.com.

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5 Ways to Increase Redemptions of Mobile Coupons – Street Fight


couponsMobile coupon usage is on the upswing, with 75% of mobile shoppers having redeemed a coupon from their smartphones last year, and 80% saying their perceptions of a retailer would improve if that retailer offered mobile deals. Despite the obvious consumer interest in mobile coupons, however, many retailers — and particularly, smaller merchants — are still struggling to get their footing in this new marketing world.

Although sending out mobile coupons via email or text seems easy enough, local business owners are still largely unsure of how to create promotions that won’t be ignored or viewed as a nuisance by their customers. Business owners also struggle to come up with offers that will generate a positive ROI.

Here are five strategies for increasing mobile coupon redemptions.

1. Get creative with the discounts. “The method that seems to work best is when a business owner issues a coupon that is different from the standard percent discount or BOGO. For instance, in honor of July 4th, a business could offer a discount if someone wore red, white or blue when they came into their store. Associate some fun or gaming with the coupon and the redemption will surely increase and people will remember your business long afterwards.” (Suzy Teele, SnapRetail)

2. Focus on the upsell. “Far too often, businesses blow out junk with a coupon and their users respond accordingly with general apathy. Groupon is a great example — when they had the hype they actually had great offers, and now they are really purveyors of junk. We tend to tell businesses to offer something of reasonable value with the intention of upselling a customer when they come in the door. I believe this is the biggest flaw with most merchant offers through coupons, they just don’t think big enough and in turn think about blowing out last year’s stock with a coupon, as a opposed to using coupons strategically.” (Jon Stringham, Kwiddi)

3. Use strategic segmentation. “Highly active users benefit from steady engagement. Send active users two to three offers a month to keep their average redemption rates high. Meanwhile, lapsed customers typically require a stronger offer to spark redemptions. We recommend selecting offers such as a free item with any purchase, BOGO’s, and dollar value discounts. Keep the frequency of pushed offers to one to two per month for lapsed users.” (Joe Shaw, Front Flip)

4. Target shoppers geographically. “Offering something to customers currently within range of the store will improve redemption as well as increase the number of visitors to the store. Using a long time range and targeting people in a greater area may increase visits over time, which is something that LoyalBlocks can help business owners track.” (Ido Mart, LoyalBlocks)

5. Check your offer’s curb appeal. “Avoid vague language, and be clear with the discount that is being offered. If the offer discount is over a $3 value, spell this out for the recipient. This can increase the perception of value for the user. For example: “Buy one entree, get one 1/2 off (up to $8 value).” Also, include the word “FREE” where appropriate. Users are busy, and free is a word that can help get your audience to stop and read the offer.” (Joe Shaw, Front Flip)

Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.Rainbow over Montclair

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Lots of coupon inserts expected on Sunday, July 27! – WRAL.com

How many coupon inserts will we receive on Sunday in the paper? There should be 5 (yes, FIVE) inserts in the paper on July 27 including 2 SmartSource inserts, 2 RedPlum inserts and a P&G insert!  As you can see on the coupon preview, there are tons of good coupons for bath and body, cleaning, and paper products.  As usual, there are very few good food coupons.

You can see the coupon preview at www.sundaycouponpreview.com for a list of many of the coupons we should receive this Sunday. This list is not exactly what we will get here, but most will be the same.

If you buy the paper at a store on Sunday (instead of getting a subscription), make sure you buy it INSIDE the store, not from the paper boxes. You want to make sure your paper has the coupons in it before you pay, which you can’t do if you are buying from the paper box.

Happy shopping everyone!

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Volatile Brew: Price-Matching and Social Media – Wall Street Journal

Dollar General Corp. offered a discount on diapers earlier this summer that ended up clogging checkouts at rivals like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp., which were swarmed by shoppers trying to use the promotion to get an even better deal.

Call it diaper arbitrage.

In its print and online circulars, Dollar General offered a $9.50…

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Viral Free Pizza ‘Coupon’ Wipes Out 5 Donatos Stores – ABC6OnYourSide.com

Copyright ©2014, WSYX-ABC 6

WSYX ABC 6 is On Your Side, providing local news, first warning weather forecasts and alerts, traffic updates, consumer advocacy, and the latest information about sports, politics, law enforcement, community events, government waste, and much more, including ABC network news and entertainment programming. WSYX proudly serves Columbus and nearby towns and communities in central Ohio, including Dublin, Westerville, Clintonville, Upper Arlington, Grove City, Canal Winchester, Pickerington, Grandview Heights, Reynoldsburg, New Albany, Hillard, Sunbury, Delaware, Worthington, Whitehall, Powell, Lewis Center, Gahanna, Johnstown, Granville, Pataskala, Groveport, Heath, Newark, Baltimore, Lancaster, London, Marysville, Zanesville, Mt. Vernon, Mt Gilead, Marion, Kenton, Bellefontaine, Galena, Gallion, Bexley, Circleville, and Chillicothe.

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Viral Free Pizza ‘Coupon’ Wipes Out 5 Donatos Stores – ABC6OnYourSide.com

Copyright ©2014, WSYX-ABC 6

WSYX ABC 6 is On Your Side, providing local news, first warning weather forecasts and alerts, traffic updates, consumer advocacy, and the latest information about sports, politics, law enforcement, community events, government waste, and much more, including ABC network news and entertainment programming. WSYX proudly serves Columbus and nearby towns and communities in central Ohio, including Dublin, Westerville, Clintonville, Upper Arlington, Grove City, Canal Winchester, Pickerington, Grandview Heights, Reynoldsburg, New Albany, Hillard, Sunbury, Delaware, Worthington, Whitehall, Powell, Lewis Center, Gahanna, Johnstown, Granville, Pataskala, Groveport, Heath, Newark, Baltimore, Lancaster, London, Marysville, Zanesville, Mt. Vernon, Mt Gilead, Marion, Kenton, Bellefontaine, Galena, Gallion, Bexley, Circleville, and Chillicothe.

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Super Couponing: Newspapers discuss coupon theft – CapitalGazette.com

Posted: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 12:15 am

Super Couponing: Newspapers discuss coupon theft

By JILL CATALDO
Correspondent

CapitalGazette.com

Each week when I peek into my email inbox, I’ll see reader questions like these:


“Any tips on how to get coupon inserts? I’m new and missing the last few weeks of inserts.”

“I need more coupon inserts than what comes in my paper. How can I get a bunch more?”

My answer to this question is always the same — subscribe to your local newspaper, or buy extra copies of the paper on the newsstand. There are no authorized ways to obtain large numbers of additional coupon inserts. While it’s true that you’ll find websites offering clipped coupons and whole inserts for sale, this is an unauthorized “industry.” Most coupons contain wording stating that they are void if sold. Additionally, you have no way of knowing whether or not the coupon you’re “buying” is a legitimate coupon or a counterfeit.

Unfortunately, the “simply buy more newspapers” advice isn’t enough for some coupon extremists. Some resort to stealing newspapers to get more coupons, and it’s always sad to me when I see stories in the news about this issue. The newspapers are none too happy about it either. Here’s an email I received from a newspaper distributor:

Dear Jill, In the last couple of years, the problems caused for us by extreme couponers are major. Bundles of advertising sections for the Sunday paper are being stolen so the couponers can sell the whole bundles to other extreme couponers. People drive through neighborhoods after the papers have been delivered and steal them from driveways.

There are so many problems with this (besides the outright illegality of stealing something that isn’t yours). One is that the person who delivers the papers is blamed for not delivering the papers. They also get charged for each of the missed paper complaints. At our business, the going rate is $2.00 per daily paper and $4.00 for each Sunday paper. They are only paid on average less than 15 cents to deliver each paper Mon-Sat, and maybe 25 cents average for each Sunday paper.

Then, the distributor pays a separate person to go out and deliver papers again to the people who complained they were missed. For every extra (stolen) paper that causes a complaint, these complaint delivery people have to waste more gas for which they don’t get reimbursed. You wouldn’t think that theft accounts for many complaints, but I think we would all be surprised if we could prove how many really are stolen and not “missed.”

Many customers, especially those whom you know are couponers because they subscribe to at least four papers, will claim to always be missing the coupon sections and request additional ones.

We even now have to deal with our own delivery people either stealing other people’s papers to sell to couponers, or not deliver their own “free” advertising papers so they can sell the coupons. We had a former delivery person who we knew was stealing papers for this reason.

It makes me disgusted with people who do this. Shame on these people. For the couponers and sellers of coupons to profit by causing expense and frustrations to the people who deliver papers 365 days a year without a day off (and the hardest papers to deliver are on the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas when the workload at least doubles with more papers, bigger ads and double-deliveries of the free papers that contain the ads and coupons).

I doubt there is any solution to this problem anytime soon, especially since even the police won’t do anything when we can tell them exactly who is stealing papers and coupons, and the people who do this don’t care; they have no morals about this type of crime. Like I said, they think it is a victimless crime. Nay, they don’t think it is a crime. — Susanne M.

Smart Living Tip: Never steal newspapers in order to get more coupons! I’m not sure why some people view this as a “victimless crime,” as it hurts the carrier, the newspaper and others. Is it really worth facing arrest over coupons?

© 2014 CapitalGazette.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014 12:15 am.

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Chemung seniors can still get farmers market coupons – Elmira Star-Gazette

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More than $1500 in coupons coming Sunday in the Asbury Park Press – Asbury Park Press

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Dollar General launches new digital coupon program – The Birmingham News – al.com (blog)

Dollar General is joining the digital coupon revolution and launching a new digital coupon program. 

It just started and you can join in on the saving program here. 

Register, enter a phone number, select your coupons, pick up the products in the store, enter your phone number at check out and redeem your savings.  It’s just like the Publix digital coupon program. 

When you view the coupons you’ll see a counter on the bottom left of the coupon telling you how many more days it has until it expires. 

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