- Shipt is working with Quotient, a technology company that provides digital marketing services to retailers and manufacturers, to give customers access to manufacturer's coupons when shopping for groceries through Shipt’s website or app.
- To find and use coupons, customers can log into their Shipt accounts and choose the grocer they want to shop from. As they shop for the items they want to purchase, coupons will appear on applicable items' product pages.
- The partnership enables customers to take advantage of discounts funded by manufacturers even if they don’t offer access to those coupons through their own online ordering systems, which Quotient described as a key advantage. "Retailers without the ability to offer coupons to customers were seeing that shoppers were frustrated because they were forced to spend more money than they needed to," Quotient Chairman and CEO Steven Boal told sister publication Grocery Dive.
The tie-up between Shipt and Quotient comes as consumers are looking for discounts amid record unemployment caused by the pandemic, with many looking for groceries and other essential goods online in order to avoid entering stores, Boal said.
"Shoppers are scrambling to make decisions based on value, so not having discounting available through e-commerce is a significant problem" for grocers, Boal said. "Particularly these days, shoppers want to be treated equally given that they’re being told to stay home.”
In addition to enabling grocers to provide online customers with the ability to digitally redeem the same types of coupons they receive in print form through the mail or with a newspaper, the arrangement between Shipt and Quotient offers retailers an edge as advertising migrates online, Boal noted.
"Offline freestanding inserts ... are expected to lose over 20% of their coupon distribution from leading [consumer packaged goods companies] over the course of 2020 and 2021. As a result, the value of the [inserts] diminishes," Boal said during Quotient’s Q1 2020 earnings call with analysts May 5.
Consumers are increasingly turning their attention to digital programs that allow them to identify and redeem offers that apply to what they want to buy. Participation in digital coupon programs has risen 93% since March 1 across the top 30% of national supermarket chains, according to research from Inmar Intelligence.
"There’s a reasonable chance that there will be no freestanding inserts in 18 months," Boal told Grocery Dive.
Some retailers are directing marketing dollars away from traditional print advertising vehicles toward online platforms like social media. On a call with analysts earlier this month, officials with Sprouts Farmers Market said the specialty grocer had determined that it only needs to boost its share of the shoppers it targets by 3% to double its sales and would attempt to capture these customers by shifting away from promotional materials distributed in blanket form to digital advertisements tailored to the customers it most wants to reach.
Shipt, which offers delivery services from more than 90 retailers, has seen record demand for online grocery shopping over the past several weeks. In addition to its digital coupon initiative, the company has onboarded more than 80,000 workers to pack and deliver grocery orders.