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Sam’s Club augments Club Pickup with in-app daily deals

Sam’s Club is offering customers daily deals on its site and application to enhance membership value and further augment its suite of mobile-friendly services, such as Club Pickup.

The Shocking Values program is now set to offer consumers up to 60 percent off regular prices on major brands, and serves as a bid for the warehouse retailer to ramp up sales of its annual memberships by showcasing the significant discounts potential clients can expect to receive. Individuals can find the limited offers on or on the mobile app each day at 9 a.m. central time.

“Shocking Values is an online offering accessible through the mobile app and online at that allows us to deliver an extreme ‘treasure hunt’ for our members,” said Tara Raddohl, director of corporate communications at Sam’s Club, Bentonville, AR. “The items are hand-picked based on what members are interested in, top trends and our most popular shopping categories.

“Shocking Values deals are for a limited time with limited quantities. And, remember, these are extreme value deals, so the savings for Shocking Values are exclusive to the Shocking Values program.”

Premier program
Sam’s Club is now the first wholesale retailer providing its members with an online daily offer program, which may help undercut consumers away from competitors such as Costco and BJ’s Wholesale Club.

On-the-go customers who do not have time to sort through circulars can easily check the offers in the Sam’s Club mobile app, or sign up to have daily email notifications delivered to them via an opt-in mailing list.

The sheer convenience of having the deals waiting in an inbox on a smartphone will likely resonate positively with many consumers, and potentially prompt other warehouse brands to follow in Sam’s Club’s footsteps.

“Mobile deals with limited offer times and great values are solid methods to reinforce a brand’s value identity to the consumers,”said Marci Troutman, CEO of Siteminis, Atlanta. “One way to grow that image is to create a daily value ‘Call to Action’ and this type of program will drive that point home.

“There will need to be testing for what are optimal types of offers, and optimal time limits. Many companies have done daily deals, but have very short time frames to exercise the deal, i.e., 24 hours or less, making the ‘Shocking Value’ with a longer time frame for the offer unique to many other programs.”

The retailer will be hand-selecting products to feature in the Shocking Values program from a plethora of recognizable brands. Items will also be picked based on customers’ interests and popular shopping categories, as well as top trends.

The range may include products from kitchen appliances, apparel, consumer electronics, home décor and accessories and watches, with all items offered for a limited time with limited quantity.

Sam’s Club has been placing a higher focus on increasing its sales of individual memberships this year. This past January, it attempted to drive more membership purchases following the New Year  by offering consumers a $20 gift card usable on mobile devices upon enrollment, with an additional $5 for those who shared the promotion on Facebook (see story).

Mobile check-in
Sam’s Club is also piloting a new mobile check-in option at select stores across the nation as it expands its Club Pickup service, which aims to undercut competition from other warehouse retailers by offering convenience (see story).

If some of the daily deals overlap with the products eligible for Club Pickup, members will receive even more convenience by being able to snag discounted items without searching for them in-store.

This strategy is one that could work well for other warehouse retailers as well, particularly if the pickup option is available within their mobile apps.

“In order for this to be integrated into the Club Pickup process, you need to ensure you have the stock and when you run items on daily direct, with limited quantities and lack of clarification as to when the offer ends (when out of stock or at the end of the time of the offer) you can run into problems with meeting customer demands,” Ms. Troutman said.

“In the end, it could be a real value to ensure this daily offer is integrated into all operational program efforts, which is a supply chain opportunity.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York