A service paying stores to provide discounts launched last week in England. Smart Coupons officially went live 19 February in 21 trial local shops with The Retail Data Partnership or MSP Systems tills. Customers scan a coupon or in-store point of sale to receive a barcode to be scanned at the till.
The discount is automatically applied without the need for any paperwork. As well as added footfall, stores receive a 3p voucher handling fee and are credited for the full discount level within seven working days. This means there is 'no margin erosion' associated with providing the discounts.
Brands involved include Chicago Town, McCain Overn Chips, Irn-Bru, Alpro, Listerine, Pot Noodle and VK. The current trial stores are located in Huntingdon, Luton, Northampton, Peterborough, St Neots and Stamford. The discounts on some amount to stores being paid to give products away.
For instance, customers can receive GBP2 off Chicago Town Pizzas, which are currently available on promotion at GBP1.50 at Premier symbol group stores. One retailer involved in the Smart Coupons trial told betterRetailing: "It's early days but has great potential, we've got the material to get our customers using the scheme and are looking forward to getting them involved." The service is being operated by digital marketing firm Valassis Limited and convenience tech experts In-Touch Group.
In-Touch Group boss and convenience tech veteran Gerry Hooper told RN more till systems will be added soon, with a rollout across 3,500 stores expected within weeks.
Hooper told RN Smart Coupons could overcome the barriers that meant supplier voucher offers were normally limited to supermarkets, such as fraud, lost coupons, too many different till systems and poor credit processing by suppliers.