Some coupon users are clicking instead of clipping these days to get their grocery discounts. Supermarket chains are trying out paperless, or digital, coupons, to help the thrifty-minded save time while saving money. Shoppers load the online discounts onto their store loyalty cards, receiving the credit at the checkout.
Grocers see the innovation as a way to build customer loyalty, drawing consumers who are increasingly spending time online to their Web sites and, ultimately, their stores. The move could increase coupon use by attracting shoppers who don't bother with paper coupons. It offers convenience for the companies in reducing handling, tallying and shipping of coupons, as well as cutting paper use.
Kroger Co., the nation's largest traditional grocery chain, and Procter & Gamble Co., the largest consumer-products company, are partners in a digital coupon trial that began last month. Other supermarket companies around the country have been trying out ways to offer digital discounts in addition to the traditional clip-outs from newspapers and mailings.
Although online coupons for ordering everything from DVDs to laptops on the Internet have been around for several years, couponing, especially for groceries, is still dominated by paper. Digital use by companies with the combined reach of Cincinnati-based P&G and Kroger could help transform habits.
Source: BPM Today, http://www.bpm-today.com
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