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Dollar General completes coupon rollout, personalizing shopping

Dollar General completed the rollout of a new mobile coupons program that personalizes the shopping experience for customers by allowing them to fit a multitude of offers to their individual needs.

The DG Digital Coupon program launched this summer in partnership with now reaches across 40 states to more than 11,300 stores. It allows customers who sign up either online or in stores using a numeric identification number, typically a telephone number, to select the most relevant coupons to be added to their profile. The discounts are applied to a customer’s purchase at checkout when they purchase eligible items.

“We understand our customers are utilizing mobile devices more each day and the evolution of this digital coupon program reflects how we want to help our customers save money every day,” said Crystal W. Ghassemi, a Dollar General Corp. spokeswoman in Goodlettsville, TN.

“It not only eliminates the time and energy in clipping and bringing coupons to the store, it helps customers electronically choose the specific deals they want to utilize in the store.”

Seamless experience
The program underscores the challenge facing retailers and brands’ efforts in providing a seamless experience that insures that the coupon mode of shopping is part of the customer’s interaction with the brands and the stores.

Dollar General is among the largest retailers of top-quality brands made by consumer-goods companies such as Procter & Gamble, Kimberly Clark, Unilever, Kellogg’s, General Mills and Nabisco. The largest United States small-box discount retailer has a reputation for making shopping for everyday needs simpler and hassle-free by offering a carefully edited assortment of the most popular brands at low everyday prices in small, convenient locations.

The coupon program is the latest example of a retailer trying to meet customer demands for mobile offerings. For most, the task hasn’t been easy. Shoppers have been turning to mobile devices faster than retailers are crafting the mobile experience. Retailers are struggling to understand all the nuances of how this mode of shopping is part of the customer’s interaction with the brands and the stores.

Analyze behavior
Retailers need to analyze mobile shopping behavior, enhance mobile experiences to meet consumer expectations and break down any barriers that exist between channels, experts say.

While coupons have been a retailing mainstay for generations, there is not enough reach in the digital world of coupons to satisfy the coupon companies, which are looking for other ways to reach consumers. As the World Wide Web matures in terms of Web-based delivery, marketers have increasingly looked at mobile.

Dollar General’s coupon program provides customers with an easy-to-use and convenient platform to use digital coupons toward its everyday low prices, helping them get the products they need at prices they want. Acknowledging that the shopper is using digital and online technology to save money, the rollout’s completion is seen as demonstrating its ability to deliver everyday value and affordable options as well as to save customers save time and money.

“The program is equally mobile as it is online,” said Ms. Ghaassemi. “Customers now have the ability to select coupons based on their individual shopping habits and needs either from the DG app or from their computer online.

“As for the rollout, we announced the program in our first quarter earnings in early June and since then, are excited to have successfully implemented the program in all 11,300-plus Dollar General stores.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter with Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.