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Food Lion harmonizes Shazam, beacons and music for mobile coupon innovation

The grocery store chain is providing its in-store shoppers with a modern couponing experience, streamlining the process as well as making it an interesting experience. While the store’s music plays through overhead speakers, mobile device users allow the Shazam app to listen to the audio which then brings them to a page providing a wide range of product discounts.

“Retailers are increasingly looking for ways to engage with customers in the store,” said Todd Werden, vice president at Boston Retail Partners. “As mobile devices have become an integral part of consumers’ lives, Food Lion is finding creative ways to leverage mobile technology to enhance interactions with its customers.

“The Shazam app leverages existing technology in the store to minimize the incremental investments and provides a customer benefit without being intrusive,” he said. “Current MVP customers will see this as a value-add to their existing membership, especially the convenience of coupons added to their account automatically.”

Extreme mobile couponing
Mobile couponing has become quite a staple within the retail industry, and customers now expect some form of mobile discount in today’s market. Food Lion’s new partnership with Shazam is providing customer with an even more convenient method in digital couponing.

The retailer partnered with Mood Media to introduce a beacon system in which the technology is used to ping in-store devices so when users open their Shazam app they will be directed to the Food Lion coupon page.

“This program is unique because of the delivery method,” said David Van Epps, Global Chief Product Officer at Mood Media. “Mood’s Presence watermark signal, which is delivered seamlessly through Food Lion’s existing sound systems, can be activated instantly, it is turn-key.

“This allows retailers to adopt mobile marketing, and couponing specifically, rapidly and without the need for additional hardware,” he said. “Additionally, since the coupon is delivered while the user is in-store, retailers can update or revise their offers in near real-time, to account for product shortages or on-the-spot promotions.”

Food Lion shoppers who open the app to Shazam the music playing within the bricks-and-mortar location while they are shopping will be targeted with the campaign. The app will bring them to Food Lion’s MVP coupon hub, which acts similar to coupon booklets received in the mail.

The digital page congregates a series of discounted products and coupons right within mobile users’ phones. In the past coupon users had to sort through a series of leaflets and coupon books to assemble a collection of discounts, which they had to bring in stores.

Shazam users shopping at Food Lion locations no longer have to even prep for discount hunting, and can simply look for deals while they are already shopping without having to worry about keeping a series of printed coupons on them.

Customers can now receive their discounts through the app until Jan 1, receiving coupons on everyday household products such as saving one dollar on any three Kellog’s Cereals or a $.55 discount on Minute Maid Orange Juice.

Mobile’s importance in discounts
Coupons are quickly growing as a significant component of beacon-enabled proximity marketing thanks to strong redemption rates, with brands and retailers forecast to deliver 1.6 billion coupons a year by 2020, according to a new report from Juniper Research (see more).

Kmart also underscored mobile’s role as a shopping companion by rolling out a slew of updated application features, including real-time push notifications for limited-time specials, exclusive coupons and layaway options for weekly payment plans (see more).

“If the Shazam app is successful, we would expect to see the ongoing convergence of product information and coupons along with integration to the point-of-sale systems so that customers can scan all their items with their cell phones and then download for faster checkout,” Mr. Werden said. “Used in conjunction with analytics, it could increase the flow of coupons that drive incremental purchases instead of offering lower prices to planned purchases.

“Innovative mobile solutions like this provide increased customer personalization, the right offer, to the right customer, at the right time.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily