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Lowes Foods boosts basket sizes with mobile-optimized coupons

Lowes Foods is digitizing its circular program and Web site to offer more seamless grocery shopping experiences, a feat made possible by the introduction of mobile-optimized coupons that rewards members can clip and apply directly to their shopping cart totals.

The grocery chain teamed up with digital solution provider Unata and technology and analytics company Inmar to integrate digital and mobile coupons into its ecommerce platform, enabling shoppers to forgo clipping paper coupons to bring in-store. Now, Lowes Foods customers can find a dedicated coupon section on its desktop and mobile sites and receive coupon suggestions in their digital shopping carts.

“Increasingly, digitally dependent shoppers are demanding that brands and retailers make their shopping experience faster, easier and smarter,” said John Ross, president of Inmar Promotion Network. “For every shopper willing to use traditional methods to find coupons, there are just as many, if not more, who will look no further than the screen of their mobile device.

“Inmar’s 2016 Shopper Behavior Study found that eighty-three percent of all coupon users are smartphone users and approximately half of all shoppers want coupons and rebates sent to their mobile devices,” he said. “Marketers must meet this mobile requirement or risk losing share to more responsive competitors.”

Interconnected grocery shopping
Per Inmar’s shopper behavior research, 40 percent of individuals take advantage of digital coupons on a regular basis. However, these coupons are often times found within a separate section of a supermarket’s site that does not allow visitors to clip or save the coupons while shopping on-the-go or making a grocery list.

Therefore, many consumers are unaware just how much digital coupons can affect their shopping cart totals.

Lowes Foods now allows customers to view all digital and mobile coupons on one page and filter them by department, resulting in a streamlined, time-saving experience.

Mobile and desktop users may view each coupon’s list of eligible items on the coupon page and add those products to their carts. They can also directly clip the coupons and have them applied to their shopping cart totals.

Additionally, if a consumer adds an item to his or her shopping cart for which a coupon is available, it will be shown in the cart, enabling that individual to clip it and apply it directly to his or her total.

Coupons can also be clipped directly from Lowes Foods’ mobile-optimized circular.

“Not only are we providing an easier way for the Lowes Foods guest to find and redeem coupons, we’ve connected the experiences so that they can automatically see their total adjust as they clip coupons, and thus better manage their shopping budget,” said Chris Bryson, founder and CEO of Unata.

“The more visibility to their budget and the savings from their coupons, the more products they will add to their cart,” he said. “This will be especially true for guests that clip coupons via mobile while in-store – as they save in real-time, they’ll feel more inclined to pick up that extra item they were eyeing.”

Lowes Foods customers can leverage these new tools while shopping in-store or via Lowes Food to Go, a service that lets shoppers order groceries online or via mobile and pick their orders up at a nearby location.

Lowes Foods operates 97 stores in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

Driving rewards sign-ups
To access the digital coupon platform, consumers must be signed up for a Fresh Rewards card. This will allow them to clip coupons directly into their shopping carts.

Lowes Foods will likely experience an uptick in loyalty program memberships following its revamped ecommerce platform rollout, especially among time-strapped consumers wanting to eliminate the process of combing through paper coupons each week.

The grocery brand is also well-poised to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty levels as well as offer manufacturers greater exposure for their promotions.

A slew of other grocery marketers have also been revamping their couponing platforms and mobile offers in a bid to drive sales and streamline both in-store and at-home shopping experiences.

This past spring, supermarket chain Albertsons encouraged consumers in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas to download the Just for U couponing application to take advantage of the latest discounts, adding the brand to the growing list of grocery chains implementing mobile-first sales offerings (see story).

Meanwhile, fellow grocer Kroger underwent a slew of mobile app updates several months ago, adding location-based grocery list features and targeted weekly offers (see story).

Inmar’s research also shows that online grocery shopping is rising in popularity by 20 percent each year, meaning that brands in this space will need to adapt their offerings accordingly to stay competitive.

“Historically, shoppers have had to go to a separate site to search for coupons and then have no idea how those clipped coupons affected their cart or list total,” Unata’s Mr. Bryson said. “With new integrated digital coupons, even shoppers who don’t normally look for coupons are notified when they are available on the products they are already buying, and can redeem without ever having to leave their ecommerce shop, creating a very easy and seamless savings experience.

“As the Lowes Foods guests realize how easy it is to save when they shop with [the brand], we expect to see an increase in shopper loyalty, i.e. more account sign-ups where the guests can experience a one-to-one shopping experience with personalized coupons, offers and more.”