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Rationalizing Technology: User Friendly Savings, Brand Volume Increases

Equipment Services & Technology
[gn_note color=”#FFCC00″]The following is a Guest Column as a part of our EST Feature in the April Shelby Report.[/gn_note]

by Coupon Express

Special to The Shelby Report

Weak economic conditions continue to be the driving force behind coupon usage. Americans want to purchase “on deal” and save when buying at retail. The consumer interest in saving is expected to remain steadfast, regardless of economic recovery signs.

More and more consumers are making digital coupons part of their shopping routine. At the same time, manufacturers are engaging with consumers via digital offers hoping to influence their shopping behavior.

More than 70 percent of all purchase decisions are made at the time of purchase, according to a consumer buying habits study by the Meyers Research Center.

Coupon Express Inc. provides interactive systems that support targeted marketing programs with unique point-of-purchase (POP) services for regional and independent retailers in the grocery industry, and can provide customized, bilingual coupons as well. It enables retailers to quickly determine ideal price-points for new products, mitigate losses from hard-to-sell items and to quickly change marketing campaigns.

Coupon Express Inc. and its partners contract with retail establishments on a revenue sharing basis to sell advertisement and coupon programs.

The kiosk network allows consumer package goods manufacturers (CPGs) to offer flexible, real-time coupons for achieving redemption rates of nearly 25 percent.

Through the integration and synchronization of business ­formats, Coupon Express provides a seamless transaction for ­issuing, redeeming and reporting coupons, and creates a state-of-the-art loyalty program and shopping list service.

Kiosks are strategically placed at the front of each store. Coupons are loaded onto the kiosk based on store and vendor participation. Based on the kiosk configuration selected by the store, the consumer can either swipe his/her loyalty card to load the coupons onto the card, or select the desired coupons and print a shopping list. Coupons are redeemed with a simple scan of the card or bar-coded shopping list upon checking out.

At the warehouse/distributor level, the vendor is strategically looking for ways to increase ­distribution, secure space and become more predominant. With a kiosk, the food broker/vendor/manufacturer can target products/product lines in select markets to increase ­market share. A kiosk could help increase inventory turnover, improve revenue and buying power and enhance not only vendor relationships, but also the freshness of products.

The kiosk also could be used as a cost-effective option to advertise alternative product lines such as organic, baby items or other small market share offerings that allow the focus to be on the center-of–the-store items vs. perimeter only.

The manufacturer’s primary benefit from a paperless system is that the redemption data is available the same day. This enables marketers to promote new products and test out various discount levels through strategic placement of different pricing and offers. Additional options for ordering coupons based on a consumer’s purchase history ensures each consumer is presented with the most relevant offers, while still providing the shopper the option to review all available coupons.

[gn_box title=”Case Study” color=”#ed1c24″]A regional manufacturer participated in the coupon kiosk program for six months, utilizing various strategies to ­promote targeted product lines, build brand awareness and gain market share.

Strategies included regular retail price with coupon, promotional price with coupon, new introductory item with coupon, all UPCs in a selected category with coupon and ­targeted items in a category with coupon.

Multiple coupons were utilized on various items with the face value of the coupons ranging from 25 cents to $1.

The retail sale price of items ranged from $2.37 to $6.99/lb. The results and use of the in-store digital coupons offered by the Coupon Express kiosk continued sustained increases in sales after the coupon period, with an average lift after the coupon period of 18 percent.

The lift after the coupon period vs. before the coupon period was 25 percent, as was the increase in revenue following the coupon period. Gross profit margin improved 1 percent to 3 percent. With the combination of lift in sales and the ­increased gross profit margin, the initial cost of the coupon was covered within the first three months of the offering.[/gn_box]

For the store owner/operator up against tight profit margins, volume is everything. A coupon kiosk can increase units sold through impulse buys. For example, when a consumer ­approaches the kiosk and selects coupons, he or she is reminded of items to purchase; or a shelf talker may prompt the shopper to go to the Coupon Express kiosk. The underlying result is ­increased units sold for the vendor and increased revenue for the store owner/operator.

The Coupon Express kiosk is the focal point and delivery mechanism for the in-store coupon program. It provides dynamic advertisement on a 32-inch upper screen and coupon selection options on the lower touch screen.

To date, vendors have been experiencing up to a 42 percent increase in sales during the coupon period, and up to a 68 ­percent increase in sustained business three months following the coupon period.

Consumers will get unexpected savings without clipping coupons or worrying about expiring or forgotten coupons. “Stock up and save” or impulsive purchase coupons create a “good” feeling by the consumer toward the store and the brand.

The bottom line is that a coupon kiosk is a cost-effective ­program that allows innovation and technology to help retailers and brands sell more and save more.

Coupon Express Inc. is a full-service kiosk and digital signage company that specializes in the placement and management of coupon kiosks throughout the country. These kiosks come standard with the ability to process coupons and provide enrollment cards for a loyalty program designed for specific stores. For more information, visit www.couponexpressinc.com.

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