Walmart’s Savings Catcher ups the ante on savings with mobile expansion
Walmart is expanding its Savings Catcher online receipt comparison tool nationwide and including access via its mobile application for the first time to help in-store shoppers save more.
Savings Catcher uses proprietary technology to compare competing retailer ads and reimburses shoppers via an eGift card if a competitor’s offering is priced lower than the price paid at Walmart. Nearly one million receipts have been processed using Savings Catcher since Walmart launched it in pilot in seven markets this spring, with the tool ranking first on the retailer’s list of concepts tested to date.
“We know that mobile plays a huge role during in-store shopping, and we’re working to give shoppers the tools to save and shop more smartly,” said Bao Nguyen, media relations, Walmart global eCommerce, Bentonville, AR.
“Of the more than 65 percent of Walmart shoppers who have smartphone, half of them have used it in-store to help them shop. This is significant because Walmart is giving customers another reason to trust we have the lowest prices in our stores.”
“With the addition of mobile to Savings Catcher – we’re making it easier for our increasingly mobile customers to save quickly and easily,” he said.
While price-matching promotions have been active for years, they typically only offer to match lower prices if shoppers do the research on their own, while Savings Catcher is designed to do the prep work for customers.
When launched later this summer, Savings Catcher will compare approximately 80,000 grocery and consumables purchases. In the coming months, produce and general merchandise will also be added to the tool.
Originally available only on Walmart.com, Savings Catcher will now be available on Walmart’s mobile app and compares advertised prices from retailers such as Aldi, Harris-Teeter, Target, Walgreens and HEB.
On mobile, customers will be able access the Savings Catcher tool within the Walmart mobile app. Customers can use bar code scanning to scan the QR code on their receipt to convert it to an eReceipt on their app.
They can elect to load that eReceipt onto the app’s Savings Catcher tool which will examine the items purchased at Walmart, and then compares the price paid to the advertised prices in the weekly print ads of local retailers.
If Savings Catcher finds an advertised price that is lower than what hoppers paid for the same exact item at Walmart, they will receive a Walmart eGift Card for the difference.
A recent study by retail design firm King Retail Solutions and the University of Arizona’s Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing found that 77 percent of the 1,200 shoppers surveyed bought groceries from a non-grocer last year. And 94 percent of those shoppers said they would continue to buy groceries at the same stores in 2014.
Consumers pointed to price and convenience as their top reason to shop at stores such as Target and Walmart rather than traditional or specialized stores.
In fact, Target and Walmart were ranked at the top of the KRS study for most popular places to shop that are not traditional grocers.
The expansion of Savings Catcher comes at a time when rivals are pushing for ever lower prices. Walmart is synonymous for offering the lowest prices on household staples; however its “every day low price” model is under siege from equally popular dollar stores, grocery stores and online retailers such as Amazon.
Wal-Mart has recorded five consecutive quarters of revenue decline in-store and has also witnessed a decrease in its number of shoppers for six straight quarters.
Equipped to compete
Walmart’s previous Ad Match Guarantee program proved hard to manage and often was left to the discretion of an individual cashier. Although it attempted to simplify the policy by equipping associates with the advertised prices of local competitors, the program still saw a backfire as shoppers reportedly did not get the deal they expected and often left confused or angry.
Savings Catcher, excludes online rivals, store brand products, deli foods, bakery and weighed items such as produce and meat.
Target’s Price Match Policy does include top online retailers including Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com and Toysrus.com
Will Savings Catcher’s summer debut melt the sales freeze that has been icing up at Walmart?
“Walmart’s philosophy about saving customers money remains unchanged, but how we’re creating opportunities for customers to save money using technology is incredibly exciting,” Mr. Nguyen said.
“ECommerce brought the store to the Web, mobile allows us to bring the web to the store. By doing so, we can deliver indispensable shopping tools like eCoupons and budgeting tools to our customers that help them save money or shop more easily with us.”
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York